eBay Founder Urged Not to ‘Bid’ on Dairy Farm

PETA Urges Pierre Omidyar Not to Bring Cruelty, Stench, and Environmental Devastation to Kauai

For Immediate Release:
August 21, 2017

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Honolulu – Following reports that eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is planning to build a dairy farm on the island of Kauai, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—sent the entrepreneur and philanthropist a letter this afternoon urging him to consider producing plant-based milks instead of building a dairy operation, which would spoil Kauai’s pristine beauty with manure runoff and the overwhelming stench of a reported 699 cows, each of whom would reportedly produce more than 90 pounds of manure a day.

In its letter, PETA points out that a manure-free plant-based milk operation would be a great investment: The plant-based milk industry is thriving, with sales up 250 percent over the past five years.

“Cows exploited for their milk are repeatedly artificially inseminated, and their frightened calves are torn away from them within hours of birth, while manure runoff can contaminate streams,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Pierre Omidyar to get in on the skyrocketing market for nondairy milks and build a sustainable, compassionate business instead of a cruel and environmentally harmful dairy farm.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Pierre Omidyar follows.

August 21, 2017

Pierre Omidyar

Cofounder

Omidyar Network Services LLC

Via e-mail: [email protected]

Dear Mr. Omidyar,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters, including more than 4,000 in Hawaii. Given the abuses inherent in the dairy industry and animal agriculture’s devastating impact on the environment, we urge you not to build a dairy farm on Kauai.

Cows used in the dairy industry are repeatedly artificially inseminated, and their frightened calves are torn away from them within hours of birth. As you can see in this video, cows are connected to milking machines that can cause painful sores and an udder infection called mastitis. On many farms, their horns are burned off or gouged out, their tails are cut off, and holes are punched through their ears—all without pain relief.

A staggering 51 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, and cows account for 75 percent of those emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that livestock pollution is the greatest threat to our waterways and that animal agriculture is directly linked to water and air pollution. The United Nations believes that a global shift toward plant-based eating is vital if we are to combat the worst effects of climate change.

A dairy operation would also be destructive to Kauai’s pristine shoreline, sandy beaches, and untouched beauty. With only 10 percent of the island accessible by car, visitors and locals alike cherish the beauty of its natural environment, where they can hike, kayak, and enjoy the outdoors. A dairy operation—which creates manure runoff as well as odors and which has the potential to contaminate groundwater used for drinking—is contrary to everything that Kauai is.

It’s no wonder that the plant-based milk industry is thriving, expanding sales by 250 percent over the past five years. Half of Americans now consume nondairy milk. If you’re looking for a responsible way to reduce the need to import food to Hawaii, we urge you to consider producing plant-based milks instead.

We urge you to do the right thing for animals, for the planet, and for the residents of Kauai by foregoing your plan to build a dairy farm on the island. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President
PETA

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind