1. Cows need to be milked.
Wrong. Cow’s produce milk for their offspring, so farmers ensure they are pregnant by being repeatedly and forcibly impregnated, sometimes in what is known as a “rape rack.” Bear in mind that a mother cow is pregnant for 9 months, just like you or I would be. Imagine how taxing this is on the mother cow, to be pregnant for pretty much all of her life. Once the baby calf is born it is then removed and locked in a calf crate, as the baby would drink the mothers milk and that’s just not allowed.
Could you imagine if a human baby was removed from their mother? Let’s get real here. Stolen is a more correct term. It would be inhumane, an unforgiveable act and above all wrong. Yet this happens to every pregnant cow in the dairy industry today. For your information, like male baby chicks, male cows aren’t deemed ‘useful’ or rather ‘profitable’ so they are sent to slaughter at the age of 16 to 18 weeks and then sold as veal. Some farms violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001 and shoot their baby male calves within four to five days of their birth, because feeding them costs money and they were destined to die anyway.
2. Drinking cows milk is natural and healthy.
The milk from a cow is not healthy for you despite what the dairy industry would like you to believe. In many studies it is proven that drinking milk doesn’t make your bones stronger, it actually makes them more susceptible to breaking and your chances of osteoporosis will be higher.
Cows in factory farms are routinely fed antibiotics and growth hormones. What they consume, is what you consume too. If someone offered you antibiotics, would you take them for the hell of it? Nope, but you’re drinking it instead.
Of course, cow’s milk is intended for a baby cow, so there is casein in there, formally known as estrogen. After all, it’s designed to make a baby cow grow big and strong, quickly. This is bad news for those who ingest milk from cows as it’s linked to breast, prostate, and testicular cancers in humans. Hormone-dependent tumours need sex hormones to grow, so if you continue drinking milk, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It’s also worth noting that around 65% of the human population has a lactose intolerance. Cow’s milk contains a sugar called lactose and it is this that makes it difficult for people to digest resulting in them experiencing bloating, cramping and diarrhoea.
3. Cows in dairy farms live in great conditions.
Dairy cows are kept indoors for part or all of their life in overcrowded sheds. These conditions provide a host for bacterial infections, hoof lesions, sole ulcers, laminitis and digital dermatitis. Other issues include inadequate flooring, lack of foot trimming, poor nutrition and prolonged standing. All of these contribute to lameness, a common issue in welfare standards as well as mastitis and metabolic diseases. Some cows are kept in tie-stalls for the rest of their life, completely restricting their movement as well as stopping them from socialising, exercising or turning around to scratch themselves.
4. We need to drink milk as it provides us with calcium.
Let’s pick soy milk. It has less calories, less saturated fat, less sodium, less sugar, actually contains fibre and has no cholesterol whilst having the same amount of calcium to that of cow’s milk. Did you know that a glass of cow’s milk can contain up to 25mg of cholesterol? Scary. However not everyone likes soy milk, good job there is oat, rice, hemp, quinoa, cashew, almond, hazelnut, coconut, flax and sunflower milk then. That’s one of the awesome perks of drinking plant based milks, your cereals and baking only gets more exciting. The goods you create are healthier and you can change your plant milk’s whenever you want, you are no longer stuck with one option!
In fact the dairy industry feels so threatened due to the increase of plant based milk sales, they want to try and remove the word ‘milk’ from the name. This speaks volumes – people are realising the industry for what it really is!
5. A cow’s life expectancy is five to six years old.
A cow in the dairy industry does, but given a natural life, a cow can live for over 20 years. Push a human female body by permanently making her pregnant and experience grief and loss yearly and you might die early too. Once the female cow can no longer stand, she is known as a ‘downer’ and is then sent to slaughter. What a price to pay for a body that was too exhausted to carry on.
The problem with the dairy, meat and the agricultural industry is that animals are no longer perceived as an animal, but a commodity, a means of income, a mere object. Over the last few years cruelty free living has become a major factor in a consumers decision to purchase an item. Is drinking milk worth all the suffering and injustice?
Now you have the facts, it’s up to you what you decide to do.