Cows Used For Dairy

Cows Used For Dairy

Most people don’t realize that just like humans, a mother cow only produces milk to nurse a baby. But in order to maximize the amount of milk sold to humans, baby calves are taken from their mothers within hours of their birth.  Both mother and baby cry intensely at this traumatic separation, just as humans would.

Male calves are sold to veal farms where they will be killed at sixteen weeks, and female calves usually grow up to live life as a dairy cow. To impregnate the cows, females are artificially inseminated over and over until they are considered “spent” and are sent to slaughter – usually to be made into hamburger.  These cows often live their entire lives indoors and often hooked up to milking apparatus.

  • Just like human mothers, a mother cow’s milk is meant to feed her baby. But the babies of cows used for dairy are forcibly removed from their mothers within one to two days of birth in order to redirect their mothers’ milk for human consumption.
  • By the time a cow is considered “spent” by the dairy industry she has birthed and produced milk for approximately four stolen babies, her body is ravaged and she is sent to slaughter at 3-5 years old, usually to be made into hamburger meat (her natural lifespan would be 20-25 years).
  • Males calves born to cows used for dairy are sold to the veal industry. They are chained in a dark box to restrict movement (which keeps their flesh soft) and are killed when they are between 1-16 weeks old (his natural lifespan would be 20-25 years). Females are shipped to other dairy operations to become dairy cows like their mothers.
  • The veal industry would not exist without the dairy industry. Many people don’t realize that consuming dairy directly supports veal production.

What about organic?

“Organic” does not tell you anything about the cow’s treatment. It only means that she wasn’t given antibiotics.

What to do now that you know?

The single biggest thing you can do to stop the suffering of these animals is to join the millions of other compassionate people choosing to reduce or eliminate dairy from their diets. For suggestions and ideas please visit our Living Cruelty Free page.

Prolapsed uterus, still being milked
Prolapsed uterus, still being milked © Mercy For Animals
Male calf in veal crate
Male calf in veal crate © Mercy For Animals
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