June 27, 2008

Dairy and Factory Farming

This one is for the cows and calves, yes they are big, loud and poop a lot, but they are still cute, aren't they?
Not all, not in factory farms; some are gross, dirty, sick, deformed, over-fed, over-medicated and have to stand, or lie in their own excrement their entire lives.
No such thing as California Happy Cows in Factory Farming!
Sure, there are clean farms, of course! No grass or soil, all tile, scrubbed daily, and the cows are clean too, they just don't have a life. Milk, milk, milk... and then the slaughterhouse.
And I am not talking about traditional farmers, however few may be left, they are a dying breed, and those who are trying to survive by treating their life-stock in a humane way, are to be respected.
But many of us do not have access to cruelty-free dairy products, and many have never seen a cow up close and personal. What we are familiar with is the dairy aisle at the grocery store, and the foods we were raised on.
Medical research and expert opinions on nutrition have come a long way, more and more studies have shown that dairy is not a healthy part of the human diet, and certainly not healthy to the producer - the cow.
Then there are the many people who are lactose-intolerant - for good reason! We were meant to drink our mother's milk to feed us as babies; not Mama cow's, or Mama horse's, or Mama doggie's, or any other animal's mother-milk, which in turn is meant for their babies.
My reason to avoid dairy products is inhumane treatment of animals, but there are other arguments against dairy consumption, and you might agree with one as well:

(Excerpts from on-line information on Modern Dairy Production and your Health)

Milk Myths
The Dark Side Of Dairy
"Despite the myth of contentment, a dairy cow is the hardest worked of all farmed animals. She nurtures a growing baby inside her while simultaneously producing milk - up to 120 pints a day. To keep the flow going, she is forcibly impregnated every year and her babies are taken away a day or two after birth – year, after year."

Dawn Watch
Cows for Dairy
"In the United States, a huge proportion of hamburger meat, estimated between 20 and 40 percent and as high as 75% in New York state, comes from dairy cows."

Calves for Veal
"When veal calves are slaughtered at 16 weeks they are often too sick to walk. One out of every ten veal calves dies in confinement."

Robert M. Kradjian, MDBreast Surgery Chief Division of General Surgery, Seton Medical Centre #302 - 1800 Sullivan Ave. Daly City, CA 94015 USA

"Fifty years ago an average cow produced 2,000 pounds of milk per year. Today the top producers give 50,000 pounds! How was this accomplished? Drugs, antibiotics, hormones, forced feeding plans and specialized breeding; that's how."

Try Veg - Compassion over Killing - Cows
"As with all mammals, cows produce milk for their babies. To ensure the highest milk yield possible, U.S. factory farmers artificially inseminate dairy cows every year and keep them pumped full of steroids and other hormones."
"One byproduct of the dairy industry is a calf per year per cow. A calf’s fate depends on his or her gender: If female, she will likely join her mother on the dairy line. If male, he will be sold to beef or veal farmers, often before he is a week old."

Farm Sanctuary
Factory Dairy Production
"Traditional small dairies, located primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, are going out of business. They are being replaced by intensive 'dry lot' dairies, which are typically located in the Southwest U.S."
"Although the dairy industry is familiar with the cows' health problems and suffering associated with intensive milk production, it continues to subject cows to even worse abuses in the name of increased profit. Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), a synthetic hormone, is now being injected into cows to get them to produce even more milk. Besides adversely affecting the cows' health, BGH also increases birth defects in their calves."

Information Directory on Dairy and Health:

Alternatives / Substitutes:
Tofutti - Ice Cream, Cookies, Cheese and much more!
Silk - Soymilk, Creamer and Yogurt!
Follow Your Heart Natural Foods - Cheese Alternatives, Veganaise, Salad Dressing

Vegan Wolf - make your own substitutions!
Vegan substitutions and converting any recipe to a vegan one.

Goat Milk - National Geographic Green Guide
A more humane alternative since goats are generally treated much better than cows.

Modern Factory Farms:

Seared tenderloin filets of Veal

Is it worth it???


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