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Soul 🎼!

Show compassion for all Moms this Mother’s Day: Go veggie!

By Dr. Heather Rally, D.V.M.

What if your mother were artificially inseminated time and time again? What if you were taken from her shortly after birth? No nurturing, no love, no celebration. What if she cried out for you constantly but to no avail? You had already been slated to become someone’s dinner.

As a veterinarian who’s concerned about all animals, I hope you’ll keep cows in mind on Mother’s Day — and any other time you’re enjoying a meal with your family — and opt for dairy-free foods.

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Cool your jets this summer with vegan ice cream! Tastee! And it’s always for sale at Trader Joe’s, in Shrewsbury, Rt 9, right over the bridge!

Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to feed their young. But on today’s dairy farms, they are kept almost constantly pregnant so that they’ll produce a steady supply of milk. Their calves are typically taken away from them when they’re only a few hours old.

Male calves are commonly raised for veal. They’re chained up in tiny crates and intentionally fed a formula that’s low in iron so that they’ll become anemic and their flesh will stay pale. They take their first weak, wobbly steps — to slaughter — when they’re between 3 and 18 weeks old.

Females are turned into virtual milk machines like their mothers. When their production wanes, they, too, end up at the slaughterhouse, bloodied, dangling by a hind leg with their throats cut.

Cows are like us in important and relevant ways: They’re made of flesh and blood.

They feel pain and love.

They form strong family ties and grieve when they’re separated from their loved ones.

In An Anthropologist on Mars, Dr. Oliver Sacks wrote of a trip that he and agriculture-industry advisor Dr. Temple Grandin took to a dairy farm — and of the bellowing that they heard:

“They must have separated the calves from the cows this morning,” Temple said, and, indeed, this was what had happened. We saw one cow outside the stockade, roaming, looking for her calf, and bellowing. “That’s not a happy cow,” Temple said. “That’s one sad, unhappy, upset cow. She wants her baby.”

As that mother cow demonstrated, all animals have thoughts, feelings and desires. Here’s an example of another basic need: Cows long to live in pastures. A study at the University of British Columbia recently found that cows want to get outdoors as much as they want food.

The researchers steadily increased the amount of force that it took for a cow to open a door leading to either food or pasture. Most of the cows studied pushed just as hard to get outside as they did to get to food.

The scientists speculate that this is because grass is softer than concrete, so outdoors, cows can move comfortably. Soft ground is better for their hoof health and reduces the likelihood of lameness. And they have a basic behavioral need to live in the grasslands, which are, of course, their natural environment.

Yet fewer than 5 percent of cows in the U.S. are allowed to spend time in pasture, and “80 percent never see a blade of grass,” according to researcher Marina von Keyserlingk.

Change is needed, and gradually it is happening. Surveys suggest that half of Americans now consume dairy-free milk. To those of you who still drink cow’s milk, please consider going vegan for Mother’s Day — and beyond.

If you have children, you’ll surely understand how traumatic it would be to lose a baby. And as we all have mothers, we should be outraged that any mother, human or not, would be subjected to a life of torment, as are cows in the dairy industry.

By choosing tasty vegan foods this Mother’s Day and all year round, you’ll be showing compassion for all mothers!

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Remember …

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Calves are born into a world of abuse

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.