If You Think the Dairy Industry Is Anything but Inhumane, Read This
The UK’s advertising watchdog made a ruling this week in favour of a vegan advertisement that branded British milk production inhumane. It’s been big news. Writing in the i newspaper, PETA director Mimi Bekhechi says the following:
The Advertising Standard Agency (ASA) ruling yesterday in favour of a vegan advertisement that branded British milk production as inhumane has been big news. Of course, it’s a bit like saying that human rights campaigners are permitted to say torture is painful – but in a society in which a company can get away with branding its product with a “laughing cow” while inflicting unthinkable cruelty on cows in order to produce it or eggs can be called “happy” despite the egg industry’s routine gassing of male chicks to death and forcing chickens to live in cages so small that they can barely lift a wing, we’ll take it.
It’s hard to imagine calling the dairy industry anything but “inhumane” when you consider that on dairy farms, cows are artificially inseminated and forced to give birth, only to have their beloved babies torn away from them so the milk that nature intended for them can instead be consumed by humans. Both mother cows and their calves are emotionally traumatised when forcibly separated from one another. The mother cows bellow in desperation, and their calves bawl in distress. They cry out for each other for days – in vain.
The male calves – often referred to as “by-products” – are either shot at birth or destined to become veal. The female calves, like their mothers, face a lifetime of repeated forcible impregnation and anguish over their stolen babies. Their bodies are strained to the limit in order to squeeze out every last drop of milk. Today, British cows typically produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally in order to feed their calves.
Sent to slaughter
As a result, their udders frequently become painfully infected and so heavy that they can even drag on the ground. Finally, after years of exploitation and abuse, when they are completely spent – dry, lame, and financially worthless – they are sent to slaughter and their bodies are ground up to be turned into cheap burger meat. Many are killed when they’re only 4 or 5 years old – far short of their natural 25-year life span.
All this misery just for a product we shouldn’t even be consuming. Cows’ milk, designed to grow a small calf into an adult cow weighing over 1,000 pounds, is full of cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated fat, and drinking it has been linked to an increased risk of prostate and breast cancers. It’s hardly surprising that about 60 per cent of adults also have trouble digesting dairy foods, which means they can experience unpleasant cramping and bloating.
Humans are the only species on the planet to drink another animal’s milk and the only species to drink it past infancy. Anyone ready to be weaned can opt for one of the many vegan milks – made from soya beans, almonds, oats, rice, or coconuts – which are readily available at virtually every supermarket, health-food store, or corner shop, offering all the taste but none of the cruelty (or cholesterol) of cows’ milk.
What You Can Do
You can help prevent cows from being abused in the dairy industry by not consuming dairy foods. More and more people – including former dairy farmers – are rejecting the cruelty, and with so many plant-based milks, cheeses, and ice creams available, it’s never been easier to go vegan. Order one of PETA’s free vegan starter kits today to help you make the switch.