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 of twenty.

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: