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Food•2 min read
The dairy industry is one built on extreme suffering and cruelty. And it's existence is completely unnecessary.
Words by Grant Lingel
A lot of people become vegetarians because they are revolted by the idea of eating meat.
I was one of those people.
They hate to think that their choices support industries that breed and slaughter billions of animals per year so humans can eat their meat.
When I became a vegetarian at the age of 13, that’s why I did it. I saw a documentary and couldn’t live with the fact that I was eating the flesh of a slaughtered animal. I stopped eating meat immediately.
I didn’t actively avoid information. I wasn’t averse to learning more about it.
It simply just didn’t occur to me as a teenager and then a twentysomething that spent most of those years living abroad.
I was in my own world. I was focused on finding the next place to stay or the next job or volunteer opportunity to cover accommodations and food.
My focus wasn’t activism. I never even considered myself an activist. I thought I was a vegetarian because I loved animals and didn’t want to support the industries responsible for slaughtering them.
It never even occurred to me that the dairy industry was far crueler. In my mind and my naivete, I justified my consumption of dairy and eggs by telling myself that the animals weren’t killed. And to be honest, as shameful as it sounds now looking back in hindsight, that was enough for me not to dig any deeper.
I can’t go back and change that and while I am ashamed it took me longer than it should have, my focus isn’t on that. My focus is on working to make sure others see the light sooner.
While cows are killed for beef at the age of 2, dairy cows suffer for years longer before their imminent slaughter.
Dairy cows are forcibly impregnated (raped) from the age of two when they are able to become pregnant.
Like humans, cows have a 9-month pregnancy before giving birth. The calf is taken from the mother within the first few days of life to become meat (if male) or a dairy cow (if female).
The process of stealing the baby is traumatizing for both the mother and child. Imagine that your newborn baby was ripped from their mother’s arms and taken away forever. How does that make you feel?
Less than two months later, the mother is forcibly impregnated again and has to relive the same traumatizing experience.
This goes on until the cow is about six years old and “spent”, meaning ready for slaughter as she’s no longer economically viable to keep around. This is the life of dairy cows on factory farms.
If I was so unfortunate to be born a cow in today’s animal agriculture system, being a dairy cow would be my worst nightmare.
A relatively quick and easy death for a cow raised for beef seems like a blessing considering the years and years of suffering and cruelty that dairy cows will face in her lifetime.
The forced pregnancies, the continuous loss of their children, the pain and suffering caused by industrial milking practices, the lack of anything that resembles a natural life… to me, this is the definition of cruel and unusual punishment.
I wish more than anything that I had bothered to read up about the dairy industry sooner.
I wish I knew the extreme suffering and nightmarish conditions faced by millions of dairy cows every single day.
It’s an atrocity.
The dairy industry is a level of evil that should be reserved for fiction, not the reality that we live in today and that most people actively support by purchasing dairy products.
“But cheese is delicious!”
“But I love pizza!”
These are sad excuses that people make when questioned why they still consume dairy. These are the excuses I made as well. And it makes me sick knowing I was so ignorant.
Vegetarians, reducetarians, meat-eaters, and anyone else that claim to care about animals. Anyone that looks away when they see suffering or take to social media to cry foul and express outrage when a story like Fairlife surfaces…
What is your excuse between the breaking news stories?
What is your justification for consuming dairy if you care about the wellbeing of animals?
I told you my excuse. I was ignorant. I was naive.
But I opened my eyes and never looked back.
To me, being a vegetarian is a great step in the right direction but it’s not enough. If you truly care about the treatment of animals and are sickened by their mistreatment then the dairy industry should disgust you as it does me.
Please start reading about the dairy industry. Watch Dairy is Scary. Read up and open your eyes.
The dairy industry is evil, regardless of what dairy farmers want you to think. They can post photos all day of them hugging their cows but they only take care of them to protect their profit margins.
If they actually cared, they wouldn’t subject cows to rape, separation from their children, and slaughter fifteen years before their average lifespan was complete.
It’s time to switch to plant-based alternatives and change the way we consume milk products. We need to change habits and do everything possible to ensure that the declining sales of cow’s milk keep declining until the industry dies off.
We need to leave cow’s milk for the cows.
What’s your excuse?
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