Milked documentary
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Milked Documentary

Milked Documentary Review: Unveiling the Truth Behind Dairy Farming

The documentary “Milked exposes the underbelly of New Zealand’s dairy industry, bringing to light practices and impacts that are often kept from public view.

Released in 2021, this film is an eye-opening exploration of the environmental, ethical, and economic issues surrounding one of the country’s most significant industries – dairy.

Directed by Amy Taylor and featuring the activism efforts of Chris Huriwai, “Milked” challenges viewers to reconsider their perceptions of dairy products and the cost of their production.

With stunning visuals and compelling narratives, the documentary delves into the lives of those directly affected by the dairy industry.

The film raises questions about sustainability, animal welfare, and the influence of agricultural giants, provoking discourse and thought on a global scale.

The reception of the documentary underscores its role as a catalyst for discussion and change, reaching a wider audience beyond New Zealand’s borders and inspiring conversations about the future of dairy farming and its alternatives.

Key Takeaways

  • The film scrutinises the impact of dairy farming in New Zealand.
  • “Milked” evokes a broader dialogue on sustainable practices.
  • It has become a notable point of reference for industry critique.

Overview of ‘Milked’

‘Milked’ is a compelling documentary that challenges the industrial dairy industry, highlighting its impact on the environment, society, and economy. It aims to shed light on realities often overshadowed by traditional narratives.

Premise and Objectives

The documentary ‘Milked’ sets out with a clear agenda: to investigate the dairy industry in New Zealand.

With a narrative led by New Zealand activist Chris Huriwai and direction by film-maker Amy Taylor, this feature-length film scrutinises the sustainability of the dairy industry and its repercussions on both the environment and public perception.

The objectives are to unveil the effects of intensive dairy practices and to spark a conversation on the payoffs and costs of this agricultural sector.

Key Contributors

Several notable individuals contribute to the depth and credibility of ‘Milked’. Amy Taylor, appreciated for her previous works on environmental subjects, directs this documentary, bringing a practiced eye to its presentation.

Chris Huriwai co-produces and journeys through dairy land, confronting powerful industry forces. The film also gathers insights from executive producers such as James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron, well-known for their environmental advocacy.

Additionally, environmental experts like Dame Jane Goodall and Keegan Kuhn, recognised for his work on ‘Cowspiracy’, add authoritative voices to the documentary’s explorative narrative.

Cinematic Production

The cinematic production of “Milked” is a testament to dedicated filmmaking and community support. The project illustrates a confluence of strategic direction, crowd-sourced funding, and innovative distribution approaches.

Filming and Direction

“Milked” is a compelling documentary born out of the vision and determination of its director, Amy Taylor. Her multifaceted role in the production encompassed directing, producing, cinematography, and editing, showcasing a comprehensive approach to bringing the film to life.

The direction of the film facilitates a critical view of New Zealand’s dairy industry, presented with a balance of investigative diligence and narrative fluency.

Crowdfunding and Budget

The financial foundation of “Milked” was largely built through crowdfunding efforts, effectively garnering grassroots support. The campaign successfully raised over NZD100,000, a clear indication of the public’s interest in the subject matter.

In addition to funding, platforms like YouTube and WaterBear have been instrumental in distributing the film, reflecting an innovative use of digital platforms to reach a wider audience. These financial and distribution strategies have not only fuelled the film’s production but also ensured its accessibility and impact.

Themes and Issues Explored

“The Milked” documentary meticulously unravels the complexities of the dairy industry, unveiling its manifold implications for the environment, animal welfare, human health, and the economy. The film dissects these issues through a critical lens, challenging the commonly held perceptions about dairy farming.

Environmental Impacts

The documentary spotlights the dire environmental toll of dairy agriculture, highlighting its role as a significant polluter. Statistics indicate substantial greenhouse gas emissions linked to the sector, exacerbating climate change concerns.

The degradation of waterways through run-off and the demand for high water volumes are underscored as pressing environmental challenges.

Animal Welfare Consequences

Next, “Milked” casts a harsh light on the animal welfare aspect (or serious lack of it), portraying the cruel realities facing dairy cows. It addresses the animals’ (sentient beings) lack of natural living conditions and the distressing methods involved in milk production and the terrible short lifecycle they are forced to endure.

The film questions the ethical considerations surrounding these practices, propelling viewers to contemplate the moral cost of dairy consumption.

Health Considerations

The feature also elucidates the health considerations associated with dairy consumption. It scrutinises the health claims traditionally attributed to dairy, contrasting them with contemporary medical findings that challenge the necessity and beneficial nature of dairy within the human diet.

The documentary does this by featuring insights from medical experts and scrutinising prevailing health narratives.

Economic Implications

Finally, “Milked” delves into the economic implications of the dairy industry. It explores how the sector affects not only large-scale agricultural economics but also the financial stability of individual dairy farmers.

The documentary depicts the tension between the industry’s profitability and the economic strain placed on the very farmers who are the backbone of the industry.

Public Reception and Impact

The documentary Milked has elicited strong reactions from audiences and has become a significant talking point in discussions about industrial farming and environmental issues. It offers an unflinching examination of New Zealand’s dairy industry and its ramifications.

Viewer Reception

Audiences have generally received Milked with great interest, driven by its critical exploration of industrial dairy practices in Aotearoa. Greenpeace’s review emphasises that the film is “terrifying in a way,” urging that it is essential viewing for not only New Zealanders – but everybody.

This sentiment reflects the documentary’s ability to resonate with viewers on both an emotional and intellectual level, prompting a reflection on the dairy consumption customs inherent in their culture.

Influence on Public Discourse

The impact of Milked on public discourse is notably visible, with the film bringing attention to topics like sustainability crises and the agricultural industry’s social and environmental responsibilities.

Coverage by Plant Based News acknowledges the documentary’s role in sparking discussions amongst consumers and industry stakeholders about the truth behind dairy farming practices.

Furthermore, its availability on platforms like WaterBear facilitates broader access, enhancing its potential to influence the conversation regarding plant-based alternatives and the need for greater transparency in food production.

Through its probing narrative, Milked lays bare intricate details about the dairy sector’s impact on the environment and society, catalysing a critical assessment of New Zealand’s most powerful industry.

Activism and Outreach

The documentary Milked has sparked significant activist movements and driven numerous outreach initiatives aimed at educating the public and petitioning for change within the dairy industry.

Key Activist Movements

Leading the charge in Milked is a young activist, Chris Huriwai, who uncovers the environmental and ethical concerns surrounding New Zealand’s dairy industry. Activism is further underscored by renowned environmental advocate Jane Goodall, who has been a vocal proponent for sustainable agricultural practices and animal welfare.

Their combined efforts underscore the core of the activist movements linked with the documentary, aiming to improve transparency and promote a shift towards more sustainable dairy practices.

Outreach Initiatives and Petitioning

Outreach initiatives associated with Milked focus on spreading awareness through community screenings and online platforms. As part of their strategy, petitioning plays a vital role, mobilising public opinion to encourage policy makers to reassess the impact of the dairy industry on the environment.

They employ a variety of methods to involve the public, including:

  • Online Campaigns: Utilising social media and digital platforms for widespread message dissemination.
  • Educational Resources: Offering insights through informative content and discussion panels.
  • Donation Drives: Gathering financial support to aid activism efforts and endorse further research.

Through these concerted efforts, the activist groups aim to foster a more informed public discourse, driving tangible change in dairy industry practices.

Industry Response

Following the release of the Milked documentary, the dairy industry and individual farmers have articulated their perspectives, responding to the claims made in the film.

Dairy Industry Defence

The New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra addressed the documentary’s scrutiny, firmly standing by their farming practices. They emphasised their commitment to sustainability and animal welfare—key aspects of their operation that secure New Zealand’s reputation as a leader in dairy exports.

Fonterra maintains that the portrayal in Milked does not accurately reflect the industry as a whole or the strides they’ve made in environmental stewardship.

Responses from Farmers

Individual dairy farmers have voiced more personal reactions. While some concede that animal agriculture faces environmental challenges, they highlight their multi-generational ties to the land and their efforts to farm responsibly.

Farmers stress the balance they strive to maintain between production and conservation, often implementing new technologies and methods to mitigate environmental impact. They suggest that the narrative presented in the documentary isn’t universally applicable and doesn’t acknowledge the nuances and improvements of modern dairy farming.

Global Perspective

The documentary “Milked” brings to light critical issues surrounding the dairy industry, holding a mirror to international agricultural practices and their environmental impacts.

Here, those comparisons and considerations are analysed from a global viewpoint, touching upon the European standards, the overarching theme of sustainability, and the crucial matter of water use within ecology.

Comparisons with International Practices

European dairy farms often operate under stringent food safety and (on the face of it) ‘animal welfare’ regulations, which sometimes exceed the practices observed in New Zealand’s dairy industry, as highlighted in the documentary.

For example, the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) includes cross-compliance measures that require farmers to meet environmental, animal health, and public health standards as a precondition to receiving subsidies.

Global Environmental Considerations

Sustainability in dairy farming has also become a focal point, with water usage being a critical aspect of the global ecological conversation.

Dairy farms require substantial amounts of water, not only for the cattle but also in the production of feed crops. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) emphasises the link between water management and sustainable food systems, pushing for better practices that minimise water wastage and reduce ecological footprints.

Future Outlook

The documentary Milked has ignited discussions on the future of dairy farming and consumption. Two major areas of focus stand out in the conversation: the rise of plant-based alternatives and the push for sustainable farming that prioritises conservation.

Shifts Towards Plant-Based Alternatives

In the wake of environmental concerns and ethical questions surrounding dairy farming highlighted by films such as Milked and Cowspiracy, consumers are increasingly turning towards plant-based alternatives.

These alternatives are gaining ground not just for their reduced environmental impact but also for addressing animal welfare issues. Supermarkets and food outlets are expanding their non-dairy assortments, responding to a consumer base that’s looking for nutrition and taste in more ethically produced goods.

Sustainable Farming and Conservation Efforts

Efforts to reform dairy farming practices are said to be progressing, with a shift towards more sustainable farming methods. These methods stress on conservation of resources, allegedly animal welfare, and reduction of carbon footprint.

Sustainable practices include rotational grazing, energy efficient farming equipment, and waste recycling. Conservationists advocate for these methods not only to protect animals but also to preserve the ecosystem. Initiatives such as the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status aim to keep traditional techniques alive while ensuring product authenticity and ecological stability.

Additional Resources

For those seeking to broaden their understanding of the themes explored in the “Milked” documentary, this section provides curated content. From in-depth discussions with the filmmakers and activists to a selection of media on similar topics, the resources below will enrich the viewer’s expertise and insight on the subject of dairy industry practices and its impact.

Supplementary Interviews

  • Exclusive Conversations
    Hear directly from the creators and experts featured in Milked. Visit the Milked | Official Website for interviews that delve into the motivations behind the documentary and offer further background on New Zealand’s dairy industry.
  • Additional Perspectives
    Discover related dialogues and interviews on platforms such as Greenpeace Aotearoa where activists and environmentalists discuss the broader implications of dairy farming practices highlighted in the film.

Further Reading and Viewing Recommendations

  • Documentary Films
    To explore similar topics, consider watching films recommended by directors like Amy Taylor, listed on resources such as IMDb, that chronicle environmental issues.
  • Written Works
    Articles and books discussing the sustainability crisis in agriculture can provide a more comprehensive understanding. Access the latest articles on platforms such as Plant Based News to stay informed on developments related to dairy industry topics unveiled in “Milked”.


Milked, a 2022 documentary from New Zealand, presents a critical examination of the dairy industry. The film showcases a blend of local activism and global concerns about the practices within the dairy sector.

Through the lens of Milked, one can appreciate the complexity involved in balancing agricultural demands with environmental sustainability and animal welfare.

Directed by Amy Taylor and featuring indigenous activist Chris Huriwai, the film navigates the layers of influence that the dairy industry exerts.

It highlights the challenges and sensitivities of presenting such a contentious subject. The documentary does not shy away from questioning major industry players in New Zealand, making a provocative statement within a country deeply connected to dairy farming.

As documentaries continue to be a powerful medium for discussion and awareness, Milked takes its place in provoking thought and potentially inspiring change. It offers a narrative that compels audiences to consider the impact of dairy consumption on a personal and planetary level.

Efforts to inform and potentially reform practices within industries are vital, and Milked contributes to this necessary dialogue. The film’s reach has extended beyond its national borders, resonating with those interested in the intersection of agriculture, ethics, and the environment.

At its core, Milked seeks to provide a transparent viewpoint that furthers the conversation about the future of dairy, in New Zealand and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section covers the most common queries regarding the “Milked” documentary, explaining how to watch it, its availability on streaming platforms, and insights into its content and creators.

How can one watch the Milked documentary online?

The documentary “Milked” is available to stream online via the official film website, offering the public a direct gateway to view the investigative piece.

Is the Milked documentary available on Netflix?

As of the latest information, “Milked” is not available to stream on Netflix.

What is the summary of the Milked documentary?

“Milked” is a documentary presenting a critical examination of New Zealand’s dairy industry, highlighting environmental and economic concerns from an activist’s perspective.

Which platforms offer the Milked documentary for viewing?

In addition to its official website, the availability of “Milked” on other platforms can be periodically updated; viewers should check the site for the most current details.

Who is the creator of the Milked documentary?

The documentary was co-created by indigenous rights activist Chris Huriwai and director Amy Taylor, who collaborated to bring this film to fruition.

What does the film reveal about the dairy industry?

“Milked” discloses the environmental impacts, carbon footprint details, and the economic implications tied to the dairy industry, as discussed in various segments throughout the piece.

We highly recommend you check it out!

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