Monday, December 12, 2011


Cows have to be pregnant to lactate. 
Yeh, should be common sense, right?!
You would think so . . . but I somehow never knew! I'm a smart girl, I should know this! I mean, I know that mammals have to have babies to make milk, I know this!
I just wasn't putting the two together. And maybe you haven't yet either. 
Cows are pregnant for 9 months, same as us, so every year the cows are impregnated. Most of the time, it's artificial insemination. Usually with a machine, sometimes with a person's arm. 
Financially, it just doesn't make sense to feed a bull to keep him alive, when that bull isn't guaranteed to impregnate that cow when they're together. Hours could be wasted, waiting for the bull and cow to get it on! Hours, that could be spent, pumping more money, er, I mean, milk from the cow's udders.
Dairy cows in Canada are only used for about 3 lactation cycles. Or till they're 4-5 years old. Cows naturally live about 25 years.
The dairy industry uses cows for such a short amount of time because as the cows get older their production wanes. This is also why they are kept pregnant. The majority of ground beef is made up of  'spent' dairy cows. The reason they are sold ground up is because these cows are so physically destroyed, that no one will buy the bruised and damaged meat they can see.

They're milked 2 or 3 times a day. A large number of dairy cows suffer from terrible ailments, like mastitis. The machine doesn't know when it's sucking up milk or puss. There is an allowed amount of puss per glass of milk. According to the USDA, a cup of milk, should not contain more than a single drop of puss.
Still. We're drinking puss?! Gross!
To be fair, the milk is pasteurized . . . but . . . THERE'S STILL PUSS! Sure, it's clean puss...but it's puss, all the same!
Who wants puss in their milk? One, two, three, NOT IT!

Dairy cows also suffer from lameness. Basically, she's putting so much of her body's own minerals into the milk meant for her baby! The minerals are taken from her bones, and her bones, physically, can't keep her up, so she collapses often.

The part that truly breaks my heart, is that the cow's baby is stolen from her.
Usually, within the first 24-48 hours.
That milk was meant for the baby cow, not for us! So we steal every baby she ever has. The infant females go into the same servitude as their mothers, and the boys are sent to slaughter as veal.
I hear from many ex-dairy farmers and undercover agents that the mother cows bellow and cry for their babies for days. All she wants is that baby!
As a woman, and a feminist, the controlling of female reproduction cycles really bothers me. I don't have children, but it is still extremely offensive to steal a new mothers' baby. I don't care what species that mother is!
I truly do not understand how human mothers, 
after learning the truth, can keep consuming such an offensive and dirty product! Do they just pretend it isn't happening? Do they keep telling themselves that cows naturally 'give' milk to humans, like a gift?! The cows would suffer more, if we didn't take the milk?!
I'm just asking because I can sort of relate. Cause that's what I told myself as a lacto-ovo vegetarian years ago.
I also didn't put the veal industry and the dairy industry together. They are one and the same.

The dairy industry(along with school, the government, our friends and families) makes us believe that cow's milk is the only good source of calcium. (it isn't-btw!)
The calcium that cows usually get is found in the leafy greens they eat. We could just eat the leafy greens... Since cows no longer eat greens(instead they are given soy, corn, and wheat, and kept indoors for easy milking), their feed is supplemented with calcium.
Once pasteurized, the milk is supplemented with vitamin D and more calcium.

The fact is, the animal protein(casein) in the milk makes our bodies acidic. Our bodies can't stay acidic for long or we die. To neutralize the acidity, our bodies need phosphorus. The only form of phosphorus, our body has access to, is the calcium phosphorus found in our bones. To solve the acidity problem, the calcium phosphorus is removed from our bones, the calcium is peed out, and the phosphorus makes our bodies more alkaline.
So, why do we have shelves, and shelves of calcium supplements if we're consuming so much calcium from dairy??
This is why there is so much osteoporosis in North America. When we drink milk from mammals, our bones don't absorb the calcium. They get rid of it.

I'm sorry I don't have references for a lot of this information. It's all from the many, many books I've read, There's loads of websites, just google it, and you'll find it. Easy.
Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffron Foer has really great information, I know off-hand. This post was mostly from my memory(!!), and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcast, Vegetarian Food For Thought.
Actually, Where Do I get My Calcium If I Don't Drink Cow's Milk?, and Milk Is A Natural Food, And Cows Naturally Give Milk, So What's Wrong With Drinking It? are both very helpful and informative podcasts regarding milk, cows and calcium. The best part is she sites her sources. Unlike me.

My mom assumed that the Canadian animal agriculture systems were not 'as bad as' the States animal agriculture systems. After doing some digging, I have found the Canadian systems to be more out-dated and often more cruel than the American systems. Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals is one of the groups I get the Canadian information from.

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