Here’s an ugly one: Cows do not give milk because they are cows; they give milk because they are mothers. They must become pregnant – every year – to continuously produce milk. She is forcefully impregnated, only to have her baby taken away from her within 48 hours after birth. We steal the milk intended for her calf and put it in our coffee. Naturally producing only 4 litres of milk a day for her baby, is bred to produce 28 litres a day. She is made pregnant and milked 4 years in a row until her body is too weak to continue. Even though she could have lived up to 25 years, she is sent to the slaughterhouse when her milk production drops – this happens often when she’s pregnant.
“What happens to her calves?” – you may wonder. About 60% of the female calves follow in their mother’s footsteps by becoming dairy cows, starting the cycle all over again. The other female calves are sold to the beef or the incredibly cruel veal industry. The latter is where bull calves end up if they are not killed shortly after birth – a common practice. The dairy industry is closely linked to the beef and veal industry and is never without suffering or death.
Milk belongs to the past. If we continue consuming milk, we’ll continue consuming the world. The amount of land and water required for animal agriculture is absolutely astonishing – it uses approximately 78% of all agricultural land but only produces 18% of the calories we eat. On average, a glass of cow’s milk requires approximately 23x more land and water than a glass of soy and oat milk. The industry likes to tell you that cows graze all day long, but in reality, they are fed with large amounts of grain, corn, soy and palm oil – the grass is not even on the menu for factory-farmed cows. Our exponentially growing demand for beef and dairy is steadily eating away our last pristine and biodiverse tropical forests – because it is here where feed can be grown year-round.
We can do without.
PS: the pictures are a repost from 2 years ago!
Interested in more and want to learn more about the dairy, veal, beef and leather industry? In that case, check out our article “Systemic abuse of animals within modern western agriculture“!