More Hard Truth About Dairy

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Okay, it’s time to face more hard truth about the factory dairy industry. A new investigation by Mercy For Animals shows unbelievable–just unbelievable–abuses at a dairy farm at Leprino Foods in New Mexico which is a supplier for Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s.  Yes, this is a hard video to watch. If you are squeamish about these kinds of images, muting your volume first might help, or read my tongue-in-cheek list of tips from a previous post. But please watch it.

If you can’t stand to watch it, I understand. But that doesn’t mean you can’t engage. Instead of watching, just quickly scroll down so the video is off screen. Below it you will find a petition to sign stating that you will boycott Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s unless stricter animal abuse prohibition is put into practice. Signatures DO make a differencePlease sign it.

I know many of Life As a Wave readers are already aware of the lack of transparency in factory farming. I know many of you have taken steps to educate yourselves and to adopt humane lifestyles and diet. However, there are numerous people out there who still don’t know the suffering behind what they are eating. Some of them are your friends and family. They don’t know the connection between the meat and dairy industry or believe that they could “never stop eating cheese.” For their good, the animals’ good, and the Earth’s good, it is crucial that the facts about factory farming be shared and so that change can happen. So, please share it.

Here is the link to the video and the petition: http://www.sliceofcruelty.com

Remember, no one ever stopped abuse by turning a blind eye. You can do it! For them, you can look.

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A Mother’s Instinct Interrupted

Here are two videos for you to consider, both depicting the mother’s urge to be with her offspring. They also depict human interventions in that dynamic.

I couldn’t deny the contrast when two different friends posted these on Facebook in the same evening.

How are we connecting with non-human animals through our choices and lifestyles? Are we extending reverence and honor to other species?

(Cruelty-free) food for thought. And just a heads up that neither video is graphic.

A Side of Veal With My Sundae?

“…boycotting veal…is a pointless gesture if dairy products aren’t boycotted as well.”

– James McWilliams, Forbes, 10/25/13

I had a revelation in 2009 that spurred me to transition from a vegetarian to a vegan diet. The revelation was basically that cows don’t make milk unless they have a calf. It seems like something that makes a lot of sense. How had I somehow  forgotten that fact? I guess I had never thought much about it at all and walked along in a blissful milky haze thinking of cows as perpetual milk machines, even though a moment’s pause to look at all of mammalian behavior would tell me otherwise. There’s one purpose for milk.

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Once I had that realization, there was an emergence of oh so many of questions that needed to be answered:  “What happens to all those calves?” “How do the cows keep getting pregnant?” “What are male cows used for?” “Does my vegetarianism matter?” Etc., etc. After time spent considering all these aspects I finally came to this conclusion:

I can’t eat dairy without also supporting the meat industry.

Calf being transported from his mother to his veal crate.  Photo credit: I wish I knew.

Calf being transported from his mother to his veal crate.
Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur

This conclusion has gone through not a few philosophical obstacle courses over the years, which are always valuable processes for evolving your viewpoint. I still believe that the vast majority of dairy that we consume comes from inhumane methods of acquisition and is inherently complicit in the industrial meat complex as well. I also believe that as a general rule, cow milk is for baby cows, goat milk is for baby goats, and human milk is for baby humans. I believe the calcium argument is something we’ve been force-fed by the meat and dairy industries and that we are actually healthier if we stay away from dairy. I know that we are the ONLY species that drinks milk past weening and find that weird and kind of gross. For now, that’s where I stand.

Here is one of the most brief yet thorough descriptions I have seen in a long time that illustrates the relationship between large-scale dairy and meat industries. I thought I would share it with you in case you are also a vegetarian having a revelation about milk as an accessory to animal slaughter. Or, maybe this article will serve simply as a another reminder to be humane this holiday season by swapping out some of those dairy products you’re used to for easy-to-find vegan alternatives. It will take 2 minutes to read and is not graphic. It was written by James McWilliams and appeared in Forbes magazine last month. Here is the link:

Milk of Human Kindness Denied to Dairy Cows