Imagine this: hundreds of cows, young and old, starved and alone, forced to live in small crates measuring merely feet in size. They call out in pain and agony as they wait to be either slaughtered for meat, inseminated for reproduction or to be over-milked. These are all standard behaviors in the brutal dairy industry.
On average, each American individual consumes about 200 pounds of fluid milk every year. This number does not include the hundreds of pounds of dairy products consumed by Americans. A great majority of that dairy is sourced from inhumane harvesting and pastoral farms. In many cases, the dairy industry is far more callous than the meat industry.
The entire process for a female cow, known technically as a dam, can begin at an age as low as 15 months. It is around this time that the cow is artificially force-inseminated with a bull’s semen. This process occurs in a “cattle crush,” a brutal machine used to forcefully-inseminate female animals. When the calf is finally birthed, the young animal is taken from its mother within two days while the mother is stripped of the milk meant for her young offspring.
Like many other mammals, cows form strong, passionate bonds with their calves. It has been reported in countless cases that mother cows wail for days after their calves are taken from them, in search of their lost babies.
The location and state of her baby’s condition essentially relies on the gender of the calf. If the newborn calf is a male, he is either shot or raised to be used as a source of veal. However, if the calf is female, it will only take months until she herself is thrown into the dairy production system. By the age of five, female cows are deemed unusable for milking and are taken to slaughterhouses to be butchered and made into meat.
The dairy production cycle can be described as savage, heartless and even sadistic. Whether it’s a calf being stripped from its mother, a bull being utilized for its semen or a dam being milked to death, there is little humanity or remorse in the dairy production industry.
Personally, I believe that it is quite clear that the dairy production industry is particularly inhumane. While milk and other dairy products are significant for human diets, the amount of sufficient alternatives makes it quite difficult to argue for the continuation of current dairy production. Thinking of the pain, suffering and horrible conditions the helpless animals are forced to endure is sickening. The extreme cases of reproduction and cycling also poses a major concern regarding overpopulation. Ultimately, the extremely callous processes of the dairy farm industry and the presence of healthy alternatives makes it hard to argue why the production of cow’s milk should continue.
However, movements and organizations including the Animal Outlook and PETA have toiled and reached out to citizens and supporters by recording releasing footage inside of some of the most brutal dairy farms. In recent years, major advancements have been made to eradicate the horrible realities of the dairy industry. Alternatives to cow’s milk have been introduced including almond and soy milk. Furthermore, according to statistics from Britain, the number of dairy farms has decreased dramatically in recent years and will continue to do so in coming years.
The next time you pick up a glass of milk, a piece of cheese or a spoonful of ice cream, just think to yourself: how many innocent creatures were slaughtered and tortured to create this?