People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) plans to run a billboard near the U.S.-Mexico border comparing the separation of immigrant families to milking dairy cows.
The animal rights organization announced on July 2 plans to build a billboard near several cities along the border with an image of a Holstein cow and calf next to the slogan “Loving Mothers and Their Children Should Never Be Separated. Please Go Vegan.” Border cities where the campaign will run include San Ysidro, Calif. and Tucson, Ariz.
PETA is trying to capitalize on the controversial family separation policy implemented by the Trump Administration that has made headlines the past few weeks and had a wide outcry around the country. The animal rights group alleges that taking a calf from a dairy cow to produce milk is the same as separating families.
“It’s cruel to separate any parent from her beloved child,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “We are heartsick over the trauma that families are experiencing at the border and hope people will extend their compassion to mother cows whose calves are stolen from them on dairy farms by switching to soy and other plant-derived milks.”
This isn’t the first time PETA has put up billboards revolving around the topic of immigration. In April, PETA placed billboards near the border towns of El Paso and Laredo, Texas, criticizing Donald Trump, Jr. for hunting and his father’s remarks on immigrants. That advertisement said “Deport Callous Cheating Opportunists Now!” and also said “All nations have their undesirables. Kindness welcome.”
The animal rights group has also used accidents involving livestock as a way to promote a vegan diet. Since the start of June PETA has announced plans to build billboards near the sites of trailer wrecks or barn fires in Ohio, Delaware, Washington and Georgia. Last November, a wreck that killed 80 cattle in Utah got similar billboard treatment.
In addition to the billboards at the border, PETA has also donated soy milk to the Humanitarian Respite Center (HRC) in McAllen, Texas. The animal rights group says the donation was made to the detention center for immigrant children “who have allergies, are lactose intolerant, or are vegan.”
“Dairy-free milks and ice creams are a delicious option for anyone who is lactose intolerant, is vegan, or simply wants to practice kindness to mother cows and their calves,” says PETA Latino Senior Manager Alicia Aguayo. “PETA hopes to help the Humanitarian Respite Center give a bit of relief to families who have made an extremely difficult journey.”
In June, PETA ran an “Anti-Dairy Month” campaign that included “de-calf” coffee sleeves and bus advertisements.