Do Cows Need to Be Milked? Here Are the Facts

Cows don’t always have milk in their udders, and they don’t need to be milked by farmers. They produce milk for the same reason humans do: to feed their babies. 

Since cows only produce milk after they’ve been pregnant, farmers artificially inseminate (or assault) them on what the industry has called a “rape rack.” This term shows that businesses profit from exploiting the female reproductive system. Creating life is one of the most sacred acts someone could do—and it should be their choice. 

Around 10 months after a cow becomes pregnant, she gives birth, and a strong bond instantly forms between mother and calf. If given the chance, a mother cow would nurture and protect her calf. She should be able to love and raise the life she created. 

But in the dairy industry, after just one to three days, farmers take calves from their mothers so that humans can drink the milk the mothers made for their babies. This causes both cows and calves extreme distress. Mother cows have been known to cry out for days after their babies were dragged away from them. 

Some male calves are shipped off to feedlots to await slaughter, while others are kept in tiny, dark crates that almost completely immobilize them so that their flesh stays tender and can be sold as veal. 

In order to make their flesh white, calves used for veal are fed a liquid diet that is low in iron and has little nutritive value. This heinous treatment makes the calves sick, and in addition to suffering from diarrhea, pneumonia, and lameness, they’re terrified and desperate for their mothers. They’re killed after only a few months of life. 

Just like humans, cows form strong maternal bonds with their babies and would go to great lengths to protect them. So you can imagine how helpless and desperate this cow must have felt after being separated from her calves and watching as they were driven away.

Female calves are often kept alive so that they can be exploited for their milk when they’re old enough. They’re usually artificially inseminated (again, sexually assaulted) shortly after their first birthday. After they give birth, humans take their babies away from them, and they lactate for 10 months before being inseminated again, continuing the violent cycle. 

Cows used for dairy are usually only 5 years old when they’re sent to slaughter. 

Cows don’t need to be milked, and they don’t enjoy it. For a human to have a glass of cow’s milk, a mother had to lose her baby. Anyone who consumes dairy supports a lifetime of suffering for these sensitive, intelligent animals. 

Now that you know the truth, what will you do?

The good news is that going vegan is now easier than ever. There are tons of dairy-free cheeses, ice creams, and milks available at the grocery store and even vegan options at Baskin-Robbins, Chipotle, and other popular restaurants.  

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