Much has been made in the media lately of the Australian dairy crisis, and consumers have been urged to purchase more dairy foods.
Sixteen-year-old Kaila Mackay – a student at St Mary of the Angels Secondary College in Nathalia, Victoria – decided to speak out for the real victims of the dairy industry: cows who are abused and killed.
Kaila, a passionate vegan and animal rights activist, posted this video to her YouTube channel to explain why she does not consume dairy foods:
The brave student’s attempt to stand up for cows quickly resulted in bullying, both online and at school – and it has now escalated to the point that her family is preparing to leave town.
“People were telling me to kill myself by drowning in milk or by cutting myself with a razor blade”, says Kaila. “One teacher at the school told me I should go to TAFE instead because I am ‘not a mainstream student’.”
Kaila’s parents say the school doesn’t have any concern for Kaila’s safety and that the reaction from school staff, parents and other students has been hostile.
It was allegedly made clear to Kaila and her family that she was not welcome at the school, and her stepfather said they were told that other parents had threatened to pull their children out of school if Kaila continued there.
PETA contacted Matt Carver, the school principal, to raise concerns for Kaila’s safety.
Mr Carver stated that every effort would be undertaken to ensure Kaila would not experience any further bullying or threatening behaviour if she were to return to school, but her family are still unconvinced and concerned enough that they feel it’s best to relocate.
We applaud Kaila for speaking out, however unpopular her opinions may be among her local community. And we commend her family for standing strongly by her side during this trying time.
Through her online activism, Kaila speaks up for millions of animals in the meat, dairy and egg industries. Her message is one of kindness for both animals and humans, and she should be commended for her strength of character and willingness to speak out against violence, instead of being met with the threat of violence herself.
As Kaila points out in her video, on Australian dairy farms, cows are repeatedly impregnated and then separated from their babies so their milk can be sold and fed to humans. Male cows are slaughtered when they are just a few days old.
Perhaps we should be encouraging young Australians to practise empathy and compassion towards animals, rather than condemning and bullying people for being brave enough to speak out.
Kaila, we are behind you 100 per cent.