This post aims to highlight some of the problems with the dairy industry, and to further our understanding about the sentience of cows. This post focuses on cows, since they are the mostly commonly exploited for milk (82 percent). Other animals used for milk include: water buffalo, goat, sheep, camels, donkeys, horses, reindeer, and yak.
Vegetarians have managed to eliminate all meat products from their diet, but many find it hard to take the next step towards veganism, or perhaps they are unaware of some of the ethical, health, and environmental problems explored in this post. So this post is for everyone: nonvegans, vegetarians, and vegans looking to further educate themselves about this industry.
I have also included also a list of plant-based alternatives at the end of the post.
– “…we learn that cows display the ability to rapidly learn different tasks, display long-term memory, extrapolate the location of a hidden moving object, discriminate complex stimuli, and discriminate humans from one another.
– “Calves as well as adult cows show learned fear responses to humans who have previously handled them in a rough manner.”
– “Cows also display complex spatial memory and are able to discriminate among individual cows and recognize cow faces as different from the faces of other species. “
– “…they display fear and anxiety and the less eye white that is seen, the better they feel. When cow mothers are separated from their calves, as is done as they are being prepared for meals, there is an increase in the amount of eye white.”
– “…when cows are stressed, such as after they’re branded with a hot iron, they show a decrease in the ability to judge ambiguous stimuli, as do humans.”
– “Mothers and calves also show extreme distress when separated. This is not at all surprising but remains a common practice in the animal-food industry.”
– “Cows, similar to numerous other nonhumans, display a full range of personalities including boldness, shyness, sociability, gregariousness, and being temperamental.”
– “… cows display broad parameters of social complexity in empirical studies. They have demonstrated knowledge about conspecifics and the exchange of relevant social knowledge with conspecifics. Through dominance hierarchies and affiliative bonds, they have demonstrated knowledge about conspecifics and of their own social interactions with them.”
Cow Facts – https://imgur.com/mOGUlCX
– Cows show excitement when they discover how to open a gate leading to a reward.
– They can rapidly learn different tasks.
– They can discriminate humans from one another.
– Cows are curious and inquisitive, and seem to enjoy music.
– They display long-term memory, and can extrapolate the location of a hidden moving object.
Problems with the Dairy Industry
- Cows must give birth to produce milk.
- Calves are stolen from their mothers.
- Cows are impregnated over and over.
- Male calves are often killed for veal.
- Female calves are kept to continue the cycle.
- “Spent” cows become hamburger meat.
- Cows’ horns are burned or sawed off.
- Cows’ hair is burned off with torches.
- Calves’ tails are cut off.
- Cows suffer painful infections.
- There is pus in the milk.
- Dairy farming is destroying the environment.
- Dairy farming wastes a lot of water.
- The dairy industry exploits farm workers.
– Forced ejaculation of Bulls
– Shortened lifespan of Cows and calves.
– Many documented cases of animal abuse
Health and Nutrition
Contrary to popular belief, cow’s milk is not the best source of calcium. The amount of calcium in a glass of milk may appear to be higher than in broccoli, however the vegetable form is more readily assimilated by the body and has considerably higher health benefits.
Here are some foods to consider integrating into your diet that have more beneficial calcium than dairy: fortified plant-based milk like soy or almond, calcium set tofu, kale, broccoli, figs, oranges, sesame seeds, okra, collard greens
2. Lactose Intolerance + IBS
About 70% of the world’s population has lactose intolerance in adulthood. Humans are not designed to drink cow’s milk. We are only designed to drink human milk until about the age of two. At around two years old, most people stop producing lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the sugars in milk. The fact that most of our bodies do not produce the enzymes to digest milk is a pretty strong indication that we should not be consuming it.
Dr. T Colin Campbell, (who grew up on a dairy farm), conducted studies showing that he could control cancer growth by adjusting the amount of casein (the protein in milk) in rats. His studies also compared proteins from different sources. He found that only animal proteins promoted cancer growth, while plant-based proteins did not.
Also, findings of a 2015 meta-analysis discovered that high intakes of dairy products like milk and cheese in men appeared to increase total prostate cancer risk, while non-dairy sources of calcium did not.
4. Osteoporosis + Hip Fracture
Believe it or not, countries with the most dairy consumption have the highest incidence of osteoporosis. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, in the US, (where cow’s milk and dairy products like cheese are customary in the diet and 3 cups of dairy milk per day is recommended for healthy bones), low bone mass and osteoporosis are major public health threats. In fact, 55% of people aged 50 and older in the US have these health conditions. In contrast, in China, where their traditional cuisine doesn’t use dairy milk or cheese, the overall prevalence of osteoporosis is approximately 7% among older adults.
In the population study, “Milk Intake and Risk of Mortality and Fractures in Women and Men,” researchers following more than 100,000 men and women in Sweden for about 20 years found significantly higher rates of bone and hip fractures, heart disease, cancer, and premature death in general for women who drank more milk. Three glasses of milk a day was associated with nearly twice the risk of dying early!
5. Cow Hell + Environmental Impact
Dairy cows get raped, their calves taken away, raped again, until they are so weak they can no longer stand. This exhausting, torturous practice is unjust and needs to be put to an end. Their immobile lives contribute horribly to both their health and the environment. All of the space, water, and food it takes to support the dairy industry could easily feed millions of people. Also, cow farts (not to mention all the cow poop) are the leading source of detrimental methane gas emissions that have been shown to lead to climate change and global warming. Since methane captures more of the sun’s energy than carbon dioxide emissions, it’s actually a more potent greenhouse gas that we need to decrease to combat climate change.
- Dairy is Scary – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcN7SGGoCNI
- Earthling Ed – This is the truth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9sSDTbJ8WI
- Vegan Vs Vegetarian ft. Gary Yourofsky – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYXYfrDbLbk
- Dominion (graphic) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQRAfJyEsko (Cows section starts at 53:00)
Milk – Almond, Hemp, Soy, Flax, Rice, Brazil nut, Macadamia nut, Cashew. https://foodrevolution.org/blog/milk-substitutes/
Cheese – https://www.peta.org.uk/living/ultimate-guide-vegan-cheese-uk/ Simple Vegan Cheese Recipes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG7OkKk2ymg
Vegan Alternatives for Every Animal Product – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQkoq_kDbk8 (Milk: 3:12, Cheese 4:09, Butter 5:25, Egg 7:28, Yoghurt 8:10, Chocolate 8:59, Ice Cream 9:43)
– Cows are far more sentient, intelligent, emotional, and social than many people realise.
– Dairy products come from unnecessary violence.
– There is a growing list of many ethical alternatives to dairy products.
– If you are using vegetarianism as a stepping stone, then that is perfectly fine, but please consider taking the next step to eliminate dairy products as soon as possible.
More Vegan Posts: http://luxbellator.com/veganism/
Vegan Excuses: https://imgur.com/a/UK1fd5r
Vegan Quotes: https://imgur.com/a/OU64DWW
Animal Facts: https://imgur.com/a/Bl9OKxg
Vegan Music: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk6rWgosTqy0ueQuDm32lPEjqabAKCHen