milk protest toronto

Group of partially dressed women were 'milked' on a busy street in Toronto

A curious scene on Mother's Day had passersby stop dead in their tracks (or continue walking while avoiding eye contact) outside the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto.

Event organizer Amanda Oakes, dressed as a dairy farmer, oversaw a trio of partially dressed women hooked up to simulated dairy pumps, suggesting to passing crowds that the group was producing human milk for sale.

Oakes' speech mocked dairy farmers with a reassuring but somewhat sarcastic message, saying, "I love my women and look after them as members of our family with a high standard of welfare you can trust."

milk protest toronto

Among the trio hooked up to fake milk pumps was social media influencer Vikki Lenola, who has a following of 190K on Instagram.

Lenola noted that "in the USA, the authorities recently found 1 in 5 milk samples nationwide tested positive for bird flu. I don't want to distract from the message about mothers but…"

Jenny McQueen, a longtime animal rights activist who filmed the event, described the installation in her own words as "controversial" in an email to blogTO.

"I attend vigils at the slaughterhouse in the west end of Toronto, near the Stockyards shopping mall, where dairy cows regularly arrive, with their udders dripping milk," said McQueen.

"This event was a great success in letting the public know about the myths of humane milk."

The demonstration — organized by www.speciesism.wtf — follows similar public installations in New York City and London.

milk protest toronto

This is far from the first high-profile protest organized by groups concerned about animal welfare in the dairy industry. Earlier this year, protestors crashed a Toronto Maple Leaf outdoor practice at Nathan Phillips Square, bringing signs and megaphones to raise awareness about their cause.

Photos by

Marissa G


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