Friday, January 29, 2010

The dark side of dairy

I promised myself that my next post would be something happy and positive so I'm sorry to say that this one isn't!

If my previous post on quitting cheese didn't highlight the really horrific side of dairy, Mercy For Animals (MFA) have released an undercover investigation of standard practices on a dairy farm.

I couldn't watch the video for long, maybe 10 seconds, up to the part where the worker puts his fingers in the calves eye sockets to hold his thrashing head still while he burns his horns off. I doubt you want to watch it either but just in case, here it is.

For the less confronting version (quoted from MFA):

Evidence gathered at the dairy facility reveals:

Cows with bloody open wounds, prolapsed uteruses, pus-filled infections and swollen joints, apparently left to suffer without veterinary care

"Downed" cows - those too sick or injured to even stand - left to suffer for weeks before dying or being killed

Workers hitting, kicking, punching, and electric-shocking cows and calves

Calves having their horns burned off without painkillers, as a worker shoved his fingers into the calves' eyes to restrain them

Calves having their tails cut off - a painful practice opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association

Newborn calves forcibly dragged away from their mothers by their legs, causing emotional distress to both mother and calf

Cows living in overcrowded sheds on manure-coated concrete flooring

Workers injecting cows with a controversial bovine growth hormone, used to increase milk production

MFA do great stuff educating the public on what horrors Big Ag tries to ensure consumers never know about. Of course they don't want us to know - if their bottles of milk and clingwrapped packets of meat had photos of where they really came from no-one would buy them. Most people don't even know that a cow has to have a baby, like any other mammal, to produce milk. Let alone what happens to that baby.


  1. And yet so many vegetarians fail to realise that not only are they supporting this kind of cruelty, they are supporting an industry which must invariably kills the animals as well. On a positive note, when I was away camping a couple of weeks ago I met a woman with bulls she had rescued from the veal trucks. Nice to know that there are people out there who will take on animals which can give nothing back financially, just because they deserve a chance to live.

  2. I know. I was vegetarian for ages cos I didn't know dairy was bad. I thought the worst part of it was that the cows were milked all the time, and that was something that I could live with. Everyone knows slaughterhouses and factory farming isn't nice, but not many know the behind-the-scenes of dairy.

    Very sweet to hear about the rescued veal babies! Calves are pretty cute, how could you not?