I was recently reading a blog posting about dairy on the controversial and very outspoken blog called the Collective Evolution. I’ve been meaning to post something about this topic as well as I feel strongly about it from an animal cruelty point-of-view but the more I learn about the health implications, the more surprised I am how many people continue to consume it. Even more surprisingly is how many people defend their dairy consumption, but then again, I guess it’s like the meat debate; you’ll always have people steadfastly defending the perceived merits from both sides.
The thing with dairy though is that much of it comes from factory-farmed sources, and while you can argue a case for grain-fed raw unpasteurised milk being better for you, the vast majority of people eat dairy tainted with chemicals, hormones, antibiotics and unsavory other bits, then forcibly over-milked from suffering, unhappy animals. That stuff on most supermarket shelves is arguably the most processed, unhealthy, tainted and cruel beverage you can buy.
There is much I could say in my own words about this issue, but the following excerpt I found was in the comments section on the Collective Evolution article amidst heavy debating on this topic. This particular excerpt stood out due to the writer’s calm logic – a logic with which I completely agree. So to save just repeating what is already a well-written argument, I will add her words here. Unfortunately I don’t have a full name to give credit but I’m sure the writer in question would be happy for more people to hear what she has to say…
This informative piece is from poster “Karen” (22 May 2013)
Every drop of cow’s milk in any cow’s milk product represents a baby that is not getting the milk designed for him or her.
Male calves are taken from their mothers within 12-24 hours after birth, fed a low iron diet and kept mostly all indoors in the hutch in order to induce anemia (for the most pale, tender flesh), and with a bottle of milk not superior to its own mother’s milk, so that the milk intended for it does not go to to the calf, but to humans it was never created for. The only reason the farmer lets the cow suckle for the first few days is to get the milk flowing after colostrum, just like in humans, and then the baby and mother never see each other again.
On the other hand, If nature were allowed to take its course, the calf would breast feed for up to a year (which is about the same time many humans choose to stop.).
In order for that hypothetical cow’s mother to be pregnant, it had to be Artificially Inseminated on what is called a “rape rack”.
The Artificial Insemination process is an element the dairy industry does not advertise when selling their products: a farmer sticking his entire arm up the colon of the cow to his elbow in order to manipulate the cervix and shove a long steel device containing a long needle syringe of semen into the vagina and through the uterine wall. He masturbated the male to climax (Webster’s dictionary definition of Bestiality). This is done to the female as soon as she is possibly able to conceive (imagine in human years what this would mean: it is the equivalent of 10-12 year old pregnant human girls.).
The farmers keep the cows constantly impregnated throughout their lives, starting as young as they can possibly become pregnant, and each time they give birth after gestation period of 9 months (the same amount of time it takes for a human mom to develop a baby), they are impregnated again 3 weeks later, until they are no longer producing milk at the same rate as their younger sisters, at which point they are slaughtered: every female cow still lactating from the nipples as it hits the slaughterhouse floor.
There is no magic cow that magically makes extra milk for humans. Like humans, they must first give birth.
These are what the hutches look like in reality: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=422882381091565&set=a.422499237796546.91761.422224324490704&type=1&theater
Farmers don’t allow the babies to drink the milk (except to suckle for the first few days of their life. That baby can not be called “breast fed”, anymore than you can say a human baby who suckled for colostrum only the first 2 days of its life was “breastfed”).
The next time a farm tells you they allow their male calves to breast feed, be sure and ask: “for how long?” Because stated one more time: they only allow the baby to suckle for the first few days in order to get the flow of milk started, contrary to the feigned pretense that they are actually breastfeeding, or that they are doing it for the baby’s health. They are in the industry as a business and it is not profitable for a baby to cut into those profits by drinking the milk the mother made for it.
The milk that they normally make for their calves would in no way cause their udders to become engorged were they not mechanically suctioned on average of only twice a day, making it very painful for the cow to the point where she is unable to stand from the weight–she would have to be milked and must return for it: this pain is induced and would not occur in nature were she just feeding her calf. (So the whole lie we’re brought up with that “cows need to be milked because otherwise it hurts them! They like being milked, because they walk right in to be milked!” is exposed for why that is. You don’t make the problem and then claim to be the hero for “saving the day”.).
Were you undergoing the same pain from this overfullness of milk, (since they are induced to create 35-50 litres of milk per day (about 13 gallons), which is more than 10 times what they would normally be making for their baby calf), you would want relief too.
The veal industry is a direct by-product of the cow’s breast secretions industry and is inseparable.
The male babies are disposed of in one way or another (either shot within hours of birth, a hammer taken to the head, or raised in a short, miserable few weeks of life away from their mothers to be slaughtered as veal), because they are of no use to the industry, just like male chicks are ground up alive in mechanical macerators, gassed, or suffocated in bags after hatching. The females follow the same slave footsteps as the mother until they too, reach the same death end.
If what happened to female cows happened to female humans, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that it would be called rape: they are forced into pregnancy without choice of partner, or choice of when they want to be pregnant, or if they want to be pregnant at all, all so that humans can take and murder the baby for the breast secretions, hook them up to machines in spaces that make them stand until 40% of all female cows are too lame to walk at a pre-determined “slaughterhouse time” and must be dragged by chain across the floor.
The cows watch in complete terror as relatives and people of their social hierarchy in front of them are raised by the foot on a conveyor belt or taken a bolt gun to the head, and have their throats slit, sometimes still conscious and kicking, and shred of their parts within seconds after murder, with no choice to go anywhere but to the same fate forced upon them. The screams of slaughterhouses, the stench, the run-off–it is horrendous.
As a mother, I dreamt of this before I went Vegan, of what it would be like to be a female cow on this planet. And it was a nightmare, more hellish than anything I could possibly imagine. I knew there was no other word for the actions perpetrated on this species than evil.
The tipping point that turned me Vegan: a photo entitled “milk by-products”–a pile of dead newborn calves, shot and piled on top of each other, in a bin, view angled from the top of the bin. They look like baby deer. Then I discovered there is no worse sound than a mother who has been separated from her baby, who will bellow frantically for days, or a baby from the mother.
If given the option, mother cows and their offspring would stay together for life.
On a happier note, a video of a sanctuary who rescued a separated mother and brought the calf back to return:
All cows, unless rescued by someone who cares an awful lot, and raised in a non-profit sanctuary, are being killed so someone can have their hamburgers of their bodies and then wash it down with milkshakes of their own secretions.
There are no more wild cattle (except in very tiny amount as endangered species) in any areas of the world because of the tyranny of some humans. This is not an exaggeration.
But if there were, the cattle prefer living in mountain forests–not flat, dry, void, grassland. They can live anywhere from 25-35 years old in the wild. As business commodities for profit, the dairy cows are slaughtered on average between 2-4 years old.
De-horning (the equivalent of breaking our bones), tail docking, third degree burn branding, and burning the tissue (also third degree burns) from their heads where the horns would normally grow so the horns won’t grow in can in no way be called “natural”, so why do people who drink cow’s breast secretions say these standard “requirements” are a natural thing to do?
There are no U.S. laws that give rights to “humane” treatment of farm animals (as long as the businesses get together and decide to do a practice, no matter what that practice is, it is upheld as “industry standard”), none enforcing transportation standards, which result in deaths, sicknesses and injuries. Here are a few research websites:
Here’s many different diseases indicted with consuming cow’s milk:
This powerful study shows the blood of those on a Vegan diet is 8 times better at both slowing the growth rate of cancer cells and stopping it in its tracks. Check out the results of only 2 weeks on a Vegan diet on breast cancer cells.
“20 experts on the breast cancer and dairy connection”:
What’s in a glass of cow’s milk?
Answer: blood, pus, +80 hormones (including from cows not injected with rBGH), lactose, which our bodies CAN NOT process, so lactase is artificially added (because the meat and dairy industries know what’s best for us, right?), casein (which our bodies can not use & is indicted with many forms of cancer), long-chain saturated fatty acids which do not flush out of the body (unlike the medium-chain length from plant sources such as avocado & coconut), cholesterol, acidic protein which leaches calcium from bones, dioxins, dead bacteria from pasteurization, pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics. Cow’s milk is a mucus and acne producer.
Cow’s milk has an opiate effect on the brain, has been indicted with Diabetes T1 & 2, osteoporosis, arthritis, breast, colorectal, ovarian, kidney and prostate cancer, gallstones, Alzheimer’s, anemia, autism, allergies, asthma, constipation, headaches, obesity, and more.
There is no such thing as humane dairy. With every drop of dairy, rape occurs, a baby is stolen and a murder happens. And all for a product that kills us inevitably, leads to disease outbreaks and environmental destruction, and that we don’t need.
The testimony of a worker who was in charge of separating the mothers from their babies and ensuring the babies accept the substitute powdered water “milk”:
I could go all night into the environmental and humanitarian consequences, so I’ll save that arena for another time.
My hope – as it is with eating animal flesh – is that while I can’t expect people to completely give up dairy or expect the industry to just pack up and stop, we CAN greatly reduce our consumption to the point that factory dairies can be a thing of the past. My hope is that everyone can consider with compassion the plight of these animals and simply reduce their dairy intake, encouraging others to do the same. At the very least, pay that tiny bit extra to get your milk and eggs, etc. from a humane source.
If anyone decides the want to flame on at me on this topic, please read the whole blog posting first and consider the core argument here: animal welfare in factory dairy farms. Alright; off you go then…