I am not quite sure how it has become ingrained in society that drinking the juice from another animal is natural. To some extent I can understand the meat consumption (not a chance in hell I agree with it), because carnivorous creatures consume flesh in their diet Having been raised vegetarian my whole life, I thought that by not eating meat I was making a stand against animal cruelty and exploitation. I remember starting to drink soya milk around 4 years ago and avoiding cow’s milk, under the impression the dairy industry was ‘mean’, but if I had taken the time to really clue myself up on what was going on daily, I imagine I would have become vegan sooner.
The truth is, the dairy industry is one of modern day’s biggest cover ups. The perception of cow’s milk as if it is this wholesome, healthy foodstuff. That it is good for you. That it is natural.
Don’t get me started on that as yet though! But do you see any other animal drinking the milk of another species? You don’t see a kitten suckling milk from a pig. So what makes it ok for us to steal milk from cows and their babies?
Because it is stealing. Of course it is. Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do – and that is to feed their young. It is not to be added into a human’s brew on a day to day basis, no. It is intended for a little calf to get all the nutrients it needs from its mama. Cows are extremely maternal creatures. I watched a video the other day about the horrors of the dairy industry, and in it was footage of a cow giving birth and rushing straight over to its baby and licking the calf’s head. It was beautiful and so tragic, because I knew how that story was to end.
I’m not a mum. I’ve never been pregnant, but imagine carrying a baby around with you for 9 months, giving birth and having your child taken away from you within a day, never to be seen by you again. Imagine. Just stop and think about it. How is it then right or moral to bestow the same cruelty and anguish on a cow and her calf?
Let’s just take some time to think about the cow. A maternal, beautiful creature that has been sentenced to this existence as a commodity for the human race. A servant to our demands. It is sickening. They are robbed of so much. So much is taken from them, by us. By humans. We shorten their lifespan from 20 odd years to about 5. They are subjected to such horrors that by 4 or 5 years into their lives they are spent from producing and producing and producing that they are no longer valuable and are murdered. The sheer emotional and physical toil means they are worn out way before their time. Is this fair?
Take into consideration what happens to these lovely girls in their short and terrible lives. They are artificially inseminated to produce calves to maintain their milk production, and their babies are snatched from them within a day. I have never heard, nor do I ever want to hear the crying of a cow calling to her calf. But just imagine it, please. Is this fair?
I then ask you to take into your minds for a moment the physical strain of holding all the milk us humans require for our teas, coffees and cereals. Do you think they hold a natural amount of milk? Think of the demand. The sheer amount of shops, of milk within them shops, and how quickly milk expires to be replaced. No, these cows are forced to hold 5 times as much milk as they naturally would. I ask any woman out there reading this to imagine how that would feel. Then, let’s add more to this. Imagine having painful diseases on top of this unnatural, heavy weight. Mastitis anyone? An infection of the udder, that not only means that antibiotics are injected into the teat, but that pus is produced. And let it be known that this pus WILL end up into your milk. 400 miliion pus cells per litre of milk – 2 million cells per teaspoon. Fancy that milky coffee now?
Now let’s take a moment to think of the babies in this. The calves. Born into a cruel world, where their existence is also just a commodity. A means for their mothers to produce milk. Taken from their mothers almost immediately and sentenced to a life of cruelty – whether it be short or drawn out. If deemed unwanted by both the dairy and beef industry, these calves are slaughtered when but a few days old, or they are trapped into a fate the same as their mother’s. The other alternative is the ‘politically incorrect’ veal industry. I am not sure how lamb is acceptable but veal is not, but again, don’t get me started on that as well or my head will explode. To make this particular meat tender, the calves are kept in small crates awash with darkness to stop them from moving. To make this particular meat white, the calves are fed a liquid diet lacking in the necessary nutrients, which means they often become very ill, with pneumonia and diarrhoea. Then after a few months of this horrendous existence, they are again, like their mothers, murdered and served up for human greed.
I am near tears writing this particular blog because, as much as I am trying to make a difference when I stop and think about the supply and demand and how much milk there is and how much cruelty is pumped into each carton, I just want to give up. I have such little faith in the majority of mankind. Kind. We are anything but. I take solace in the very slim chance that someone out there reading this might have a change of heart and cut out dairy. I can’t stand the fact this is going on right now, as I live and breathe, that this is happening. I scream out to the vegetarians out there who are so for ethical reasons, because they love animals. Look at this industry. It is no better than meat production – it all leads to cruelty, exploitation, slavery of animals, torture, inhumanity, and murder. All of it unnecessary.
Cup of soya hot chocolate anybody?