Monday, 27 February 2012

Food Animal Cruelty: Dairy

     Hi everyone :) sorry I haven't written in a while; I've been relatively busy with my life, doing this or that. It's amazing how time can be swallowed up so easily without you getting much done. So today I thought I'd venture out on a completely different subject than my last posts have been about. If you've read the title I'm sure you can guess what it is. Food animal cruelty. This, in my opinion is one of the most atrocious deeds being done by the human race. I wouldn't say THE most, but quite surely one of them. Let's hold up a second. When you guys eat your meat, are you thinking "I'm eating an animal right now", or more "I'm eating meat right now"? Probably the later right? Well let me ask you this, how many of you ventured to think "If this was an animal... how was it raised?" or "I hope this cow had a nice life"? Probably not as many of you. I know I didn't really think about that very much when I was eating meat. So now let me ask you this. How do YOU think modern farm animals are raised? On pastures right? The cattle grazing in the fields, chickens squawking around pecking at the dirt, the little pigs rolling in the mud crying "oink oink! oink oink!". WRONG! Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG! If that were the reality this world would be such a better place! However, the harsh reality is that for the vast majority, it is not like that whatsoever. At least not in most countries especially North America. I've been told that England and other parts of Europe are much better at this whole humane animal treatment thing and I am so jealous that their country is so much more advanced when it comes to that. I've even read than parts of Europe refuse to trade meat with the US because their treatment is so unethical. So what is it that makes North America so undignified when it comes to food production? Read on my friends.

    There are so many different food animals I could talk about here. Pigs, cows, chickens, eggs, dairy, turkeys, goose, veal, sows, dogs, fish, shark, horse, the list goes on. But obviously I'm not going to talk about all of those so I figured I'd focus on Beef, Dairy, Chicken, Eggs, and Pork since those are most common. They may be a bit long so I'll just include one in each post for now. Here we go...

The Dairy Disaster:
I thought I'd start with dairy cows because they sort of lead to other cattle products. Dairy cows have one of the worst lives possible for a mother. The poor mothers are confined to minuscule stalls their whole lives; they are kept impregnated year round in order for them to continue producing milk. They are milked everyday by a machine which as you can imagine is quite distressing and not to mention creepy. Once their calves are born they're almost immediately torn away from their mother (usually 1-2 days after birth) in order not to "waste" her milk. The poor calves are crying for their mothers in distress; the males will eventually become either veal or normal beef meat, but the females are destined for the same fate as their poor mothers. Cows usually live for about 10-15 years but a dairy cow in a modern day factory will only live to be about 2 or 3 because by then their body is so lacking in calcium they can barely support themselves. The average cow is lame, suffers from ulcerations, laminitis, or rotten hooves from standing in their own waste all their lives. They also commonly have twisted stomachs, torn udder ligaments, pneumonia, or bacterial infection in their teats causing puss to be expelled along with the milk. Some disgusting, undignified, horrible, inhumane creatures also known as a few producers, will attempt to actually cut the teat off, in order to continue milking. Here is a picture of a cow with a teat infection taken at a livestock auction.

And here is a picture of cows being milked by machines at an american farm.

    Unfortunately that is not the extent of the horrors for a dairy cow. Let me take you to the livestock auctions. It's hard to believe that the people who handle these animals are actually human and not monsters in disguise. All sorts of animals you find at livestock auctions, the majority are in the most horrible of condition possible and yet they are still mistreated. People twist their tails to the point of fracture (dont ask me why), motivation to move comes from being electrically prodded, not to mention they're beaten a tremendous amount. I've had the misfortune to read that female cows often have a gloved hand shoved up their vaginas to check for pregnancy. How horrible is that? Can you even begin to imagine what that would be like? These cows are basically being subject to extreme mistreatment, torture, assault, and even what you would call sexual assault! I don't know about you but I am ashamed that my country, of which I am for the most part proud to be apart of, takes part in such practices on a daily basis! I was appalled when I read of how the milk I consume is produced.
Not to mention how they are normally transported for up to 3 WEEKS without provisions or weather protection. And maybe the most horrific part of all: slaughter. Here is a brief overview of how they are slaughtered:

Slaughter: (of dairy, beef, and veal)
-stunned with a stun gun which would be great... HOWEVER, this is 5-10 % of the time not effective enough to render
the cow unconscious
-throats slashed to bleed out (some are still conscious while they are being bled out)
-some cows don’t die before hock cutting, and are literally cut to death piece by piece
-”downed” cows are dragged with hooks and/or chains as they are unable to walk
-an average slaughter house kills 250 cows a day
    Horrific isn't it?

    Now I have a confession to make. I don't eat meat but, I myself do actually drink dairy milk that is produced like this, each time I do I feel really terribly guilty but I can't help it for now. The problem is this: soy milk and almond milk is so dang expensive! It's not that I'm cheap it's just that I can't afford to be buying almond or soy milk, or ethical dairy milk for that matter, when it's over $4 for 2 litres! So that's why I took it upon myself to try to raise awareness about it, so that at least I'd be doing something. Even if you guys aren't going to convert to ethically produced dairy milk or other kinds of milk; I really hope you will try to do something about it nonetheless. Even just telling your friends about it is good! Or you could even venture to send a letter to your provincial/national agricultural minister like I did. Either way, I hope I at least taught you guys something. 

If you seek more information you can visit any of these sites:

    Stay tuned for my next post which will include the story of another desolate animal commonly found on our plates. Bye for now.


  1. I sadly don't drink milk (I'm lactose.) And vegetarian. These make me so sad.. Imagine to be in their hooves!