After drinking cow’s milk most of my life I finally woke up to the fact that unfortunately there is no happy, smiling Daisy the cow.
Humans are not just doing her a favour by milking her so she doesn’t fill up with milk and explode.
She does not `give’ us her milk. We steel her baby from her, then we take her milk from her and her calf.
It’s initially quite hard to believe that dairy could be anything other than wholesome and good. After all that is what we are tought all of our lives. The dairy industry spends millions convincing us that we `need’ milk to be healthy. Yet the reality is that we do not need milk at all. It is not natural for us to drink cow’s milk, especially as fully grown adults and in particular the milk of another species. We are the only species of animal that drinks milk into adulthood and the only species to drink the milk of another species.
Cows used for dairy are artificially inseminated as they need to have a calf every year in order to produce milk. Yes, that’s right, cows do not produce milk without first having a baby. After a 9 month pregnancy she gives birth to a beautiful calf. The same length of pregnancy as a human female.
At the end of her 9 month pregnancy all she wants is her calf. Cows have a very strong bond with their offspring. Yet nearly all calves are snatched away from their mother within a day or two of birth so that we can drink her milk instead of the newborn calf.
This is extremely distressing for both the mother and the calf as you would imagine.
Male calves are an unwanted by-product of the dairy industry. They obviously can’t produce milk and they are often seen as unsuitable to raise for beef as their breed doesn’t get big enough. Most will either be killed straight away or transported to veal farms on the continent. Female calves are also removed from their mothers and reared separately for hygiene reasons. They are then fed on milk replacer. The mother is left bellowing for her lost calf and the calf is completely bewildered as to what is happening. Mother cows have strong bonds with their young and it is deeply traumatising for them to lose their newborn calf. Every time she has a calf a human snatches it away from her.
Please see the link below for a video clip about dairy farming. This is from the Channel 4 documentary `Jimmie and the Giant Supermarket’.
Dairy = Veal
With the exception of Rose Veal (a young calf that is killed but that isn’t confined and fed a restricted diet). When `raised’ for veal most baby calves are confined in a small crate so that they can’t move around. They are fed on a diet deficient in iron so that their flesh stays pale in colour and so that they taste better. The calf endures this pitiful existence for or up to 18 weeks before it is finally offered peace by being killed.
I know many people are opposed to veal, yet at the same time still drink cow’s milk not realising that the two industries go hand in hand. It took a long time for me to make this connection myself. It just wasn’t something that I had thought about I’m ashamed to say. Basically, if someone has a glass of milk they might as well just eat a veal steak because the two things are connected.
Very few calves are raised for veal in Great Britain due to a low demand for it. Currently calf exports from Great Britain have been suspended due to Bovine TB worries. So as a result male calves are mostly killed shortly after birth. Most of the females will be separated from their mothers, fed milk replacer and grown on to replace the heard. Calves from Northern Ireland are still transported to other countries to veal farms.
Selective breeding means that cows used for dairy produce way more milk than would naturally be needed to feed their calf. This is a huge strain on them to produce this amount of milk.
Most cows will be sent to slaughter after just 3 lactations as they are no longer as productive. The average dairy cow is sold for beef at 4 years of age. They can naturally live to 20 years of age.
Below is a video that explains how the dairy industry operates.
Tasty Alternatives to Cow’s Milk:
There are many alternatives to cows milk that are readily available. I have tried soy milk, hemp milk, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk and hazelnut milk. I love almond milk, it tastes great either straight out of the carton, on my cereal, or with coffee and tea. I have also made my own almond milk at home and it comes out lovely and frothy, with some added dates to sweeten it up. The chocolate flavoured oat milk made by Oatley is lovely mmmmmmmm…. With the added bonus that no blood and puss is allowed in it like it is in cow’s milk. Look it up, milk is allowed to contain a certain amount of blood and puss. Tasty. It is called up as `Somatic Cell Count’ on the carton.
There is nothing magical about cows milk. The only reason we drink cows milk and not the milk of a Hyena or a Gorilla is that a cow is easy to milk and produces a large quantity of milk. It has nothing to do with the actual milk of a cow. It is all about the ease of milking and the quantity/ profit.
I have always been on antibiotics for acne since I was about 14 years old. I am now 35 years old. I went vegan two and a half years ago. Within a couple of weeks my acne completely cleared up. My doctor when I was younger did tell me that I should cut out dairy in order to help with my acne. I ignored him at the time. I wish I had listened to him and I wouldn’t have been on medication all this time.