Cows produce milk to feed their babies – just like humans. It flows for the best part of a year and then stops. More milk requires more babies. That’s the reality of dairy farming – the visible, obvious side of the industry. But there is another, cruel, much darker side to dairy which few see and even fewer know about.
Through selective breeding a cow now produces at least 38 pints of milk a day. Like a human mother a cow cannot give milk unless she first gives birth, and she is forced to do it year after year. The tenderness of motherhood is timeless but for a dairy cow it is very short lived. After a day or two her calf is taken away, permanently. It is traumatising to mother and baby alike.
Life is very short for thousands of male calves, 95,000 in fact. Shot shortly after birth their bodies end up as dog food for the local hunt. Others are sold, many to continental veal farms.
Female calves are kept in near isolation for eight weeks before replacing their mothers in the herd.
Huge udders, constant milking and pregnancy exert a terrible toll on dairy cows. At any one time a third of the national herd is afflicted with mastitis, laminitis and other forms of lameness.
Cows are inseminated shortly after giving birth and spend seven months of their nine month pregnancy nurturing a foetus and producing milk, both at the same time. Emaciation is the result, simply because they can’t eat enough.
Deadly calcium deficiency is another problem. Ironic when milk is pushed for its calcium content.
Most dairy cows will be physically and mentally exhausted after just three lactations and killed at five or six years old for cheap meat.
And then there are goats. Their milk is no healthier and their conditions no better.
Billy goats are either clubbed to death or sold into the ethnic meat market.
Like cows, they are simply units of production.
The best thing to do in order to stop supporting the cruel dairy industry is to try dairy-free! It’s easy, healthy and tasty. You can still have chocolate, cake, yogurt, cream, milk and cheese alternatives!