01 October 2009

Bossy, The Cow

We all seem to have an image of Bossy, the milk cow, placidly chewing her cud in a field of vibrant green grass. This is the cow we all get our milk from, carefully raised on the local farmer's field. Isn't it?

The reality of cows bred for milking is far different. This video may be an extreme example of cruelty, but it is more common than we want to believe.

The dairy industry's standard forms of cruelty also led to suffering for these cows. In order to make milking easier, cows' tails were amputated by tightly binding them with elastic bands, causing the skin and tissue to slowly die and slough off and leaving the animals unable to swat away flies, which, in addition to tormenting the cows, also led to the spread of disease. Tail-docking is unnecessary and cruel, which is why it has been condemned by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Milk produced for human consumption comes at a high price: to the cow. First they must breed and produce a calf at least once a year to maintain their milk flow. They are dosed with numerous drugs. They often do not see the light of day, as they are continuously kept in filthy barns. The calves they bear become the tender veal we find in our grocery stores. Torn from their dames almost as soon as they're born, they are put in small corrals in the dark for a short time before they are slaughtered then rendered into human food.

As I haven't had milk since I was a teenager, I am always appalled when I encounter just what takes place in agri-business today.

I choose, instead, to drink an almond beverage, rich in protein, calcium and a small amount of easily digestible fat.

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