I’ve made some sections bold. -R.T.
By Dan Paden
Many consumers don’t realize (probably because they’ve never really thought about it) that cows produce milk for the same reason that human mothers do: to feed their babies.
Given the opportunity, cows are excellent mothers. They’re smart, sensitive animals, and their maternal instinct is just as strong as ours.
But on dairy farms, they are repeatedly impregnated and then forced to watch helplessly as their terrified babies — whom they carry for nine months, just like us — are torn away from them again and again.
In order to squeeze as much milk as possible out of them, dairy farms keep them almost constantly pregnant. They give birth to calf after calf, year in and year out.
This is just one reason why PETA urges consumers to ditch dairy products. Our latest eyewitness exposé of the dairy industry provides several more.
Daisy Farms, a Texas-based milk supplier to Daisy Brand sour cream and cottage cheese—which can be found in supermarkets all over the U.S.—claims that it has the “best cared-for cows on the planet.” It refers to them as “princesses,” “queens,” “our babies” and “our pets.”
But after receiving a disturbing tip from a whistleblower who reported that many calves on this farm were visibly ill—coughing, trembling and/or unable to stand—we took a look ourselves and found that Daisy Farms is just a plain old, run-of-the-mill factory farm.
The cows are confined to massive sheds and some had no choice but to stand and lie down in their own waste.
PETA’s eyewitness saw workers put a rope around one cow’s head and pull her off a resting area. She slipped and fell on her udder on the slick feces-coated floor before being led away to be milked.
Cows were kicked, whipped and jabbed with pens and a knife—even while they were in labor.
Workers twisted their tails, which can cause the animals severe pain and even break the bones inside.
Two cows with severe lacerations on their tails were not treated by a veterinarian, to the knowledge of PETA’s observer, including one whose wound was seen bleeding more than three weeks after her tail was severed.
Some sick cows were finally shot, while others were killed by injection to induce a heart attack—while they were fully conscious.
When cows at this farm had difficulty giving birth, workers used chains to drag their calves out of their wombs, causing them to cry out and defecate. The calves were not even allowed to nurse, because their mothers’ milk is sold for human consumption. Instead, they are torn away from their mothers within hours of birth. Some are force-fed milk taken from another cow. Several newborn calves drowned when workers shoved tubes down their throats and milk was forced into their lungs instead of their stomachs.
Newborn calves also had holes punched into their ears and numbered tags clamped onto them, and their heads were smeared with a caustic paste to destroy their sensitive horn tissue—all without any painkillers. Nearly all cows born on dairy farms have tissue that will develop into horns if left alone, but most are cruelly “dehorned”—either via caustic paste, as in this case, or by other harsh methods such as gouging out the tissue with a sharp metal scoop as they struggle and cry out in pain.
When cows’ bodies wear out from constant pregnancy or lactation—after about five years—they are slaughtered.
PETA has said it before, but it’s worth repeating: The only way to ensure that no animals suffer for your sour cream, cheese, milk, ice cream and yogurt is to go vegan. By choosing kinder, plant-based options, like almond and soy milk, vegan cheese and sour cream, coconut-milk coffee creamer and cashew-milk ice cream, we can let animals live in peace.