Going vegan is often driven by moral and ethical reasons. #Animal cruelty is simply unacceptable to vegans, and to assuage their conscience, they boycott all animal foods and products. This is all well and good, but does it improve the lives of suffering animals?

Or, does it only keep people from feeling guilty when they bite down into their cheeseburger? In short, where are the #Vegan Activists who not only avoid eating abused animals but who also try to remove the abuse in the first place? It seems that British vegans are bravely embracing the challenge.

A win for British vegan activists

A recent campaign by UK vegan group, Go Vegan World, has survived opposition from both anti-vegans and dairy farmers alike.

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Luckily for vegans, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled their ad to be an accurate depiction of British dairy farms. The main message of their advertisement? “Humane milk is a myth. Don’t buy it.” It’s a provocative ad, showing a single cow imprisoned behind a barbed wire fence.

It also includes one vegan’s testimonial of how a benign visit to a dairy farm forever changed his perspective, not only on dairy products but on all animal products. The testimonial depicts the sorrowful separation of mother cows from their newly-born calves. It’s a Pixar story that pulls on your heart strings, and it certainly has the emotional and psychological power to challenge consumer choices.

Is it enough to ruffle some feathers?

Campaigns like this can be a powerful way to increase awareness of animal cruelty.

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But is awareness enough? This news is fresh off the press, and for now, dairy farmers and anti-vegan groups will raise their objections and get their knickers tied in a knot. But this small win for vegan activists will quickly fade into the homogenized mass of other news stories. In the end, will there be any difference in farming methods or the public perception of farm animals?

Do vegans have their priorities wrong?

Unfortunately, it seems that the majority of vegans are more interested in trading beef patties for soy burgers. And instead of giving up cheese, they just reach for cheese alternatives, which can be full of genetically modified ingredients anyways.

It’s true that their food choices do not actively harm animals. However, their vegan menu turns a blind eye to the blatant cruelty that sparked their veganism in the first place. As they smear tofu spread, farm animals continue marching on to their inhumane deaths. The initial motivation to go vegan is important. But it isn’t enough because it doesn’t solve the original problem. Eating newly developed vegan foods don't remove cows, pigs, and chickens from their miserable conditions.