10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Cows’ Milk
Here are 10 facts about cows’ milk that I wish I’d known sooner:
- Cows’ milk isn’t for humans – it’s for calves. This one seems obvious to me now, but the dairy industry works hard to hide this connection from us. Cows, like humans, produce milk to nourish their babies. But on dairy farms, calves are torn away from their mothers shortly after birth so that farmers can sell the milk intended for them. This separation causes grief and anguish to both mother and calf. Distraught mother cows often cry out for their lost babies for days.
Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality
- Male calves are commonly sold to the veal industry, subjected to violence, and slaughtered when just a few months old.
- Female calves are usually destined for the same fate as their mothers. They’re typically artificially inseminated year after year so that they keep producing milk for humans. This means their babies are torn away from them time and time again. Remember: mother cows love their babies, just as human mothers love theirs.
- Cows on today’s British dairy farms typically produce 6 to 10 times more milk than they would need to feed a calf. As a result, they commonly suffer from painful udder inflammation, or mastitis, which leads to higher levels of pus and bacteria in their milk.
- Most cows used for their milk would naturally grow horns, but farmers remove the horn tissue using searing-hot irons, caustic chemicals, blades, or hand saws – sometimes without any anaesthetics.
- When cows can no longer produce the high volumes of milk that farmers want – or when they develop major health conditions – they’re transported to slaughter, sometimes over long distances.
- Cows’ natural life expectancy is around 20 to 25 years, but in the dairy industry, most are slaughtered when they’re only 5 years old.
- Because of their massive greenhouse-gas emissions and the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of slurry they produce, dairy farms take a massive toll on the British countryside and the environment as a whole. Each cow raised by the dairy industry also consumes up to 150 litres of water per day.
- Humans are the only species that drinks milk from another species and that drinks milk after infancy. And humans who drink cows’ milk have an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other ailments.
- We don’t have to accept dairy-industry abuse. There are so many delicious non-dairy milks to enjoy – and no one has to suffer for them. Fortified plant-derived milks, such as soya and almond milk, provide calcium, vitamins, iron, zinc, and protein and don’t contain any cholesterol or saturated animal fat. You can choose a nutritious milk and avoid supporting an industry that subjects cows to a living nightmare.
Cows are sensitive animals who feel joy, pain, and fear, just like humans do, and mother cows are devoted to their young. Don’t contribute to their misery – switch to a delicious non-dairy milk today!