Today is about challenging appearances and assumptions of extremism and normality. Today is a lesson in unlearning.

And what better way to unlearn than to start our journey at the end and work our way back to the beginning? And what better way to question what’s accepted as good and normal than with something as wholesome and every day as a glass of milk?

The source of milk is no big secret: it comes from cows. But that’s about as far back as most people trace milk’s journey to our refrigerated grocery case.

Most of us grow up thinking that cows are made to be milked. We may think they have a constant supply of milk and even that they need to be milked to relieve the pressure.

Well let’s look at this critically for a moment. Cows are mammals, just like us. And mammals produce milk for one reason: to feed their babies. Cows carry their babies for 9 months, just like we do, they lactate to feed their babies, just like we do, and after weaning, they stop producing milk, just like we do.

So in order to have a constant supply of cow’s milk for human consumption, we need a constant supply of pregnant cows.[tweet this] In the dairy industry, cows are repeatedly inseminated, which is a nice word for raped.[1]

Once a cow gives birth, we face another roadblock to our milk’s journey. Babies, after all, drink their mother’s milk. So to make sure there’s constant supply of milk for us, the babies must be taken away soon after birth. This is precisely what occurs in the dairy industry. [tweet this]

If the calf is a male, he is sent to a veal farm where he is tied down, unable to move, or locked in a cage where he cannot even turn around until he’s slaughtered while still only a few weeks old. Veal, an industry that even many meat-eaters oppose, wouldn’t exist without dairy. Every cup of yogurt, every scoop of ice cream and every glass of milk is directly connected to the deaths of those baby calves. [tweet this]

But we’re not quite done tracing milk’s path to our cereal bowls. While the slaughter of babies is certainly horrific enough, we cannot forget the mothers left behind. Cows bond intensely with their calves and will cry out for days when they are taken. When residents of Newbury, MA called the police to report disturbing noises emanating from the Sunshine Dairy farm at all hours of the day and night, the police explained that the mother cows were “lamenting the separation from their calves”—but not to worry as “the cows are not in distress and that the noises are a normal part of farming practices.”[2]

 

This is not anthropomorphizing. It is a mother’s grief and it’s utterly heartbreaking to watch.

 

The bodies of dairy cows generally give out at age 4 or 5 and they are regarded as “spent,” despite their natural lifespan of 20 years or more. They’re sent to slaughter for cheap meat and pet food, deemed unfit for human consumption. At the slaughterhouse, many of these mothers face their final and most brutal separation from yet another child. While formal statistics are difficult to obtain as most studies focus on the economic cost of “fetal wastage,” accounts range from approximately 10% to 70% of cows arriving at the slaughterhouse pregnant.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

In fact there are entire industries that rely upon the slaughter of pregnant animals. A wide array of scientific experiments use what’s called fetal serum from a range of animals, with bovine fetal serum being the most widely utilized.[13] Bovine fetal serum is obtained by cutting a living fetus out of the mother’s womb, piercing the heart and draining the blood. The process can take up to 35 minutes while the fetal calf remains alive.[14]

But this most horrific and final separation of mother and child was just the last in a cycle of pregnancy after pregnancy and loss after loss. In addition to this extreme psychological and emotional trauma, the physical demands of repeated milkings and the crowded and unsanitary living conditions lead to frequent infections and sores.

Dairy cows are pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones, all of which seep into their milk.[15][16][17][18][19][20] In fact, there’s an official number of pus cells allowed in milk, euphemistically referred to as the “somatic cell count.” In the United States, around 22 million [22,177,500] pus cells are allowed per single fluid ounce of milk [750,000 cells/mL], with global allowable limits ranging from just under 12 million [11,828,000 cells/fl. oz. in Canada & the EU (400,000 cells/mL)] to 29.5 million cells/fl.oz. in Brazil [1,000,000 cells/mL].[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

When we push onwards through to our dairy cow’s beginning, back past the first pregnancy, before she became the broken, hollowed-out shell eventually collapsing under the insane demands of her short life, we come to her birth. The moment she emerges into the world, wide-eyed and brand new. The moment she’s taken from her own mother.

You see we talked about what happened to the male calves who are sent off for veal. Well the daughters of the dairy industry are still separated from their mothers. But they’re kept around to take their mother’s place and keep the money machine going. Keep the milk flowing. So that in every grocery story, every corner shop, every gas station, will be sure to stock this wholesome, normalized, entirely ordinary product.

We are being sold the pus-filled ultimate outcome of rape, enslavement, kidnapping, abuse, disease, torture, infanticide, and murder—whitewashed into an image of wholesome nutrition. As vegan activist Gary Yourofsky has said, it’s the greatest magic trick ever performed.

 

And people say veganism is extreme.

 

The animal products we perceive as mundane, when reverse engineered, reveal a perversely complex and, to put it lightly, ethically challenging, journey from genesis through processing and production to the end product. That is to say, from the animals’ birth, through confinement, abuse, slaughter and denigration of corpses to the shiny, happy, store-ready products we literally eat up without even a single thought as to what the animals went through.

———–

In the harsh light of reality, the everyday becomes extreme.

Please share this video post on all platforms so that these mothers can tell the world their story—their cries no longer ignored, their heartbreak no longer discounted.

If you found this video impactful please SHARE it far and wide. You can use the share buttons below this post or for Twitter, you can click on these pre-made tweets:  Who Was The Mother Of Your Milk?Where Are The Babies? | Every Glass of Milk Sends Calves To Their Deaths. And be sure to subscribe for more vegan content every week.

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see ya next nugget!

 

 

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▶︎➤FEATURED VIDEOS & RESOURCES:

See the FULL Speech

Learn More About Dairy

➣ Last Embrace Of Mother And Child

Kidnapped At Birth (See Through The Eyes Of Mother & Child)

Explaining Milk To Kids

Banned Milk Commercial

Moms Defend Rape, Kidnapping & Murder!

The Best We Have To Offer [In-depth look at the most ideal, pasture-raised dairy farming]

This is Standard Practice All Over The World

The Greatest Lie Ever Told

See The Corresponding Speech Excerpt About Eggs

 



CITATIONS: (see full speech post for even more resources)

[1] It’s often stated by activists, myself included, that the restraining apparatus used to secure cows for AI is referred to within the dairy industry as a “rape rack.” In her informational essay, “Dairy Takes Babies from Their Mothers,” Sandra Higgins, BSc (Hons) Psych, MSc Couns Psych of  Go Vegan World traces this terminology to its origin with vivisectionist Harry Harlow. See: Lauren Slater “Monkey Love – The Boston Globe,” The Boston Globe, March 21, 2004; Britain’s Channel 4 and ABC TV, “Monkey Love,” Four Corners, accessed February 7, 2017; Britain’s Channel 4 and ABC TV, “Additional Resources for ‘Monkey Love,’” Four Corners, December 6, 2006, http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2006/s1660901.htm; As of this writing, I have yet to find a solid example of its use within the industry. Of course, I would assume this kind of phrasing would not be widely publicized in official documents. I will update this citation if I am able to find a solid source.

[2] Dave Rogers, “Strange Noises Turn out to Be Cows Missing Their Calves | Local News | Newburyportnews.com,” accessed April 21, 2016.

[3] B.O. Oduguwa, “Fetal Losses from Slaughtering Pregnant Cows at Lafenwa Abattoir in Abeokuta, South Western Nigeria,” Global Journal of Biology, Agriculture & Health Sciences 2, no. 2 (2013).

[4] G. D. Mshelia, V.A. Maina, and M.D. Aminu, “Foetometrics and Economic Impact Analysis of Reproductive Wastages in Ruminant Species Slaughtered in North-Eastern Nigeria,” Journal of Animal Production Advances 5, no. 4 (2015).

[5] Peter Olutope Fayemi and Voster Muchenje, “Maternal Slaughter at Abattoirs: History, Causes, Cases and the Meat Industry,” SpringerPlus 2 (March 22, 2013), doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-125.

[6] B. K. Whitlock and H. S. Maxwell, “Pregnancy-Associated Glycoproteins and Pregnancy Wastage in Cattle,” Theriogenology 70, no. 3 (August 2008): 550–59, doi:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.05.003.

[7] Stephanie Ernst, “Pregnancy at Slaughter: What Happens to the Calves? – An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org,” All-Creatures.org, April 2013.

[8] P. W. Ladds, P. M. Summers, and J. D. Humphrey, “Pregnancy in Slaughtered Cows in North-Eastern Australia: Incidence and Relationship to Pregnancy Diagnosis, Season, Age and Carcase Weight,” Australian Veterinary Journal 51, no. 10 (October 1975): 472–77.

[9] C. Ndi, N.E. Tambi, and N.W. Agharih, “Reducing Calf Wastage from the Slaughtering of Pregnant Cows in Cameroon,” FAO Corporate Document Repository, accessed April 22, 2016.

[10] G. H. Singleton and H. Dobson, “A Survey of the Reasons for Culling Pregnant Cows,” The Veterinary Record 136, no. 7 (February 18, 1995): 162–65.

[11] Viva!, “Briefing Notes Throwaway Lives,” Text, Viva!, (February 26, 2013).

[12] Born Free USA, “Slaughtered and Skinned,” Born Free USA, September 15, 2002.

[13] Carlo EA Jochems et al., “The Use of Fetal Bovine Serum: Ethical or Scientific Problem?,” ATLA-NOTTINGHAM- 30, no. 2 (2002): 219–228.

[14] Ibid.

[15] P. L. Ruegg and T. J. Tabone, “The Relationship Between Antibiotic Residue Violations and Somatic Cell Counts in Wisconsin Dairy Herds,” Journal of Dairy Science 83, no. 12 (December 1, 2000): 2805–9, doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(00)75178-2.

[16] Dan Charles Twitter, “FDA Tests Turn Up Dairy Farmers Breaking The Law On Antibiotics,” NPR.org, accessed April 22, 2016.

[17] Department of Health and Human Services and Center for Veterinary Medicine, “MILK DRUG RESIDUE SAMPLING SURVEY” (Food and Drug Administration, March 2015).

[18]Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone,” American Cancer Society, September 10, 2014.

[19] Pamela L. Ruegg, “Relationship between Bulk Tank Milk Somatic Cell Count and Antibiotic Residues,” in Proceeding of the 2005 National Mastitis Council Meeting. National Mastitis Council, 2005, 28.

[20] G. van Schaik, M. Lotem, and Y. H. Schukken, “Trends in Somatic Cell Counts, Bacterial Counts, and Antibiotic Residue Violations in New York State during 1999-2000,” Journal of Dairy Science 85, no. 4 (April 2002): 782–89, doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(02)74136-2.

[21] Veterinary Services Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Healthogy and Animal Health, “Determining U.S. Milk Quality Using Bulk-Tank Somatic Cell Counts” (USDA – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, September 2012).

[22] Public Health Service and Food and Drug Admin, “Grade ‘A’ Pasteurized Milk Ordinance. 2011 Revision” (U.S. Department of He alth and Human Services, 2011).

[23]Hoards Dairyman: Somatic Cell Legal Limit Will Stay the Same,” Hoard’s Dairyman, May 5, 2011.

[24] Jack McAllister and Mark Witherspoon, Measuring Somatic Cell Counts in DHIA, 2013.

[25] Milk Facts, “Mastitis and Somatic Cells,” MilkFacts.info, accessed April 22, 2016.

[26] Jerome Wilfred Schroeder, Bovine Mastitis and Milking Management (NDSU Extension Service, 1997).

[27] G. M. Jones and T. L. Bailey, “Understanding the Basics of Mastitis | Publications and Educational Resources,” Publications and Educational Resources, Virgiania Tech | Virginia Cooperative Extension, (May 1, 2009).

[28] National Mastitis Council, Current Concepts of Bovine Mastitis, 4th ed. (Arlington, VA: National Mastitis Council, 1996),.

[29] J. Eric Hillerton and Elizabeth A. Berry, “Quality of the Milk Supply: European Regulations versus Practice,” in NMC Annual Meeting Proceedings, 2004, 207–214.

[30] Larry K. Smith and J. S. Hogan, “Milk Quality – A Worldwide Perspective,” vol. 1998 Annual Meeting Proceedings (National Mastitis Council Annual Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri: National Mastitis Council, 1998).

[31] Graciela E. Gutman Elizabeth M. M.Q. Farina, “‘Private and Public Milk Standards in Argentina and Brazil,’” Food Policy 30, no. 3 (2005), doi:10.1016/j.foodpol.2005.05.008.

2 thoughts on “Your Milk’s Mother | Why Dairy Is Never Humane

    Yah..and wives on farms too busy milking cows,so human mothers have to bottle feed their own babies with…cows milk ,children labor laws allows exemptions for agricultural,many children labor n lose an arm or leg or…at these dangerous emotionally n physically jobs ,just to pay for college,which many don’t even want or get access to,dad having drank de college money,if children do gi on to college,family lands are lost as graduates mostly want professionals jobs ,mega farms then get that families farms

    You said, “We are being sold the pus-filled ultimate outcome of rape, enslavement, kidnapping, abuse, disease, torture, infanticide, and murder—whitewashed into an image of wholesome nutrition. . . . . and people say veganism is extreme.”
    I think I’ll learn that off by heart and quote it as required.

    Another honest and informative article. Thank-you.

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