I thought for this Milk Monday I’d share a couple of YouTube clips depicting the life of a dairy cow.
Thanks to YouTube and the work of a number of animal advocacy groups, there is no excuse for ignorance about where milk and cheese come from and what the animals that provide it have to endure. After several minutes of trolling through the clips, I am, once again, so disturbed and upset that I’m not sure I can put together a coherent and balanced post on the subject. Some of the footage available depicts now well-publicised abuse of cows on dairy farms. Thankfully, in most cases, this is illegal and the perpetrators of the cruelty have been punished. However, although illegal abuse of animals does go on behind closed doors and occasionally comes to the attention of the public, the practice of commercial dairy farming seems to be inherently cruel and totally legal.
I’m not going to post the most upsetting footage that is readily available but I don’t apologise for highlighting the realities. I believe that it is a moral given that it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak and not to exploit them and in this we humans fail spectacularly several million times a day.
There are a wide range of approaches to dairy farming (from intensive zero-grazing factory farms to spacious organic family farms) that have differing effects on the welfare of the animals. However, it is an inescapable fact that it is simply not commercially viable to preserve the lives of male calves which are useless for milk production (they, therefore, have to be considered dispensable) or to allow females to live beyond their useful span of 4-5 pregnacies/lactations.
As usual, the offer is open for anyone with informed views on dairy farming from any perspective to get in touch about doing a guest post or response for another Milk Monday.
- Caught on film: Shocking moment a ‘surplus’ baby calf is slaughtered at farm supplying milk for chocolate (thesun.co.uk)