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June 17, 2016

Do You Still Drink Milk?

By Suzana Megles

I hope that people who become aware of cow suffering will try to become dairy free. After all, there are many alternatives today that should satisfy even the most discriminating palate.

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I have read many distressing accounts of the suffering of dairy cows. I thought I had heard them all. No, I found I haven't. Kate Good's post on One Green Planet, while repeating some familiar stats in this regard, also reveals some new ones here.

First, I agree with her that the dairy industry just might be one of the most deceptive industries on the planet. For most of our lives we have been told by them that we need dairy to get enough calcium and nutrients to be able to build strong bones.

Well, I doubt that this 85-year-old vegan is the only one that can dispute this "fact." Two years ago I slipped on two stairs in a darkened auditorium and went flying. People my age often get a broken hip from such a fall. I came away with only a sprained foot. Obviously, this vegan has strong bones without using dairy products.

I became vegan in 1983.

So this dogma, which has been ingrained in us since childhood, is suspect, and of course, we are the only species to consume the milk of another animal even beyond infanthood.

But I think what bothers us the most is the deception of the dairy industry depicting the cows who produce milk, yogurt, and cheese as being "happy" cows. They are often pictured on grassy hillsides, happily spending their days wandering around with their calves in idyllic surroundings. Later on- they will be gladly hand-milked by a kind farmer. If all this were only true.

But the reality? I am sure you have seen pictures as I of cows standing in long lines being milked twice a day. Do they ever walk in the sunshine? Somehow I doubt it. And where are their calves? The boy calves are sequestered in smallish crates unable to even turn around. They are kept anemic by being fed some sort of formula that keeps them so.
The female calves will join their mothers on the milk line when they are old enough.

In the meantime, the mother cows are continuously artificially impregnated via a device aptly named a "rape rack." And these poor cows, after giving birth, are forced to watch their babies being dragged away from them. How painful this must be for them, and it is a yearly occurrence. People are cruel. If anyone should have an inkling of how these deprived mother cows must feel, it should be human mothers, but sadly, pitifully few of them care enough to become vegan.

China also now uses milk and milk products. In the National Geographic Instagram there is a picture of a huge dairy farm in Anhui Province which is home to 39,000 Holstein cows. The aerial view shows thousands of hutches where newborn cows live -- checked daily by uniformed workers. There is no happy and strong bond shared by mothers and babies in this scenario. On this factory farm the cows are fed soy beans from Brazil mixed with alfalfa
from Utah. The semen for artificial insemination comes from Canada. Not only does misery abound, but this operation makes an enormous environmental impact.

Soy production for livestock feed is a huge driver of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Producing alfalfa consumes large amounts of water. At the end of her post, Kate Good tell us like it is: "We all have the power to put an end to this unnecessary suffering and damage, and it starts with one simple choice. With a plethora of milk and dairy alternatives on the market, there has never been a better time to ditch dairy." I agree.

I also read today of one courageous restaurant owner in New York -- Ravi di Rossi. He owns 15 upscale restaurants (Bourgeois Pig) known for their cured meat selections. But di Rossi's restaurants are now going vegan despite some complaints from his meat-loving patrons. The new restaurants have a new name - Lady Bird. I hope and pray that his new vegan restaurants
will succeed. For a certainly, they will not have dishes made with milk, butter, cream, or cheese.



Authors Bio:
I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since

I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the past 30 years and I thank God every day that I am. I am most disturbed at how little the Catholic Church and Christian churches generally give to concern re animal suffering in their ministry. I wrote to 350 bishops in 2001 and only 10-13 responded. I feel that the very least they can do is to instruct that the priests give one sermon a year on compassion to animals. I am still waiting for that sermon. I also belong to Catholic Concern for Animals - founded in England in 1929. (They are on the internet) I recently sent a sample copy of their bi-monthly publication called the ARK to the 8 Catholic bishops of Ohio. Only ONE kindly responded. Somehow we have to reach the Christian teaching magisterium. There is next to nothing re animal concerns and compassion for them. They basically believe that animals are the lesser of God's creation and that gives us the right to do anything we want to them. Way wrong. We need to change their mindsets. The animals are God's first and He expects us to treat them compassionately.

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