We all see those commercials with the happy cows. We like to think the milk we drink comes from cows that live their days grazing on grass and flirting with bulls.
This picture of happy cows grazing on a serene hill is a lie. Most dairy cows live an unhappy and stressful life. They are expected to produce 48 gallons of milk a day for our children, but are not allowed to give even a drop to their children. When a dairy cow gives birth, her child is immediately taken from her. If the child happens to be female, she is removed from the mother and given colostrum (a yellowish liquid, especially rich in immune factors, secreted by the a pregnant cow a few days before and after the birth of their young). If her child is unlucky enough to be a male, he is taken away to a lot where the males are held and he will not be given colostrum or anything else for that matter. Males are worthless to a dairy farmer.
For male born dairy cows, called bob cows, their lot is to be held for transport where they are either taken to auction, slaughter or a feed lot. The lucky one's go to a feed lot. There, the bob cow will be loaded with antibiotics (because he has no natural immunity) and will hopefully survive until slaughter. Bob cows taken to auction are usually sold for veal production. In some states, it is illegal to crate a calf but in all too many, it remains standard practice. Crating is where a bob cow is put in a stall so small he can not move. At first, the bob cow will struggle and cry, but eventually he will realize no one is going to help him and becomes resigned. He will be put on a diet that will fatten his muscles while keeping him weak and malnourished. The bob cows that go directly to slaughter are the one's not healthy enough to survive auction or a feed lot. They are generally ground up, bones and all, into beef meal and sold for dog food or to other industries.
These are babies. Babies taken from their mother and thrown into hell because they are not profitable... I beg you to contact your state and federal representatives and ask them to enact laws that will reform current dairy farm practices. Ask for the ethical treatment of male calves and if your state still allows crating, ask for this antiquated practice to be replaced with newer, more humane methods.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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