Why can’t vegans say ‘milk’?
A member of an online vegan group I am a part of posted the following message. I asked Daniel if he minded me sharing it here in the hope someone can give him legal advice or insight based on their own experiences as a vegan business owner, either in Scotland or around the UK.
Posting this to see if any vegan business owners have had a similar experience – I run Juice Warrior and today we had our first environmental health inspection in our new Bathgate premises. They are really not happy about us using the word ‘mylk’. We use this because we don’t like using the term ‘milk’ as in the beginning a lot of people thought we were selling dairy milks. We obviously want to completely separate ourselves from the dairy industry.
They have said ‘milk’ is a protected term by the dairy industry, so we are not allowed to use it as our milks don’t contain any dairy. Apparently this has been referred to the FSA and is going to be an issue with all the dairy free milk companies in the future.
They then said we can’t use the term ‘mylk’ as it sounds too much like milk and it’s a made up term. We pointed out that’s a bit ridiculous as there was once a time when ‘Cola’ didn’t mean anything. It really just became an argument over semantics.
The inspector used to work in a meat factory and I feel he had a problem with us from the get go – constantly backing up the meat and dairy industries and trying to tear apart the raw juice/dairy free industry.
Our kitchen and machinery are kept beyond spotless and if you were to walk in it would look like it’s never used, so we pointed out that we found it frustrating that if you were to walk into a meat factory there would potentially be blood and faeces on the floor. He said this doesn’t matter because you can kill all of that in a frying pan…
He may have a point, but we couldn’t help but feel alienated and wished there was more support for vegan businesses. It seems biased that the meat industry can get away with having blood and guts on their floors but we are being warned that if our carrots go near our apples before cleaning, we could be shut down. Obviously, we make sure we separate our roots vegetables from everything else, it was more the way he said it to us.
I read in a magazine lately of a plant based lobby for vegan businesses starting in America – does anyone know if there is anything like this in the UK yet?