The Myth Behind “Happy Dairy Cows”
For decades the dairy industry has deceptively and falsely portrayed dairy cows as “happy cows” grazing in green pastures and seemingly enjoying a happy life. But these claims could not be farther from the truth and reality. The truth is that dairy cows live lives of relentless misery and suffering inside of large dark industrial factory farms. Dairy industry and dairy corporate marketing campaigns promote “humane dairy and veal” as a way to entice skeptical consumers into buying dairy products that are anything but humane.
Here’s what actually happens on these “humane” industrial dairy farms:
- Today’s dairy cows are forced to produce 4 times more milk per day than is natural for them. Normal milk production for cows is 16 pounds per day, but through genetic manipulation, antibiotics and hormones in feed, cows are producing up to 55 pounds per day–a nearly 4-fold increase, which is painful and unnatural for them. Cows are fed unnatural diets high in protein, because their natural diet of grass would not produce the 55 pounds of milk per day that they are being forced to produce.
- Dairy cows are forcibly impregnated at one-year old when their bodies are far too young and immature (a normal first pregnancy would be 3-4 years old), causing early physical disabilities, health problems and a life of physical suffering.
- Dairy cows are kept constantly pregnant so they can birth a calf every year in order to produce milk for humans–but not the calf. They are forcibly impregnated immediately after the birth of their calf in order to provide a constant flow of uninterrupted milk for humans.
- To be impregnated, they are restrained on a “rape rack,” and are painfully artificially inseminated as soon as they give birth to their calf, which is removed from them at one day old.
- The forced separation and kidnapping of the baby calf at birth, torments the mother cow for weeks. For weeks she looks for her baby, and cries and calls for her baby—it’s deeply inhumane and causes relentless torment for the mother cow and baby calf.
- Many male calves are not considered “useful” since they cannot produce milk, and are often immediately slaughtered, even with their umbilical cords still attached.
- Remaining or selected male calves are forcibly separated from their mothers at birth, and are then forced into veal production. They are kept in tiny, narrow crates where they cannot move, turn around, or lie down–and are given an “artificial” liquid “milk replacer” drug diet from birth that gives them chronic diarrhea and anemia their entire short lives, until they are slaughtered as baby calves. These baby calves also suffer from chronic pneumonia and lameness due to being chained and immobile their entire lives.
- When dairy cows mature and no longer can produce milk or their milk production declines, they are shipped to the slaughterhouse for even more profit. Normal dairy cows can live to 20 years old, but factory farm dairy cows are physically spent from abnormal milk production by 4-5 years old.
- Dairy cows nearly always experience painful udder infections, mastitis or mammary gland inflammation, reproductive cancers, and disease due to being forced to produce an abnormal amount of milk for their bodies (constantly pregnant for years from one year old causes disease, physical collapse and exhaustion).
- Dairy cows experience osteoporosis, arthritis and lameness from standing on hard concrete floors for 4-5 years carrying an unnaturally high body weight for modern milk production.
- When slaughtered they do not die “instantly” as deceptively marketed, but rather, are stunned then roped upside down with their throats slit — and it can take up to two minutes for them to die as their blood drains out, a very painful death where they suffer immensely.
- Eliminate all dairy products from your diet, or try to continually reduce your consumption of milk, cheese, butter and ice cream and all products made from dairy – until you’re dairy free!
- If you drink milk and eat cheese and ice cream you are subsidizing and promoting veal production, another reason to drink plant-based milks, cheeses and eat soy-based frozen yoghurt.
- Choose from one of the many healthy plant-based milk and cheese alternatives on the market today – not made from animal products.
- Spread the word! Tell friends, family and your community about the inhumane treatment of food animals today, and encourage them to eat a plant-based diet that doesn’t harm animals.
Download the PPT: Happy Cows, Behind the Myth (Produced by Humane Myth)
Download the PDF: Happy Cows, Behind the Myth (Produced by Humane Myth)
Powerpoint, PDF, Slideshow and Photo/Graphics: Produced by Humane Myth, www.humanemyth.org.