Female cows don’t need to be milked. Despite what your farmer friend or some old dude at a dairy council wants you to think, female cows produce milk for the same reason that human women do: to feed their babies. On factory farms, babies are torn away from their mothers, like this:
Cows only produce milk after they’ve been pregnant. In order to get cows pregnant, farmers forcibly impregnate them on what the industry has called a “rape rack.”
Uhhhhh … read that again. A rape rack, people. Can’t get more female-hating than that, can it? If that makes you cringe, you should put down that extra-whip caramel frappe, K?
Female cows in the dairy industry are treated like nothing but baby-making machines—with no regard for their emotional lives. If they were allowed to, mother cows would spend months with their young, teaching them, nurturing them, and bonding with them. On factory farms, all they can do is scream as their babies are dragged away. For the milk to make it to the shelves, female cows spend most of their time hooked up to milking machines. No “old McDonald’s farm” here. When their milk production lessens and the ladies are no longer profitable, they are killed.
The ones where the baby and the mom get to live happily ever after? Those rarely, if ever, exist. Ninety-eight percent of all animal products come from factory farms. And even if cows get some space to roam or get to spend some time together, ask yourself where they end up. There are no “free-range” slaughterhouses. Mothers and babies born on dairy farms all end up kicking and screaming on the kill floor. Nobody wants to die.
No one should claim to be a feminist and still support the dairy industry. If you care about women, the environment, or animals, the answer is clear: Just go vegan! From delish nondairy cheeses like Daiya, Go Veggie!, and Tofutti to vegan ice cream sandwiches from Trader Joe’s, the compassionate choice has never been easier.
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