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Got Milk? A Disturbing Look at the Dairy Industry

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 08:18 AM
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Got Milk? A Disturbing Look at the Dairy Industry
AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Got Milk? A Disturbing Look at the Dairy Industry
Most dairy enthusiasts would be horrified to know the conditions cows endure and how closely dairies are tied to veal operations and the rest of the meat industry.

January 26, 2010


The bucolic scene of Holsteins grazing on a grassy hill that adorns milk cartons and cheese wrappers is nothing more than fantasy these days. While the meat industry has come under intensive scrutiny (and with good reason) for the massive factory farm system of raising cattle in confinement, animals in the dairy industry are arguably worse off.

Eating milk, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, and other dairy yumminess is impossible to do with a clear conscience -- and I'm not referring to the fat or cholesterol. Calves born into the industrial grip of today's dairy industry have a road ahead of them that is short, but not merciful. Dairy cows are subject to brutal conditions before being sent to slaughter for beef and male calves are worth next to nothing in the dairy business. Some are simply left to die after birth. Many are slaughtered for low-grade "bob veal" a few days after they are born and will end up as cheap hot dogs or dog food.

While a small number of dairies are bucking the industrial trend, the vast majority of dairy products we eat come from factories that are nothing short of horrific in many cases.

Where Milk Comes From

We've become so far removed from the source of our food that many Americans are oblivious to where most of what they eat is actually coming from, dairy included. Yes, milk comes from cows. And how do cows get milk? Like other female mammals, they produce milk to feed their offspring. In the business of raising cows to produce as much milk as possible, which is the goal of most of the U.S. dairy industry, cows are kept in perpetual states of lactation and impregnation. .........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/food/145378/got_milk_a_disturbi...




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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. We have a choice: cheap food or slightly more expensive food that
Edited on Tue Jan-26-10 08:37 AM by hedgehog
treats animals, plants and the entire environment with respect. Did I mention that there is increasing evidence that the cheap food is killing us, while the more expensive organic food is really better for us like the tree huggers have been saying all along?

Cheap food also tends to exploit people, since it depends on underpaid workers on the farms, at food processors and meat packers. Good food tends to be grown by people living a good life running their own operation. They don't get rich mind you, just live a good life.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Unfortunately, 'Slightly more expensive' is too far out of reach for most people.
Some people can barely stretch a food budget as it is. Having to pick which 4-6 days (or more) out of the month not to eat at all just to ensure ethical and healthy choices really isn't much of an option.
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AlecBGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. yes and no
many organics at our local grocery store are comparably priced. most are only a few % higher (organic scallions cost 1.20 per bunch instead of 1.10, etc).

organic meat, eggs & dairy can be much higher but this is where its most critical, not just for the moral issue of animal welfare but health concerns as well.

we're on a tight budget but we only buy organic milk & eggs. meat is 50/50 but we get a lot of our own (raise hogs, chickens, shoot deer, etc). we're far from perfect but if a married couple living on the income from a single, 4th year teacher can make it, many others can too. its all about setting priorities and making a budget.

:hi:
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Well... not everybody hunts or raises livestock.
If everyone hunted, we'd eradicate whole species. Most people haven't the discipline, zoning allowances, or wherewithall to raise livestock either.

I'm glad you're doing it... I would hope there were ways more people could do as you do, but it's just not realistic for everyone.

My dream is to have an entirely self-sufficient household as well. Much can be done, but most haven't the resources.
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BonnieJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. You know, it can be done.
We purchase our meat from a farm that pastures its animals. We buy the cheaper meat - ground beef, soup meat and soup bones. We buy the organic veggies and I am the queen of soups and stews. It's not expensive and it makes several servings. I'm afraid people don't like to cook anymore.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. You said it...
That's a knack of mine as well; extending food via soup.

Cheap pasta and veggies, with organic meat and dairy, can be stretched very nicely.
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pecwae Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
2. Somehow I believe the headline
writer is incorrect in saying, "Most dairy enthusiasts would be horrified to know the conditions cows endure and how closely dairies are tied to veal operations and the rest of the meat industry." In reality most people don't care how animals are treated.

I'm sorry, I can't read the whole article at the link. I already know the abhorrent conditions they suffer in. I do hope others read it and some minds are enlightened and possibly changed. My entire attitude toward farm animals was changed by reading just one story 15 years ago about a meat cow who put up such a fight over getting into the cattle car that she was finally taken to a sanctuary to live out her days in peace. The owner said he'd never seen anything like it and thought she deserved a break that day.
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AlecBGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. i disagree
"In reality most people don't care how animals are treated"

not true. most people DO care, but they choose to remain willfully ignorant. the old "i-cant-hear-you-la-la-la" syndrome. while this is a horrible analogy, i think it might be like 1940s Germany. People didnt exactly KNOW what was happening to all the Jews & Gypsies etc, but they knew... Does that mean they didnt care at all about human life? No. They just didnt want to confront the reality and instead they chose to pretend it didnt exist.
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