If this photo of what seems to be blood-tainted milk taken from a cow makes you want to vom, you’re not alone. It’s been shared online tens of thousands of times over the past month. 

This is “natural” cow’s milk before it gets whitened. Breastfeed milk with BLOOD and PUS. This is what they sell you….

Posted by Sonia Sae on Wednesday, October 5, 2016


The liquid in the photo is likely colostrum, which is a secretion that cows produce at the very end of their pregnancies and right after their calves are born to nourish their newborns.

What many people don’t realize is that cows don’t always have milk in their udders, and they don’t need to be milked by farmers. They produce milk—and colostrum—for the same reason human women do: to feed their babies.


To keep the milk flowing, farmers artificially inseminate cows on what the industry calls a “rape rack.” Around 10 months after a cow becomes pregnant, she gives birth, and a strong bond instantly forms between her and her baby. If given the chance, a mother cow would nurture and protect her calf.

But in the dairy industry, farmers take calves away from their mothers—just one to three days after they’re born—so that humans can drink the mothers’ milk. This causes both mother cows and calves extreme distress. Cows have been known to cry out for days after their babies are dragged away from them. 

veal calf dairy

We Animals | Jo-Anne McArthur 

If they’re male, the calves are shipped off to feedlots to await slaughter or are kept in dark, cramped crates in which they are almost completely unable to move around—so that their flesh stays tender and can be sold as veal. If the calves are female, they likely face the same fate as their mothers and will be forced to produce milk when they’re older, continuing the cycle.

Cows don’t need to be milked, and they don’t enjoy it. The truth is, in order for us to have a glass of milk, a mother had to endure losing her babies over and over. By continuing to consume milk and dairy products, humans are supporting a lifetime of suffering for these sensitive, intelligent animals. Now that you know the truth, what will you do?

Check out our Guide to Going Vegan!

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