Four dairy consumers talk about why they eat it and why giving it up is so difficult. Will videos about the health risks and animal welfare issues along with samples of cashew-based cheese convince them to switch to non-dairy products?
During the two hour discussion, participants watched a 1.5 minute video in which Dr. Michael Klaper, an expert in nutritional medicine, explains why dairy products, which are made from the bovine mammary secretions of cows, are unhealthy for humans.
Participants also watched Grieving Mothers, a four minute documentary produced by TheirTurn about what happens to cows and their babies in the dairy industry.
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 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 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.”
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.
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 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
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.
Each day, hundreds of millions, if not billions, of adults around the world consume food and beverages that are made from cows’ milk, and they don’t give it a second thought. But if you were to ask these dairy consumers how they feel about drinking human breast milk, the majority would probably express disgust about the idea. That reaction was played out in an episode of Friends, where Phoebe tastes the breast milk of Ross’ ex-wife.
Humans been so brainwashed by the dairy industry that we actually believe that drinking human milk, which is intended for humans, is revolting and borderline immoral while consuming cow’s milk, which is designed for calves, is not only normal but appealing.
Cast of Friends Recoils in Disgust as Phoebe Tastes Breast Milk
The dairy industry has also brainwashed us into thinkng that adults should consume milk products. But milk is a drink specifically designed for infants. That is why human and cow mothers stop producing it when their babies stop nursing. And that is also why female cows have to be impregnated over and over in order to continue producing milk for humans.
If human adults want to consume animal-based milk, then we should take it from other humans, not from cows who wail in despair when their babies are kidnapped from them at birth so that we can drink their milk. Or, better yet, buy healthy and delicious plant-based milk products.
1. It’s unhealthy – Dairy milk is designed for the digestive systems of baby cows, not humans. It’s filled with fat and nutrients that help a baby cow gain almost 2 pounds per day.
2. It’s unnatural – Humans are the only species that drinks the milk of another species. Why do we drink the milk of a cow when we create our own? It’s no wonder so many people are lactose intolerant.
3. It’s illogical – Humans are the only species that drinks milk beyond infancy. If our bodies were designed to consume milk for a lifetime, then wouldn’t women produce it long after their babies stop nursing?
4. It’s cruel – When female cows give birth, they lactate for their babies, not for us. Yet, in order to maximize the amount of milk they have to sell, dairy farmers forcibly separate newborns from their mothers. Female babies are raised to become milk machines, like their mothers, and male babies are often moved into veal crates, one of the cruelest and most intensive forms of confinement. Dairy cows and their babies know nothing but physical pain, deprivation and misery. Here is video of a mother chasing after her baby as he or she is being kidnapped. Don’t be fooled by the green pasture; this footage is taken on a small family farm, not on a factory farm where 99% of dairy cows are raised.
5. It’s outdated – Milk is addictive because it creates opiate effects during digestion. That is why babies want to nurse and why people say, “I could never give up cheese.” But consuming dairy is unnatural, unhealthy, environmentally destructive and inhumane. Why not kick the habit by consuming plant-based milk products which are so similar to dairy that you might not know the difference?