May 24 2010

Got Milk?!

Since posting this for my last website, we are now vegan, but I would like to share the post anyway.

I have since learned that the practices I do not like about factory farms, apply to small farms as well. All cows are forced to continually be pregnant and give birth in order to be milked. And all their babies are immediatly taken away so they don’t drink their mom’s milk. The whole thing is a process I don’t want to be part of, but at the time of this post, ignorance was bliss!

Want to have a great time with the kids while at the same time supporting your local economy, animal welfare and the environment?

How about a trip to your local dairy farm?

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How can a trip to the dairy farm do all of that? Allow me to explain…

Large factory farms are rapidly putting an end to family owned farms who have been operating for generations.

By squeezing out the smaller farms, the larger farms are being allowed to produce low quality products and treat their livestock poorly (to be putting it mildly).

Larger factory farms are also significantly contributing to the decline of our environment and adding to greenhouse gasses by feeding their livestock a totally corn based diet.

About half of our grain is grown to feed cows! Why not grow grass on that land instead and let the cows just eat it?

Then there would be no need for pesticides, transportation, and machinery to feed cattle. In addition, the cows will no longer develop ulcers, and die of obesity as a result of a corn fed diet.

Factory-farm raised dairy cows are forced to receive annual cycles of artificial insemination, and mechanized milking for 10 out of 12 months (including 7 of their 9 months of pregnancy).

The babies are usually taken away from thier mother within a day, leaving moms searching for their babies.

In the U.S.A the cattle expert Dr. T. Grandin wrote of a visit that he made to a factory dairy farm and of the great distress of bellowing that was heard when he arrived:  “They must have separated the calves from the cows this morning, there was one cow outside the stockade, roaming, looking for her calf, and bellowing, she wanted her baby.  Bellowing for it, hunting for it. She stops for a while, and then starts again. It’s like grieving, mourning—not much written about it. People don’t like to allow them thoughts or feelings”.

If not of this is resonating with you, how about the fact that feeding cows grass, rather than corn, is also better for us?

Grass-fed cows have far less (as much as 70%) fat than corn fed cows. They are less likely to get E.coli that likes the acidic environment a corn-based diet creates. Also, we won’t be endanger of being resistant to antibiotics that are continually being pumped into corn fed cattle.

According to King Corn (DVD), Livestock consume 70% of the antibiotics in this country!

Our dairy farmer only gives his “girls” antibiotics when they have an infection from a cesarean or get mastisis (an infection that breastfeeding moms sometimes get).

Those sick animals are given antibiotics and put in a different are than the rest of the girls. They are not milked again until they are well and the antibiotics are out of their systems.

For that reason, he is not a certified organic farm, even though the milk he produces is organic. He decided he’s not going to let his girls die just to get an organic stamp on his farm.

So, if you’re purchasing organic milk from large commercial companies, that’s a step in the right direction, but the cows are not being taken care of as well as they should be in many cases, and there

still is no requirement that they are grass fed.

That is why going local makes SO much sense for so many reasons!

Here is a cow with mastisis at our local dairy farm being treated. she will join the group after the infection is gone, and the antibiotics are out of her system.

She might be slaughtered if she were somewhere else.

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Another plus for the environment is the milk comes in glass bottles that we return to the farm so they can reuse them. A step above recycling!

Watch our trip to the farm…

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I wanted to give you the fun stuff before the rough stuff. I wasn’t going to, but these images need to be out as much as possible to get people to stop consuming meat and dairy from factory farms.

Here is a cows life at a factory farm. This is it, nothing more. Literally, this is their whole life, in one spot until they die prematurely of obesity, ulcers, E.coli or slaughter.

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Please consider this image before you decide to eat Veal. Personally, I have not consumed Veal since I was about 6 or 7, after I learned how they are raised.

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There are so many more disturbing photos, but I can’t even look at them myself so I will stop here.

Bottom line, let’s put an end to factory farms by supporting our local farms.

How?

Check out THIS LINK to find farms in your area. Buy your dairy and meat from these farms, or your local farmers market.

When eating out, ask where they purchase their meat and dairy.

Try Meatless Mondays. One day a week, say ‘no’ to meat.

Most importantly, let your child’s already inherent love of animals flourish by taking them to farms and showing them how milk and dairy products are produced.

Yes, it’s all serious stuff, but you can have some serious fun while fixing some of our nations biggest problems!

One last photo of mom and babies having quality resting time together at our local dairy farm…..

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