Animals as Food
In the United States, a huge proportion of hamburger meat, estimated
between 20 and 40 percent and as high as 75% in New York state,
comes from dairy cows.
The pretty picture of contented cows grazing in pastures is becoming
a picture of the past. On factory farms, dairy cows are milk production
machines. They are reared on dirt lots or indoors, often in stalls in which there
is not even enough room to turn around. They are artificially inseminated
and kept constantly pregnant or post pregnancy lactating so that
they produce milk. They are denied the basic instinct, and one possible
pleasure in life, that of nursing their young. Instead the young
are taken from them within a couple of days to become veal if they
are male and rennin for cheese if they are female.
The horrifying veal industry is an offshoot
of the dairy industry.
Perhaps you are familiar
with the Californian Milk Board's "Happy Cows" campaign.
PETA filed suit over the ads, which take advantage of public
interest in animal welfare, humorously giving consumers the
impression that most California dairy cows live long happy lives on
lush rolling green hills. While the ads show cows frolicking with
their grandchildren, many people say there is no sadder sound than
dairy cows bellowing for their male babies who are carted off to
veal crates. PETA's case failed, the judge ruling that government
bodies are exempt from fair advertising laws.
Mastitis is an infection of udders which causes swelling and thus
makes milking painful. According even to "Dairy Today",
it is rampant on US dairy farms. Mastitis affects an estimated one
in five dairy cows.
The intense cycle of pregnancy and lactation continues for about
five years, after which the cow, no longer producing at a profitable
rate, is slaughtered for hamburger or dog meat. Thus the the fate
of the dairy cow is exactly the same as the fate of the "beef
cow". Under natural conditions, a cow will live to the age
Kiro TV in Seattle (the CBS affiliate) aired, on November 1, 2002,
some shocking footage of a dairy cow, too sick to walk being dragged
and hoisted to slaughter. You can view the story on line at:
"Organic" Dairy Cows are not pumped with hormones to
increase milk production. However the picture of them leading natural
lives is a fallacy. More than three-quarters of the organic milk
sold in the United States is produced by Horizon Organic Dairy,
which has 500 cows and is hoping to add another 500 shortly. According
to an April 22, 2000, Associated Press article, environmentalists
say the farm is much like a factory farm, where animals are contained
mostly indoors for greater production.
Dairy cows from organic farms have the same fate as other dairy
cows. They eventually become organic hamburgers.
You will find loads of information on what the dairy industry
does to the animals, the environment, and human health at: http://www.milksucks.com/