Human Crimes Against Animals, Part 14d - Factory Farming, Dairy Cows
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Dave Bernazani
2009

The 9 million cows living on dairy farms in the United States spend most of their lives in large sheds or on feces-caked mud lots, where disease is rampant– hardly the pretty green pastures depicted on milk cartons and in advertisements. Cows raised for their milk are repeatedly impregnated, and their babies are taken away so that humans can drink the milk intended for the calves. When their exhausted bodies can no longer provide enough milk, they are sent to slaughter and ground up for hamburgers.

dairy cruelties

Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their babies. In order to force the animals to continue giving milk, factory farmers impregnate them using artificial insemination every year. Calves are generally taken from their mothers within a day of being born——males are destined for veal crates, and females are sentenced to the same fate as their mothers.

Mother cows on dairy farms can often be seen searching and calling for their calves long after they have been separated. Author Oliver Sacks, M.D., wrote of a visit that he and cattle expert Dr. Temple Grandin made to a dairy farm and of the great tumult of bellowing that they heard when they arrived: ‘They must have separated the calves from the cows this morning,’ Temple said, and, indeed, this was what had happened. “We saw one cow outside the stockade, roaming, looking for her calf, and bellowing. ‘That’s not a happy cow,’’ Temple said. ‘That’s one sad, unhappy, upset cow. She wants her baby. Bellowing for it, hunting for it. She’ll forget for a while, then start again. It’s like grieving, mourning——not much written about it. People don’t like to allow them thoughts or feelings.’ [This is a common behavior of dairy cows].

The 9 million cows living on dairy farms in the United States spend most of their lives in large sheds or on feces-caked mud lots, where disease is rampant– hardly the pretty green pastures depicted on milk cartons and in advertisements. Cows raised for their milk are repeatedly impregnated, and their babies are taken away so that humans can drink the milk intended for the calves. When their exhausted bodies can no longer provide enough milk, they are sent to slaughter and ground up for hamburgers.

After their calves are taken from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to machines that take the milk intended for their babies. Using genetic manipulation, powerful hormones, and intensive milking, factory farmers force cows to produce about 10 times as much milk as they naturally would. Animals are pumped full of bovine growth hormone (BGH), which contributes to painful inflammation of the udder known as mastitis. (BGH is used throughout the U.S., but has been banned in Europe and Canada because of concerns over human health and animal welfare.) According to the industry’’s own figures, between 30 and 50 percent of dairy cows suffer from mastitis, an extremely painful condition.

A cow’s natural lifespan is 25 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are killed after only four or five years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the filth, intensive confinement, and the strain of constantly being pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too “spent” to be used for anything else.

Go to Human Crimes Against Animals, Part 14e - Factory Farming, Veal
Go to Human Crimes Against Animals - Introduction


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