As we sat in the darkened room of the Cadbury World tour, the chattering turned to hushing around us as the film before us began to play. We had come to Cadbury’s world on the back of the fact Matt had never been before, and after remembering all the free chocolate and liquid fudge I had been given years ago as a kid, I insisted that it would be a really cute way to spend the weekend. We sat and awaited in mild interest as the cobbled streets of old England was depicted before us, and watched amused as a man in glasses pretended to be one of the cadbury brothers.
About midway through the tale of what makes Cadbury’s chocolate so special, I was repulsed by a single fact, reeled off by the voice that narrated that short film, as if it held no special significance amidst the rest of the story told.
“Every day, 150,000 litres of fresh milk is delivered to the Cadbury factories.”
Every day. 150,000 litres. FRESH milk.
I sat reeled as the rest of the audience happily watched on. I was shocked by the vastness of that number, but more by the image of how many cows would be needed to fund such a gigantic pool of milk; Daily as well!
When the lights came on and everyone stood up and bustled into the next room of entertainment I grabbed Matt by the arm. “I’m giving up chocolate. I’m literally giving up chocolate.” With that monumental flourish, I pushed all my free chocolate onto Matt and albeit enjoyed the rest of the day; but I swore I would give up Chocolate for real this time (after months of umming and ahhing over becoming a Vegan- It was really just a fancy I brought up when meeting Vegans, but never seriously considered after a bowl of ice cream was put in front of me, or cake mix.)
I finally sat down and did some research the evening after, right after I caved in and ate one of the Curly Wurlys left over from the hefty free pile we were given, and chomped on it in front of Matt on FaceTime with a cheeky, chocolatey and happy face.
“You gave in!” he exclaimed.
“No I did NOT give in. I just fancied it.” But I had given in, and I couldn’t believe it. I was reminded of my moment of disgust in Cadbury’s world the previous day, and couldn’t believe I’d buckled so soon. With a new lease of conscience I typed into Google cadbury cow exploitation. I couldn’t have been more right!
On the website White Lies, I found an entire page, harrowingly dedicated to Cadbury and their treatment of cows. On it they feature a video called A Calf and a Half which is filmed by their “undercover investigators [who] have been inside numerous dairy farms that supply Cadbury with milk. [They] expose the bloody secrets of the nation’s favourite confectionary brands.” In the video it shows a mother cow going through an extremely distressful birth to a still born calf. They truss her up within moments of the traumatic experience and expect her, force her to deliver milk.
Other scenes depicts a series of mother cows being abused for milk,a calf being brutally pushed into a cart of dead calves, shouted at to stay still, and shot,
and a calf being desperately licked by a mother who is only moments away from having him taken away and killed.
I don’t know how anyone can be surprised when they really think about it. The three factories of the Cadbury name started to require a huge amount of fresh milk after the Cadbury brothers visited Switzerland when they started up, to see what made the Swiss chocolate so good. After the success of Dairy Milk chocolate, Cadbury’s chocolate has depended upon the freshness of their milk ever since.
I felt like I was the only one to notice the absurdity of the amount of fresh milk needed each day to create the products of the Cadbury line. Was I the only one to see the cows when they said milk and not just see it as an ingredient?
Apparently so; Cadbury’s told us of their production needs with pride, and not a hint of humility.
I’ve thus decided to give milk chocolate a wide berth from here on out-I know some chocolate bar companies might use ethically sourced milk but I’d like to give vegan bars a try. There’s even a section on the White Lies website on how you can mange to stay healthy without consuming milk, which will be great for when I try to talk myself into eating chocolate again on account of the ‘calcium’.
I also found a section on a whole range of dairy free chocolate, two bars of which I have already ordered. Their chocolate isn’t even that expensive, with some bars starting from as little as 70p for a honeycomb chocolate!
I might even end up doing an assessment on them in a future blog!
This blog isn’t a pro-vegan one, neither is it preaching anything, rather it’s a look at how we should think more about what we put in our mouths. You can still enjoy chocolate if you want to give it up too, just take a look at the dairy free options! Dairy isn’t synonymous with chocolate; but suffering and pain shouldn’t be either.