I think the celebrities who sport milk mustaches have failed to do their
homework. Do we really need milk? Considering that there are many
vegetable sources with less fat and calories for realizing our calcium needs-
then the answer has to be no. And if we consider the impact on the environment
of raising cows for milk or meat, it should be abundantly clear that we should
try to wean ourselves as much as possible from dairy and meat.
By now -many of us have heard that cows produce a lot of methane which
causes more greenhouse gases in the air then gas guzzling cars or coal-
burning factories. As a result, we can safely say that vegetarians account for
much, much less methane gas in the atmosphere as compared to meat eaters.
Now Heather Moore in her CARE 2 post entitled "Tyson Fined $2M For Mucking
Up Missouri River" gives us yet another very good reason why we should not only
limit our meat intake but also limit drinking milk - which, despite the dairy
promotions, are suspect.
Aside from the dubious health benefits which have already been written
about countless times - there is the sad picture at Moore's post of two cows with
heavy, heavy teats filled with milk. This must not be pleasant for them to carry
around day after day until they are finally milked. This process is repeated day
after day after day.
For all practical purposes they have no life. They are artificially inseminated,
their boy calves are wrested from them shortly after birth (they feel the pang
of the loss of their baby calves), and there are no more green pastures in the sun
where they can chew their cud contendedly with their calves close by. We have
made these living beings who have basic needs like our own - into milk-producing
machines. And sadly, after years on the milk line, these cows go to slaughter -
some of them alive because of fast lines which fail to stun them properly.
Some of the comments at Moore's site re drinking milk were aimed at vegans.
A couple said that we were self-righteous and overbearing in our smugness. Well,
I think there is nothing self-righteous about factual truth, and if we are smug - I
am sorry for that. We do the animals a huge disfavor.
Re the Tyson fine of 2 million dollars - the Justice Department levied it against this
huge producer of beef and pork for violating an agreement re the pumping of animal
wastes into the Missouri River. They were to limit its discharges into the Missouri
River and obviously the five million gallons of "treated wastewater" from their
Nebraska beef processing facility which goes into the river EACH day was way
too much. This causes high levels of toxicity to aquatic life in the river. (I don't
know if people fish in this river - but if I were a fish eater (which I am not), I would
think twice about eating the fish caught here).
Per Moore: "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that factory
farms pollute our waterways more than all other industrial souces combined.
According to the EPA, chicken, hog, and cattle excrement have polluted 35,000
miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Animals
raised for food produce approximately 130 times as much excrement as the entire
human population- 87,000 pounds per second. "
Why isn't this reported on our national TV news? Shouldn't people be made aware
of this - hopefully leading those who care to change their dietary lifestyles to do
so? I can only imagine that the national news outlets are afraid of losing
advertisement dollars. Am I right?
I thought that I would stop at this point but decided that Moore's quotation from a
Scripps Howard synopsis of a Senate Agricultural Committee report on farm
pollution re animal wastes warranted inclusion here as well:
"It's untreated and unsanitary, bubbling with chemicals and diseased...It goes onto
the soil and into the water that many people will, ultimately, bathe in and wash
their clothes with and drink. It is poisoning rivers and killing fish and making
people sick...Catastrophic cases of pollution, sickness, and death are occurring
in areas where livestock operations are concentrated...Every place where the
animal factories have located, neighbors have complained of falling sick."
I think we need a lot of "Erin Brokoviches" to help these people. Maybe if these
big factory farm comglomerates were faced with lawsuits, they would come to
realize that big factory-intensive farms are no way to raise animals for meat or
But even more then lawsuits- the farm conglomermates will have to change
their modus operandi if a lot more people will be prompted to change their diets
and eat less meat and drink less milk. If people can't find any reasons from
doing so by reading what Moore compiled here- then sadly, I guess they never
will and the farm animals will continue to suffer and the people near these factory
farm operations will continue to get sick. Hopefully, good laws to protect these
animals will instead become the norm. Some states like California are moving
in this direction.