As we enter the second week of training, I really want everyone to know why Farm Sanctuary is so important to me and why organizations such as this one need to exist. There are so many aspects of animal agriculture and factory farming that are kept in the dark – and for good reason. Paul McCartney once said “If slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be vegetarian.” Well, as true as that was, he did not take into account the dairy industry.
So let’s talk about dairy – the milk in your cereal, the creamer in your coffee, the cheese you can’t live without. It’s just a natural occurrence, right? There is no harm in taking a little milk for ourselves… right??
Day by day, the the truth about the dairy industry is inching its way into public view; in fact, a popular cafe in London – one that was reportedly ranked one of the best in the city – recently announced they will no longer serve cow’s milk. Surprising consumers, The Fields Beneath Cafe posted the following sign:
The sign reads:
“LAST WEEK OF COW’S MILK
This is the last week we shall be buying, steaming and pouring cow’s milk into our espressos. We have the following alternatives:
OAT, ALMOND & SOY
OAT milk will be charged at the same price as cow’s milk, the others at 30p more as we’ve always done.
For three days from Friday this poster will be replaced with one explaining why. If you’re not going to be here for it, search on YouTube for the following five minute video:
“DAIRY IS SCARY”
We didn’t think it was either.”
The video that sparked such drastic change can be found here.
The 2015 YouTube video has been viewed more than 1.6 million times and explains the horrors of the dairy industry in 5 minutes. For those who are still with me and want the cliffnotes, here are some highlights:
- Like humans, female cows only lactate when they need to feed their newborn. In other words, a cow must be pregnant and give birth. The dairy industry takes it upon themselves to gather sperm from bulls (I’ll leave the details to you, but that part is not much different from humans, either) and then insert it into the cows with their hands or a rod while the cows are confined in a “rape rack” – and yes, that is an industry term. These cows carry their babies and give birth only to have their offspring taken away within days – sometimes even hours. Males are typically sold and killed for veal since they cannot produce milk and therefore have little value in the industry, and females get to live like their mothers – confined and regularly impregnated by very unnatural means that wreak havoc on their bodies.
- Mastitis – an infection of the udder – is so common on dairy farms that blood and pus regularly find their way into milk even after it is filtered. This is so common, in fact, that there are actually regulations as to how many somatic cells are legally allowed into the finished product. While these amounts differ around the world, the number in the United States is 750,000 somatic cells per milliliter. That’s a lot of pus in each cup of milk.
- After about 4 or 5 years of continuous milk production, cows who can no longer produce milk (called “downers”) are then slaughtered for beef. What a life, huh? Constant sexual exploitation, confinement, being treated as a commodity rather than a living, sentient being until their bodies literally give out. Not to mention that the average life span of a cow is about 20-25 years and NOT 4-5 years.
The fact is that humans do not need cow’s milk any more than they need dog milk or rat milk, and data shows that the majority of the adult population is lactose intolerant anyway. We do not need milk after infancy and our bodies are trying to tell us that.
Farm Sanctuary is home to many cows who were saved from the dairy industry – like Honey, who is living with her calf, Meredith. It is so rare that a dairy cow and her calf stay together, which is heartbreaking because cows are emotional beings who form bonds with their calves the same way human mothers form bonds with their children. Without Farm Sanctuary, who knows where Honey and Meredith would be today.
Please look further into this issue, as well as the atrocities of other aspects of factory farming, and donate to my triathlon fundraiser to help Farm Sanctuary: https://give.everydayhero.com/us/tri-ing-4-animals
Your donation will go a long way in helping Farm Sanctuary continue to provide care, shelter, education about, and advocacy for animals who desperately need help.