A new controversial billboard campaign by the UK vegan organisation Speciesism WTF has been displayed in London. The first campaign of its anti-speciesism message focused on the dairy industry, and the posters showed a woman with milk machines hooked up to her breasts, as many cows have to endure when milked. The ads were on display for two weeks across several areas in London, such as Shoreditch, Hackney, and Putney. 

Speciesism is an ideology and a set of practices based on the idea that some species of animals are morally more valuable than others and deserve better treatment.

Stephanie Lane, who founded Speciesism WTF, worked as a filmmaker before setting up the enterprise. She said to Plant-based News (PBN),  “I woke up with this idea to create a project which primarily focuses on placing human subjects in the same barbaric and unjustifiable situations that non-human animals are subjected to in the animal agriculture industries. And use advertising platforms which can reach the public on a mass scale, to counter-condition society into creating a more compassionate world for all sentient beings.”

Lane told PBN that she’d been “surprised” about “resistance” to the campaign from advertising spaces.  She said, “It’s hypocritical, to say the least, that many of the prime advertising spaces in London advertise lingerie or bikini ads with highly sexualised young women, but find our current campaign ‘at risk’… I hope that this will serve as a great opportunity to educate the general public, and provoke them into thinking about how their choices as consumers are inflicting suffering onto non-human beings in factory farms, which we can all agree would be unacceptable if happening to humans. If the public can learn about speciesism through the campaigns, and acknowledge that non-humans feel pain and suffering just like humans do, then that’s a step in the right direction.”

Farming dairy cows, both in factory farms and in small farms, cause them a great deal of suffering. This is because such farming routinely causes separation anxiety, hunger, captivity, illness, reproductive abuse, deformities, pain, and death to millions of mothers.    

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.