But Why Not Dairy Products?
It’s a fair and often heard question, one I had myself several years ago.
“I like my cheese/ice cream/milk, etc. and besides they don’t kill the cows for their milk”.
That’s what’s normally expressed when someone wonders why people go vegan instead of simply vegetarian (vegan excludes all animal products and vegetarian excludes meat).
The heartbreaking truth is that dairy cows suffer intensely from an industry that exploits them mercilessly.
It all begins with the calf being born to cause the cow to give milk for her baby.
Because man has become accustomed to using the milk meant for the calf, the natural process of a mother nurturing her young is violated, with the baby being taken from the mother either immediately upon birth or shortly thereafter, much to the mother’s grief, anger and sorrow.
The mom will call for her calf and try to search for it, and her distress is understandable: the instinct of a mother is powerful, primal stuff.
The calf might be killed immediately (sometimes beaten to death with a hammer), be destined for the veal crate or, if a female, a fate awaits her like her mother’s–being constantly impregnated and having her babies stolen from her, and when her body can no longer support the cycle, she’s turned into hamburger.
There is no mercy for her whatsoever (and people wonder why I cringe when I see an ad for burgers).
All this is neatly hidden from view because most people would be outraged at the cruelty shown these gentle and, yes, intelligent creatures.
The following is from Compassion Over Killing:
“Last week, the Newbury, Massachusetts police station received several calls from residents complaining of strange sounds coming from nearby farm. Upon investigating, the police found the source of the noise: female dairy cows who were bellowing and crying after having been separated from their calves at Sunshine Dairy Farm.
According to the Newburyport News, the police received so many calls from concerned citizens, the sheriff issued a statement addressing the issue: “We’ve been informed that the cows are not in distress and that the noises are a normal part of farming practices.”
Sadly, it’s true that the practice of taking newborn calves away from their mothers is standard in the dairy industry. However, to suggest that these mother cows, whose sad cries were heard throughout the community, are not in distress is very far from the truth.
Like us, mother cows form strong bonds with their young. If given the opportunity, she and calf will even remain companions for life. The forced separation on factory farms causes cows and calves an incredible amount of pain and grief. Cows have even been known to try hiding their calves from farm workers, or making incredible escapes to try to reach their stolen calves.
Cody Carlson, a former undercover investigator and COK legal intern, recounted that seeing calves being taken from their mothers was a heart-breaking experience he witnessed while working undercover:
“It’s a tough experience for the mother cows. I saw a few return to the spot where they gave birth for days afterward and look in the direction where the calf was dragged off, bellowing helplessly. I’ll never forget one that kept looking at the shed, then at me, each time bellowing dramatically at me in a way that seemed to say, “HEEELLLPP!!”‘
Thankfully, we can help these cows — first, by choosing dairy-free options instead, such as soy or almond milk. And second, by sharing this information with our friends and family while introducing them to vegan foods Start today by visiting TryVeg.com.”
And check out the video above for Karma’s story–a powerful story of the distress of a mother cow for the baby she was searching for, their touching reunion, and the kind humans who brought them back together.
Go to The Gentle Barn to learn more about their amazing work on behalf of animals like Karma and her calf, as well as their transforming work for abused human children who find comfort and healing among the animals.