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The Rape Rack

June 15, 2016 by Leave a Comment

The News

Perhaps the only thing that the animal agriculture industry and animal rights activists can agree upon is the name of the device in which dairy cows are impregnated – the “rape rack.”

Female cows restrained in a device reffered to as the "rape rack."

Female cows restrained in a device referred to as the “rape rack”

The “rape rack” is a narrow, chute-like device in which female cows are restrained while they undergo a process the dairy industry euphemistically refers to as “artificial insemination.” During artificial insemination (AI), a dairy worker inserts one of his arms into the rectum of a restrained cow and, with his other arm, inserts a rod-like device called an Al gun into her vagina. The Al gun, which contains bull semen, is pushed in further until it reaches the cervix (the entrance to the uterus). The semen is then injected into the uterus.

A diagram illustrated how to artificially inseminate a female cow.

A diagram illustrates how to artificially inseminate a female cow.

Many supporters of animal rights argue that forcibly impregnating cows constitutes sexual abuse. “As public awareness of its barbaric practices increases, the dairy industry is desperate to whitewash them,” said Kathy Stevens, the Executive Director of Catskill Animal Sanctuary. “They can call this practice ‘artificial insemination’ if they wish, but impregnation against one’s will using forcible restraint pretty much sounds like rape to me.”

A female cow undergoing the process of artificial insemination.

Artificial Insemination

In order to produce milk, cows and other animals used for dairy production must be impregnated each year because their milk production stops at around the time their calves would naturally stop nursing.

To maximize the amount of milk available for human consumption, babies are typically taken away from their mothers within 24 hours of birth, causing profound distress to both the mother and her newborn. Mother cows bellow and call to their babies for days following the separation. Some of the babies are sent directly to the slaughterhouse, to veal farms, or to feedlots; the rest become dairy cows like their mothers.        

Dairy industry diagram illustrates the different ways to profit off of male calves, who cannot produce milk.

Dairy industry diagram illustrates the different ways to profit off of male calves, who cannot produce milk.

The psychological and physical stresses of life in the dairy industry rapidly weaken and/or sicken cows, quickly rendering them unprofitable to their owners. They are therefore sent to slaughter at a fraction of their natural lifespan. When the cows arrive at the slaughter plant, they often need to be dragged to the kill floor because they are too weak to walk.

A cow too weak to walk (downer) is pulled into a truck which will carry her into the slaughter plant.

A cow too weak to walk (downer) is pulled into a truck which will carry her into the slaughter plant.

A 2014 horror film entitled “The Herd” vividly depicts the torment endured by cows in the dairy industry. This film, directed by Melanie Light, portrays a fictional dairy farm in which the cows are replaced with human women.

In an interview with “Shock Till You Drop,” a website devoted to reviewing horror films, Light, who describes herself as a “vegan feminist,” said: “A lot of people don’t make the connection. Being female isn’t exclusive to humans . . .These cows, pigs and sheep are abused for their reproductive systems.”

Over the years, the term “rape rack” has gradually disappeared from the dairy industry’s vernacular. “It used to be common parlance in dairy farming. Today, farmers are far more savvy about terminology—as are other industries that use animals” says Katie Arth of PETA. “As a result, that term has vanished from the farmers’ vocabulary in the same way that ‘iron maidens’ and ‘restraint chairs’ have been renamed ‘sow stalls’ and ‘gentling devices.’ The industry now prefers to use euphemisms such as ‘breeding boxes’ to describe the boxes or chutes where female cows are restrained while a worker forcibly inseminates them.”

A restrained female cow undergoing artificial insemination.

A restrained female cow undergoing artificial insemination

Your Turn

To learn more about artificial insemination please visit Free From Harm.

To learn about other dairy industry practices and undercover investigations done on dairy farms please visit Mercy for Animals.

To watch “The Herd” in full, click here

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Essa lógica desse argumento baseia-se no indumento que seria estranho e também a
    difícil confirmação um príncipe apresentar-se em
    um terreiro de umbanda, carregando um tridente, declarar estar morando no cemitério, aceitar
    farofa, óleo desde dendê, charuto e também cachaça como oferenda,
    e ainda receber ordens com um índio ou com um escravo.

  2. Intactivist For Human Rights says:

    It’s insanity how humans may think that it’s okay to commodify non-human animals as things to produce products for them. Then they may say well I treat them kind so it’s okay that I murder them later on to needlessly be another human’s snack. If treating a non-human animal kindly while violating their bodies is okay then the same may be said of humans who may choose to enslave other humans for their ‘milk’ & ‘flesh’ as long as they allegedly treat them kindly even though the humans themselves never wanted to have their ‘lactations’ stolen from them. If one murdered a human needlessly for their flesh to become another humans burger, it’s still murder no matter how kindly you treated them before you forcefully ended their life. Humans can thrive on a plant-based diet, there is no genuine excuse in this day & age to needlessly murder & steal the secretions of non-human animals.

    If any of you own a prison for non-human animals & claim you are treating them kindly on some sorta paradise as you steal their secretions & murder them for their flesh then I hope you choose to wake up to a heart of compassion & choose to stop stealing & exploiting them especially when in this day & age it’s not necessary to commodify non-human animals.

    Thank you to everyone who chooses to stop commodifying non-human animals & chooses to partake in a ‘plant-based’ diet.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Why shouldn’t we feel free to judge? You don’t think what is done to animals in factory farms should be judged? Forcibly confined, abused, inpregnated, never allowed in an open field, babies stolen and murdered, life span reduced from 16 to 4 years, slaughtered once you are too weak to walk. What if it were your dog, your wife, your daughter?? Then would it be ok to judge? What on earth or in someones screwed up mind makes them feel its their right to hurt another being? How do you assume to know what they think or feel? Just because they can’t talk or fight back makes it ok? Wow, that’s sick. Its a good thing the same doesn’t go for people who are tortured, raped, abused, & murdered. Well they were young, helpless, couldn’t talk, or defend themselves. So it’s ok, right?

  4. galazzo says:

    this is a sad world we have to change it givig the right place to the animals

  5. galazzo says:

    it’s so sad to see the way human treat animals only for they plaisir and eating this society see them like machines and have to change to make place to a other completly diferent on news bases i hope it is coming soon because i am not the only one!

  6. Dale says:

    I invite anyone to come to our farm and see how our beef cows are raised. Stick around for a year and experience what it means to feed the world. See our animals close up as they are all tame. Then feel free to judge us farmers once you have walked in our shoes…and witnessed what ai actually is, and why its done.

  7. It’s Heartbreaking and Inhumane in so many ways!!. From the Rape to the Slaughter!!. How I Pray that Animals be Treated with Dignity and Compassion, in a World of Shame and Greed!!

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