July 31, 2018 - GruntVegan
Domestic cows are bred to maximize milk production. In order for them to lactate, a dairy cow must continually be impregnated and produce calves, which are removed within days causing both mother and calf extreme distress. Once milk production slows or they get sick they are sold for slaughter.
Of the several thousand mammalian species on earth, humans are the only ones that drink the milk of other species.
The main purpose of cow’s milk, though, is to turn a 65 pound calf into a 700 pound cow as fast as possible. It is full of hormones, lipids, proteins, for a baby cow. The industry calls it "baby calf growth fluid".
But the real crime, is that in order to produce milk for the dairy industry, cows are kept in a state of constant impregnation. And in order for them to keep ‘producing’, they need to be kept pregnant, and are re-impregnated again and again.
This is physically exhausting. A dairy farmer ideally tries to have their cows give birth every 12 to 14 months. The Canadian Cattlemen, reports that the average gestation period is 279 to 289 days or approximately nine months, leaving just 3 or 4 months in between pregnancies.
However the regular practise of dairy farmers, in order to take full advantage of the excess milk which cows produce immediately after giving birth, is to take the calves from their mothers within the first two days of birth. This causes "suffering, anxiety and depression for both mother and child, as the maternal bond a cow has with her calf is very strong", reports Animal Defenders International. This is incredibly stressful and emotional for the mother and her calf. But a dairy farm is a business and this is done, so the cow can provide the farmer with as much milk or 'output' as possible, maximizing their profit.
But the suffering does not end once the cow reaches the end of efficient milk production.
After a lifetime of 'producing', two to seven years in the dairy industry, they are slaughtered and sold as beef. The meat from a dairy cow is considered low-grade and often ends up in burgers or pet foods.
And the calves too are a product on a dairy farm. Most females are reared as a ‘milk machines’, and the males, are raised to be killed and sold as beef. Some calves are killed at a young age for their meat, called veal or their skin, called calfskin.