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April 21, 2003

Celebrate a Dairy-Free Earth Day
Veggie Advocates Offer Dairy-Free Options

Tacoma, WA - Activists and students across the country will celebrate Earth Day by giving out free vegan ice cream to the public, asking them to consider eating less animal products.

The ice cream giveaway will take place on Tuesday, April 22 at the University of Puget Sound (1500 N Warner St) in the Wheelock Student Center at 5pm. This event is part of a campaign spearheaded by Viva!USA, an international vegetarian awareness group based in Davis, California.

"We hope that after tasting the delicious vegan ice cream, people will realize that giving up dairy products is an easy way to save the planet by respecting its animals and the environment," said Michellle Brittain, student organizer.

According to activists the dairy industry is one of the largest contributors to pollution and waste in California which is the nation's #1 dairy state. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states on their website that a single cow produces approximately 120 pounds of wet manure per day. These negative effects on humans and the natural environment could be avoided with a reduction in animal agriculture, activists claim.

Viva!USA also cites animal cruelty as a reason to go dairy-free. Their investigations of large-scale dairy farms have documented widespread animal cruelty on dairy farms. The mother cows suffer from being constantly impregnated, forced to produce milk far beyond their natural limits, and then separated from their babies. In addition to separation from their mothers, both the male and female calves are confined in stalls or huts with little room to move.

"The image of bucolic dairies where happy cows graze on green pastures is now mostly myth," said lauren Ornelas, U.S. director of Viva! "The reality is something far different. These dairies cause unimaginable suffering for cows and their calves while wreaking ecological havoc in our communities."

The ice cream, "Soy Delicious," was provided by the Eugene, Oregon based company, Turtle Mountain, Inc., one of the largest and most popular manufacturers of dairy-free desserts.

Over a dozen similar events are taking place around the country. More information, including a detailed media briefing and undercover video and photos of dairy farms, are available at www.vivausa.org or by contacting Viva! at 530/759-8482.

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