Dairy Sustainability Made Me Rethink Being Vegan

By Kayla Thomas – Utah State University Dietetics Student

My decision to become vegan was not taken lightly. It was after much soul searching and research that over two years ago I chose to vote with my fork for sustainable agriculture, health, and animal care. I am currently a dietetics student, finishing up school and preparing to take the dietetics exam. While I don’t preach veganism to my patients/clients, for the last two years, I have personally followed this lifestyle and made those choices.

But late last year, one of my internship rotations was with the Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada. While all of my rotations were wonderful, the Dairy Council was by far the most fun and creative. It was also the most influential to me personally. During my two-week stint, I had the opportunity to visit two dairy farms. Watching the process of milk production on a dairy farm was an eye-opening opportunity. I have seen many horror films depicting animal cruelty in ‘factory farms’ across the nation, and before my initial farm visit, I thought that the tour was set up well in advance in order to prepare the farmers to be on their best behavior and to sanitize the environment from their normal practices. When I left the farm that day, I was confused. This large dairy was a family run business, it didn’t seem like a “factory” at all. I was stunned by how easy-going the workers were and even more amazed as I watched the cows calmly go through their daily routine. This occasion of showing their livelihood to the public did not seem staged in the slightest. The second farm tour confirmed my suspicions. Dairy farming is a family affair.

Bateman Brothers

I visited Bateman’s Mosida Farms, a 7,000 cow dairy in Utah owned and operated by 4 brothers and their father

Sustainable agriculture practices are deeply important to me and one of the primary reasons I chose a vegan lifestyle. In a lot of ways I wish we could go back to the days of small farms where the farm to fork principal works in everyone’s backyard, but in today’s world of 7 billion people (that is quickly growing!) we have a food security issue and need modern agriculture in order to produce enough food. Therefore, we must move forward with larger farms, and help fine-tune their processes to create a greener environment. I was under the impression that animal protein production was not very sustainable, but I had the opportunity to learn first-hand how the dairy industry is a leader in this area. Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Milk is a local food. From the time the cows’ milk is stored in a cooling tank, it is typically just 48-72 hours before it is on a shelf at your LOCAL grocery store.
  • Any type of energy waste is money lost on the farm and to the producers of dairy, every dollar counts to these families. Farming is a tough industry, one that is barely breaking even every year. Efficiency is essential and good business for dairy farmers. I witnessed farms using the natural heat from the milk to heat the milk parlor in order to create a warmer, comfortable environment for the cows during the cold winter months, and I heard about how water is recycled and used multiple times on the dairy for cleaning, cooling, irrigation…
  • When people would ask me why I was vegan, I would sometimes say I would rather feed humans than animals. By not consuming animal products, I felt I was taking a stand on world hunger. I worried about a large portion of our grain crop going to feed animals instead of humans. But on my tour I had the chance to learn more about what cows actually eat. Much of what goes into a cow’s 100lb per day food ration are actually byproducts that humans cannot ingest. Cows, due to their powerful stomachs, are able to produce nutrient dense milk by eating crops that would otherwise be useless to humans. This realization was my tipping point…thoughts of milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream started flooding my mind.

Honor the Harvest

Animal care was another important motive for my choice to be vegan. While attending different dairy farms in Utah I was impressed at the still, quietness of the cows and calves. Could they possibly be content or even happy with their lives? If not, I was fooled.

After my rotation with the Dairy Council, my mind was consumed with thoughts making a big lifestyle change for me and becoming vegetarian.  At first, the thought of this transition frightened me. I do not view myself as an easily persuaded person nor one who makes rash decisions. Being vegan was a big part of my life. It ade me feel connected to nature, animals, and the Earth in a more personal way, but after viewing the amount of hard work and dedication that goes into dairy farming with clean, healthy practices and love for the animals, I had a new perspective that fundamentally challenged some of my core beliefs. No one likes to be told they were wrong, but by being open-minded I was able to learn and even change my dietary habits.

So about 3 weeks after my time with the Dairy Council and many hours of health related research on dairy, I bought my first yogurt in almost two years!

Happy Earth Day!

Sustainable Dairy Portrait

90 Comments

Filed under Animal Care, Human Nutrition, Nutrition and Health, On Farm Education

90 responses to “Dairy Sustainability Made Me Rethink Being Vegan

  1. And in all that wonderful “care” to the nonhumans – Did you happen to catch a glimpse of female cows being artificially inseminated? Don’t you think that’s a violation of the female reproductive anatomy? And did you happen to see the mother cow’s babies being stolen away? All so we UNWEANED adults can steal the milk as well… And what of those babies – The unfortunate males who are deemed as “worthless”… I hear some actually go to slaughter with their umbilical cords still attached trying to suckle on the worker who leads him to the kill floor. All that misery for yogurt? You’re joking – Right?

    • Belva Parr

      Provoked, Women are artificially inseminated. Please visit a dairy. I can give you many to visit. IF, and that’s a big if, the calf is sent with the umbilical cord attached I have not heard of that. Once again get the facts. I do not deem any animal that is eaten by us to be worthless. I am grateful for the choices in our food supply. We are fortunate that there can be vegans. That is a choice. Some countries do not have that choice, they are hungry. Please don’t belittle my choice.

      • Pete Dako

        What about the Cows and Calves choices Belva? This article is nothing but another death rattle from the dying dairy industry’s marketing dept. There is nothing ‘sustainable’, healthy, good or environmentally responsible about dairy or any other forms of animal agriculture.

    • skipole

      You must live awfully close to a farm to hear some males go to slaughter. Condescension isn’t the best way to win an argument.

    • The problem with your statement, Provoked, is that you “hear” … “some actually go to slaughter with their umbilical cords still attached….”

      Have you actually seen this happening with your own eyes?

      We have family friends who run a veal farm. They purchase their calves from dairy farms. These calves are fed out for several months before they are shipped out to be butchered. Their umbilical cords are not attached and they are not trying to suckle the worker.

      • MaraDream

        I’ve been raising my own beef for years and that’s exactly what we do … but we feed them for about 10 months +/-. My kids know that girl cows give us milk and boy cows give us steak.

    • The problem with your comment is that “you hear” what happens to these animals. Please take a moment, find a local farm & ask for a tour. Ask the farmer questions, see the animals for yourself.

    • TINA

      I DON’T KNOW WHAT DAIRY FARM YOU VISITED BUT I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE WITNESSED THESE PRACTICES AND I AM FROM A DAIRY FARMING COMMUNITY… WHERE MIGHT I ASKED HAVE YOU SEEN SUCH HORROR?

    • Provoked, have you ever seen a cow get bred naturally by a 2000# bull. Your comments are laughable and shows how little you know about farming.

      • Kansas Cattle Rancher

        If someone like ‘Provoked’ had ever seen a 2,000+ lb Bull breed a 1,000lb Cow they’d probably be screaming that the bull was too fat and he was raping the cow.
        98% of the population knows little to nothing about where their food actually comes from. The other 2% are the ones that grow the food, farm crops and raise cattle.
        I don’t give a crap that you eat Kale or are Vegan. That just means to me that you’re uneducated about how healthy your lifestyle really is. However, please don’t change, that leaves more tasty cows and bacon for me.

    • Tina Prosser

      what a lot of utter BULLS..T

    • Karen

      The most important part of your comment was “I hear”. Go find out for sure. And don’t rely on those sting movies, I hear they are staged.

  2. Belva Parr

    Having grown up on a dairy and still a supporter of dairy people and the care they give their animals I am thrilled with the open mind attitude from the article. Kayla Thomas, you nailed it when you visited the dairies and saw first hand the treatment of the animals. I understand that the animals are here for mans use. Whether the cows are milked or eaten, they are treated ethically. I will not use humane because animals are not human. Being armed with the facts allows each of us to know about the food we eat and drink. Gossip and heresay, or printed rumors are not where I go to get my information. I go to the source. I congratulate Kayla and her ability to have the courage to do just that. I am NOT joking. Get the facts.

    • maxine

      I think my main premise comes from the idea that we as human beings have no right to ‘use’ other living beings for our own reasons. They should have UN draft a universal declaration of rights and duties of animals. They are not ours to use.

      • Those of us who live on farms nurture and protect the animals we are in care of. Most of those animals would not live at all if we did not. They live healthier lives than they would in the wild. They are protected from disease, injury and predation. In exchange they give us the protein we need to live. Farmers and ranchers do not take this charge of duty lightly. In life, some must die so that others can live. It is a fact of nature.

      • Sepp

        That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, people like you shouldn’t be allowed to vote

      • Do you also object to animals used as human helpers, like guide dogs and assistance dogs? Do you object to pet ownership? Do you object to using horses as pleasure animals?

        Do you realize that without us all of our domestic animals would become extinct? Your ‘bill of rights’ would require the slaughter of millions of animals, many of them well loved and well treated.

        In England, when it was made illegal to use dogs to turn spits, thousands of them were turned loose and the breeds developed for that purpose died out. Thousands of animals died from starvation and from having to be shot as threats to children, stock and wildlife.

        I LOVE animals, but I will fight to prevent ‘animal personhood’. It is a loss for them and for us.

      • “On the one hand we’re afraid that farm animals will overrun the earth. On the other hand we worry that they’ll become extinct… People who think it is all right to imprison animals in genetically-impaired bodies, and who then get testy about their becoming extinct, are indulging in cynicism and sentimentality.” — Karen Davis, Ph.D.

        Those species of farmed animals that we have genetically manipulated to be used as agricultural commodities did not exist in the natural world. Animals who never existed in the natural world, who have been artificially bred into existence and selectively engineered for total domination, cannot be said to go “extinct.” But for those who insist on the importance of conserving domesticated animals, consider the incredible irony in the fact that each generation of farm animals artificially bred into this world goes “extinct” as soon as they reach market weight and are slaughtered. An entire generation of billions of animals is killed, only to be replaced by yet another generation, thanks to total human control of farm animal reproduction.

        Animal agriculture is not a conservation effort. It’s a business of making money on the slaughtered bodies of other animals. What could be the benefit to any human or non human to be brought into this world under such circumstances? If you knew your life would be defined by enslavement, mutilations, sexual violation, reproductive control, the theft of your offspring, and a violent slaughterhouse end in your youth, what would be the advantage of being born? Knowing the horrors of human tyranny?

        – See more at: http://freefromharm.org/eating-animals-addressing-our-most-common-justifications/#treatment

  3. Dana Ogan

    Well done Kayla! I couldn’t agree more. I felt the same way when I visited the dairies in Utah, very inspiration people doing wonderful things!

  4. Thank you Kayla for approaching your internship and farm tours with an open mind and for sharing your thoughts here.

  5. Thanks for sharing this story, as a dairy person it’s incredibly hurtful when people make assumptions based on what they think they know. Our maid of honor was Alexis, a cow. I’ve cried over the loss of a “worthless” bull calf, and been called a monster for having cows by the public at cattle shows. We love our animals as much as anyone could love a dog or cat, they are like children to us. And we use AI, my husband has almost been killed by 2 different bulls, they are so dangerous.

    Provoked: please educate yourself beyond farm hate propaganda, your views and hatred are sad to see. I’ve put myself between a moving car and my Alexis to protect her because she wasn’t crossing the road fast enough for someone. Most farmers I know would do the same,

    • Frank

      Sure, you put yourself between a car because it meant your profits were being threatened. An animal is a being that deserves not to be exploited by humans.

  6. SpurleyDairyFarms

    Kayla,
    Thank you for coming into the dairy world with an open mind. We are lucky to live in a county where we have all of these choices in what we want to eat. I’m glad you were able to see some dairy cows and enjoy them like we do. We don’t do it for the money!

  7. Still wondering

    I am neither a vegan nor a vegetarian, so with that stated up front… While I do appreciate Kayla’s thoughtful essay, I still wonder about how ethical it is to keep cows in a near perpetual state of lactation. I’m also concerned about the health affects of long-term consumption of the mammary secretions of a mammal other than my own species. If we had a wider variety of milks (and cheeses) to choose from throughout our country, I’d feel a bit less uneasy about the dairy industry. We would be relying much less on the bovine “monoculture” for this aspect of our foodways.
    And, finally, I’m not quite following the assertion that my milk is LOCAL. Just because it can be on my grocer’s shelf in 48-72 hours doesn’t make it local. Fresh? Yes. Local? Not necessarily. A lot of miles can be covered in 48-72 hours (and a lot of pollution created in the process0.
    Thanks for reading!

    • The girls are always given a minimum 60 days off between lactations, so they only work 9-10 months a year, if you don’t dry them off they’ll do it themselves.

    • Still Wondering:

      Thanks for visiting our site and for taking the time to leave your thoughts. Sara’s comments sum up your concerns nicely. In the two months prior to giving birth, dairy cows are separated from the milking herd, fed a different ration and allowed time to rest before they have a calf. Dairy farmers’ livelihood depends on their cows, so farmers work closely with veterinarians and nutritionists to make sure each cow is healthy throughout each stage of her lifecycle. (Read More about how a cow’s ration changes at different life stages in our post titled “Celebrate National Nutrition Month for Cows!)

      Regarding your question about local – most dairy foods are quite local, traveling an average of just 100 miles from farm to grocery store. A lot happens in that 48-72 hours: the cow is milked, the milk is chilled, picked up by a milk truck, taken to a processing plant, pasteurized, packaged, and transported to the grocery store. At the store, customers have a wide variety of different products to choose from.

      Thanks!

      • Hello,
        Thanks for responding to my input. Unfortunately, either I did a poor job of explaining my concern or you are not open to hearing what I am trying to say. The information you provided does not address my concern about the “ethicalness” (is that a word) of keeping the cows in a near perpetual state of pregnancy and lactation. I didn’t say anything about being concerned about how well they are cared for. I’m certain you all do your utmost to treat the cows in the way that you and veterinarians deem is the best – for YOUR purposes. After all, as you say, they are your livelihood. It’s in your interest to be good to them. That doesn’t make it OK to require them to live an unnatural life. That is, it is moral for you (and me, ultimately) to demand this unnatural regimen from the cows?

        This concern of mine remains unnaddressed: I’m also concerned about the health affects of long-term consumption of the mammary secretions of a mammal other than my own species.

        In terms of what is local and what is not, you stated “most dairy foods are quite local”. That is simply not the case, not by a long shot. If by “most dairy foods”, you mean milk, then I could believe that. But what about the prepackaged cheeses of every kind and form? In the grocery stores in my area, none of them carry labels that are within 100 miles of me. Heck only one cheese is made in my state and not all stores carry it. Ice cream, sour cream, 1/2 and 1/2, yogurt, cheeses, etc., etc. These “dairy foods” are definitely not local where I live and I’m doubtful that these dairy foods are local for very many people.

        Thanks.

    • Actually, if you study the biology of a cow, you find that they can cycle monthly and will generally conceive annually, just like wild ruminants like bison. Those species calve every year, in the spring, and nurse their calves until it is time wean. The gestation for a bison is is 9.5 months (the domestic dairy cow is 9 months), so if a calf borne annually, this means that a bison cow is still nursing this year’s calf when she conceives next year’s. What we do with domesticated cows is not so different than the bovine’s natural cycle, just intensified by selective breeding over the centuries and with timing managed by the farm.

    • I am curious as to what your concerns are regarding the consumption of milk from mammals of other species. If you could please explain someone may be able to address your concerns.

    • Well as to your wondering about a cow being in milk all the time they do get breaks between calves. AND to put it in human terms I have a very good human friend who has 6 kids she nursed them all With the last three she was constantly nursing for 9 years! She nursed thru the pregnancies and weaned the older toddler when the new baby was born. The ages of the last three are currently 17, 14, and 11. She is in beautiful health then and now, lost her pregnancy weight easily and she and the children are healthy happy people. So the female body both animal and human is MADE to nurse their young and with adequate diet can lactate constantly with no harm to the mother or the young.

  8. Eileen fagle

    Belva. Please explain the ethics of Veal

    • Unconvinced

      You’re probably wasting your time having an ethics discussion with Belva since she stated, “I understand that the animals are here for mans use”.

      Regarding Kayla’s article.. I’m not just going to believe something I read. “Kayla” doesn’t begin to touch on any details. For example, how many hours a day is a cow forced to be hooked up to a machine. She would be more convincing if she described the day in the life of 1 of the 7000 cows on this family farm. Sounds like important details that I wouldn’t leave out if I am trying to convince readers that what I saw was so “natural” that I am going to stop being vegan. Sure, the cows are not being kicked or beaten, but what kind of quality of life do they really have? AftI am planning to visit a local dairy farm soon. They have fewer than 200 cows and offer daily tours. I will let you know how it goes. If I ever get the chance, I would like to visit a family farm like the one in Utah because I am very curious about the operations on a 7000 cow ranch.

      • Paul R.

        With articles like this it is understandable that certain individuals will not believe the information to be factual unless they see it first hand. Even then do to your own choice you may wish to eat certain foods. …and that is ok. We each make our own choices for food, fiber and other requirements for our lives. Yet I will challenge you on one comment that you said “I’m not going to believe something I read” yet when you make a comment like “how many hours a day is a cow forced to be hooked up to a machine” you contradict yourself. Folks who make these comments are reading material from the ‘vegan lifestyle handbook’ and presumably believe what you read from that source without any fact check!! If you choose a vegan lifestyle, great, your choice, but do not say things that you do not understand. The one thing that you can be assured of is that our society is blessed with science, technology and a plentiful supply of safe food. Enough so that you have choices, which many do not.

        Many of us want local and fresh foods. I do to. Yet in this so called ‘green’ revolution, which I would equate to nothing more than a marketing agenda by those who can prosper from the gullible, our food supply may travel a greater distance than one might realize yet the carbon footprint may be less on these food products due to the large volume transported as opposed to local foods that may be produced with less efficiencies and sold in small amounts that require people to travel greater distances using more fuel to purchase that ‘local’ food. I sell freezer beef and have heard of many people driving great distances to buy ‘fresh’ foods.

      • Farmer Ann

        It takes about 5-7 minutes to milk a cow, 2 or 3 times a day. If a farm has robotic mikkjers, where the cow decides when she goes to get miljed, some willk go as often as 6 times in a 24 hour period, to make themselkves mire comfortabke, and perhaps just because they enjoy it. But I am sure I just opened another can of worms because a robot is doing the milking…, It is good you plan to visit some dairies. My personal belief is all school age children should visit farms, and really learn, instead of thinking food comes from the store…

      • Unconvinced

        Paul R.,

        I’m not sure how it is a contradiction when I have seen cows hooked up to machines in order to be “milked”. I have seen it with my own eyes. I lived on a farm and we got our milk from the dairy farmer down the road. I briefly saw the cows in their stalls, hooked up to equipment. I was a child so I didn’t go asking to take a closer look or ask questions that I would ask now. For example.. how many hours a day do they have to be like this?

        I’m not sure how my comment of “how many hours a day is a cow forced to be hooked up to a machine?” contradicting. It is a question. I know for a fact they are hooked up to a machine, therefore, it leads me to ask a question because I do not know the answer.

      • Scot D.

        I worked on a dairy as a teenager in Florida, the family I worked for were very concerned about the cattle. They had cows broken into herds as all large dairies do. it would take on average 6 hrs to milk all the cows there ,they are brought up put into a wash lot and cleaned.. cleaned again before machine is attached, then they are sprayed in our case with iodine to prevent infection and chaffing… The longest a cow was hooked up to a machine averages maybe 10 mlns two times a day there is feed for them when they leave the stalls and they graze ( as nature intended them to) the rest of the day I hope that helps you to understand that cows on a farm do live about 20 hrs of every day in nature

      • Paul R.

        Unconvinced, I took the assumption (wrong on my part) that you were reading info from vegan styled publications which paint a blasphemous view of the farming process. Farmer Ann replied just before you regarding time that it takes for milking cows. Depending on the size of the farm and type of operation it often takes longer in the waiting pen than it does to actually be milked. The milking unit is ‘hooked’ up as you say for about 5-7 minutes each time she is milked depending on 2 or 3 time a day milking. When finished the unit is taken off and the teats sprayed or dipped with an anti-microbial to help prevent mastitis in the cows udder. With robotic styled milkers a cow passes from the resting side through the robotic milk unit to get to the feed. She will freely enter on her own accord anywhere from 3-6 times a day. If the milking units were any way painful or cows were mistreated the cows can fend for themselves by kicking which raises their adrenaline levels or being downright stubborn from entering the milking process. Adrenaline from over excited cows overrides the affects of ‘oxytocin’ which is a natural hormone that ‘allows’ the milk to ‘let down’ when they are ready to be milked. It is in the benefit of the cow and the farmer to have the cows calm and to make it a pleasant experience each and every time. If you have further questions feel free to ask. Have a great day.

      • The cow is not “hooked up” for hours. The milkers are put on for just a few minutes 2 to 3 times daily. The cups in the milker are made from a very soft rubber and the suction is much like the natural sucking of a calf if not even gentler than a calf. A calf is very rough on its mother when nursing. Between milkings the cow goes either to a pasture to pick grass on some farms or goes to the trough to eat all the forage she wants. Then they lay down and chew their “cud” and let their food digest until the next milking. Humans have been consuming dairy products for thousands of years, that seems pretty sustainable to me.

      • A farm that big, milks 24/7 — now before you get your knickers in a bunch, that doesn’t mean the same cow is hooked up for 24 hours. They milk in cycles. They have x amount of stanchions (where the cow stands) and say at 5 AM, x amount of cows come into the milking barn. After an hour, which maybe 15 minutes is hooked to the machine, the cows leave. I imagine there is some cleaning that takes place, as the milkers need to be sanitized, etc — then the next x amount of cows come in. This rotation happens all day long. Cows are milked once a day, and like I said before, on the machine for maybe 15 minutes. A Cow with mastitis (it happens, but not often), is milked separately into a different bucket, since her milk is not fit for human consumption and if she is on antibiotics to help cure her mastitis, her milk is dumped. So banish the idea that a cow is “hooked” to the machine for hours, just doesn’t happen.

      • It seems that people are willing to believe everything they read that negatively reflects dairy and/or any livestock industry. I would definitely recommend visiting a dairy and ask questions and see for yourself. Cows are not forced to be hooked up to machine for hours a day. In my experience (milked as few as 40 and as many as 500 on and off for 15 years) most cows milk out within 5-10 minutes, but there are some a little slower. So let’s say it’s 10 minutes, most dairies milk 2 or 3 times a day, 10×3=30 minutes in a 24 hour period. Also in case you are concerned with holding times, that is also a consideration. ..they keep the time spent in a holding pen to a minimum to reduce stress and want them to be in the barn eating, resting and socializing freely.
        I think Kayla did a great job and if she only wrote about “a day in the life of 1/7000 cows, that would be very boring…they eat, sleep, drink, socialize, go to the parlor to be milked and start all over with the same pattern. Cows are creatures of habit.

  9. Thank you for having an opened mind and sharing your experience with the rest of us! I know that was probably a tough realization to come into. I admire the fact that you spent several years doing soul searching research before becoming vegan. I can’t say either lifestyle is the right choice because we are all free to choose what we eat, but I hope you enjoyed your yogurt :)

  10. First Thank you Kayla for taking the time to write this excellent piece and Thank you to all those who responded to ask questions! Discussion helps all of us.
    Yes, we do keep cows almost in perpetual lactation. We give them typically 60 days off from milking before they calve in again to allow for their mammary to repair itself before they began lactating again. This dry period time has been heavily studied and researchers have looked at longer dry periods as well as shorter dry periods. The 60 day mark is typically a point that gives the cow enough time off to repair itself and come back and produce more milk without costing the farmer too much in feed and housing. What is an ethical dry period is a lot harder to pin point. We know the science behind the dry period and that is how it was developed. We know that some cows are not comfortable when they are first dried off, while other cows are (determined by ballering in the dry off pen). I do know of friends who have milked constantly for 10 years straight while they were in their child bearing years others could only nurse for a couple weeks. Each one of us views lactating differently and although some of us like some time off from nursing young ones, other love to nurse. Likewise, some cows like to be milked while others are happy to have a dry time. Our farm uses robotic milkers and once a cow is trained to come in she will come in on her own over their alloted six milking times. As we watch cows milking habits they love to be milked when they first calve in and they slowly decrease the amount they want to be milked before they calve in again. We have some cows that we have to reduce the number of times they can be milked so they do have a comfortable dry time and others have nearly dried themselves off 60 days prior to dry off.

  11. In the cause of learning about sustainable agriculture, a very good read is “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith, a former vegan. The majority of the book concerns the extreme environmental degradation represented by what she calls annual monocultures, primarily grains. Unfortunately it may be true that what is absolutely worst for the world is not raising livestock, but rather growing corn, wheat, and soybeans. Something to keep in perspective if you are making a choice of what to eat based on what is best for the world.

  12. Thank you for taking time to write this & having an open mind when visiting the dairy farms. As a dairy farmer, I appreciate it.

  13. Great article; I wanted to share on FB but the article didn’t appear on my timeline. Too many people believe everything they see online when the truth is that animal agriculture does have a heart for the animals

  14. Eileen fagle

    Some do care and some don’t. Their livestock means money in their pocket .. No more .. No less. . I have lived in a rural area all my life and I have seen
    abuse time and again .

  15. Holly Hopkins

    Very well written, Kayla! It’s a great personal story from an educated point of view. Thanks for sharing this! I have visited dairy farms and I couldn’t agree more.

  16. Pingback: PEI Federation of Agriculture | PEIFA Today – Thursday, May 1, 2014

  17. As a vegan struggling to stay that way in the face of temptation, I find this article very interesting. I have also visited some dairies that seemed great. My concern is that there are still factory farms that aren’t as great as the family run ones. How do we know where our milk comes from, short of going to the dairies door?

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to read our post. Over 97% of the farms in this country are family owned and operated. Over the years, many dairy farms have become larger to support additional families on the farm and allow the lifestyle to remain a viable and sustainable option for the next generation (note the farm profiled in this article); however the core value of what drives farmers – care for the land and animals – has remained constant regardless of farm size. Many of the farms not owned directly by families are run by religious organizations, universities, or research institutions. Since milk is traditionally a very local food, contact your local dairy council to see if you can get a tour of a farm in your area. Also see an article on this blog about factory farms.

    • Elise

      Buy real Californian Milk products and you know it is coming from a great safe environment! Look for the real California Milk Seal on your dairy products :)

    • Chamaeleonsky, actually, as you say, “going to your dairy’s” door is the best idea. “Know your farmer.” See the farm, see how the animals are kept, ask questions. Find out about local micro-dairies in your area – the 3 cow, 6 cow dairies, read about raw vs. pasteurized, grass-fed vs grain/ration fed. Read the works of Dr. Ton Baars on the benefits of pasture feeding, read up on A1 vs. A2 milk in the writings of Dr. Keith Woodford.. Visit the RAWMI website to learn about raw milk farming. Find out about cream-top milk vs. homogenized. Read the works of Joe Salatin of Polyface Farm and how permaculture works. Visit a local farm market and see what’s available there. And then make your choice — there are many more options out there than just what you find on the grocery store shelf. Again, yes, talk to your farmer.

  18. As a dairy farmer, I wish everyone had the opportunity to visit a dairy farm with an open mind. We’re certainly not perfect people, but everything we do for the cows is intended to keep them happy and healthy. If you take care of the cows, they’ll take care of you. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  19. Kayla, Thanks so much for your open-mindedness, and your willingness to consider changing your original thoughts! We in the dairy industry have known for years our experience with animals teaches us that different production methods work for different producers both large and small, and I am so pleased that you have realized that too! Your courage to write this post may have just caused you to become a new poster-child for a dairy farm-consumer advocacy!

  20. Vivian Simons

    I want to Thank You for your wonderful presentation of The Dairy Farmer & Industry! I’m very proud of our Portuguese Family Heritage and feel Very Blessed to have been rasied on a Family Run Dairy in Orland, CA. My dad spent his career and life as a proud and productive dairy farmer. As did his on father, grandfather, brother, sister and many aunts and uncles (branching out from our family tree in more direction then I can count)!

    I believe that everyone has the right to consume the foods of their choice, along with making their own nutritional decision that fit their nutritional needs and life styles. I’m thrilled, through your first hand education and being openmided you have rethought your past behavior. I’m also thrilled that through your education YOU were able to get a glempse of the heart felt, all consuming and hard working, family oriented life style that comes with being a Dairy Farmer. I’m comfortable and honored to speak for our extended family, that we all feel truly blessed and proud to have been born and raised in the California Dairy Industry!

    Thanks again for a job well done! Wishing you a blessed life and career!

    P.S. On behalf of My Favorite Niece & Califorina Dairy Princess “Mackenzie Gomes” she would encourage you, to look for and consume REAL California Dairy Products in your local stores.

  21. Elise

    As someone who was born and raised on a dairy, I want to say THANK YOU for spreading the truth!!!!! We are families who love what we do and love the animals. It’s more than just a business to us. Keep encouraging people to go see the truth for themselves!

  22. gina blakemore

    My husband and I are raising our 4 kids on our dairy farm. They are wise beyond their years and could teach some of you folks a thing or two. Respect is one of the most important words in our vocabulary. We respect every animal that we own. We steward the land to the best of our ability and we contribute to our society. Farmers are unlike any other business people you will ever meet. The investment that we make in our farms goes way beyond monetary. It is truly an investment of our hearts and souls. And all that hard work is for public consumption. A public that has for the most part, lost track of the important things in life and has become so selfish it is discusting. I do not care what you do or don’t eat. But don’t you dare for one minute disrespect farmers. We do so much positive for this world that you could never even begin to comprehend.

  23. Susan

    When I bless my food before I eat, I thank God for farmers and ask His blessings upon them, for without them, I’m dead. I cannot grow a weed! I pray for their families, that the children will be happy to take over someday. I pray for their prosperity and joy in their work. I pray that the government will get out of their way, or at least be better supporters of farmers. I give a big hearty THANK YOU to all the farmers in America. GOD BLESS YOU.

  24. karen

    I visited a local small organic dairy farm and there were rows of veal crates with babies in them. Even on small dairy farms, they separate the babies from the mothers so that humans can eat a totally unnecessary food. Oh and no one has mentioned that the mothers are still KILLED when they stop producing milk. Drink your own mom’s milk.

    • Paul

      Karen, would you be referring to rows of white fiberglass huts about 4 feet wide x 6 feet long? If so, these are called calf hutches and the calves are quite commonly placed in these individual hutches till they are about 8 weeks in age at which time they are put together in small groups depending on the herd size. These are not for veal and keep the calves healthy and livelier. Young calves under eight weeks of age are not as healthy kept in drafty barns or where there is wood panels or boards. Wood holds pathogens that can often cause calves to get sick leading to scours and other health issues.

    • Why would we drink the breast milk of an animal which is designed to make its calves become 1,500 lbs. in one year or so? Is it any wonder how cancer is connected with dairy consumption in adult humans who the milk was never intended for.

  25. There is no such thing as an “ex vegan”. One does not change ones ethics on injustice and slavery. Unless, of course you never had them in the first place. Just because the slaves are calm doesn’t mean they are not slaves. I think this is a very poor attempt by this despicable industry to undermine veganism and the only reason they would do that is because vegans pose a threat. Isn’t it funny that the professed writer is also a dietetic student? Come on dairy industry is this the best you got??

  26. Frank

    It doesn’t matter if you blow them kisses and tuck them in at night, an animal does not deserve to be exploited by humans for any reason whatsoever when we thrive on vegetables, fruits, beans & legumes, grains, nuts & seeds; millions of vegans prove this. Any attempt at justifying animal exploitation is purely speciesist behavior.

    The milk of any mammal serves one purpose- to provide the necessary vitamins & nutrients for that specific offspring (to which it is intended) in its first year of infancy. Past this one year of infancy, milk serves absolutely no purpose at all. None. Zip. Zero. You can make all the excuses you want, none of them hold up when there are many varieties of of vegan milks on the market which are produced with sustainable, non-cruel methods, and without the artery clogging cholesterol. None of these animals are offering themselves or their secretions to us, we are taking them because we find ourselves superior. What is so superior about taking something that was not ours to begin with, let alone from a being who has no voice to tell you to stop exploiting her?

    There are no creatures that consume breast milk past the first year of infancy, only humans. Why is this? Well of course, we’ve been doing it forever, it’s supposedly healthy to do so, and of course it tastes good. Stop fooling yourselves- No other animal enslaves others for the consumption of their breast milk. We are enslaving and exploiting animals for one reason- because it ‘tastes good’, and that is purely selfish reasoning.

    Exploiting animals for any reason is not sustainable when considering the vast amounts of time, energy, land and resources used in the process. Land used for grazing and land used to grow feed crops now uses a staggering 30 percent of the Earth’s land mass. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals. It takes up to 13 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. Animals raised for food in the U.S. produce far more excrement than the entire U.S. human population, roughly 89,000 pounds per second, all without the benefit of waste-treatment systems. There are no meaningful federal guidelines that regulate how factory farms treat, store, and dispose of the trillions of pounds of concentrated, untreated animal excrement that they produce each year. The EPA reports that chicken, hog, and cattle excrement has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and contributes to animal suffering.

    A Consumers Union study in Texas found that animal feedlots in the state produce more than 14 million pounds of particulate dust every year and that the dust “contains biologically active organisms such as bacteria, mold, and fungi from the feces and the feed.” The massive amounts of excrement produced by these farms emit toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia into the air. When the cesspools holding tons of urine and feces get full, factory farms frequently dodge water pollution limits by spraying liquid manure into the air, creating mists that are carried away by the wind. People who live nearby are forced to inhale the toxins and pathogens from the sprayed manure. In addition, according to a report by the California State Senate, “Studies have shown that [animal waste] lagoons emit toxic airborne chemicals that can cause inflammatory, immune, irritation and neurochemical problems in humans.”

    Kayla, you were never a vegan. Veganism is not a diet, it is a social justice movement that stands to eliminate the property status of all non-human beings. Would you stop being against human slavery if it were done in a more routine, friendly manner? No. Would you stand by idly as a human woman was force-impregnated (raped) against her will? No. Would you as a female want your offspring stolen from you at birth? No. Would you want any of this to happen to you as a female human being? No. And just because they are different from us we think we have a right to do this to them? It’s wrong.

    When you take a stance against injustice, you stand up for those being oppressed regardless of species. Period. Especially when those who are being exploited do not even have a voice.

  27. Frank

    It doesn’t matter if you blow them kisses and tuck them in at night, an animal does not deserve to be exploited by humans for any reason whatsoever when we thrive on vegetables, fruits, beans & legumes, grains, nuts & seeds; millions of vegans prove this. Any attempt at justifying animal exploitation is purely speciesist behavior.

    The milk of any mammal serves one purpose- to provide the necessary vitamins & nutrients for that specific offspring (to which it is intended) in its first year of infancy. Past this one year of infancy, milk serves absolutely no purpose at all. None. Zip. Zero. You can make all the excuses you want, none of them hold up when there are many varieties of of vegan milks on the market which are produced with sustainable, non-cruel methods, and without the artery clogging cholesterol. None of these animals are offering themselves or their secretions to us, we are taking them because we find ourselves superior. What is so superior about taking something that was not ours to begin with, let alone from a being who has no voice to tell you to stop exploiting her?

    There are no creatures that consume breast milk past the first year of infancy, only humans. Why is this? Well of course, we’ve been doing it forever, it’s supposedly healthy to do so, and of course it tastes good. Stop fooling yourselves- No other animal enslaves others for the consumption of their breast milk. We are enslaving and exploiting animals for one reason- because it ‘tastes good’, and that is purely selfish reasoning.

    Exploiting animals for any reason is not sustainable when considering the vast amounts of time, energy, land and resources used in the process. Land used for grazing and land used to grow feed crops now uses a staggering 30 percent of the Earth’s land mass. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals. It takes up to 13 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. Animals raised for food in the U.S. produce far more excrement than the entire U.S. human population, roughly 89,000 pounds per second, all without the benefit of waste-treatment systems. There are no meaningful federal guidelines that regulate how factory farms treat, store, and dispose of the trillions of pounds of concentrated, untreated animal excrement that they produce each year. The EPA reports that chicken, hog, and cattle excrement has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and contributes to animal suffering.

    A Consumers Union study in Texas found that animal feedlots in the state produce more than 14 million pounds of particulate dust every year and that the dust “contains biologically active organisms such as bacteria, mold, and fungi from the feces and the feed.” The massive amounts of excrement produced by these farms emit toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia into the air. When the cesspools holding tons of urine and feces get full, factory farms frequently dodge water pollution limits by spraying liquid manure into the air, creating mists that are carried away by the wind. People who live nearby are forced to inhale the toxins and pathogens from the sprayed manure. In addition, according to a report by the California State Senate, “Studies have shown that [animal waste] lagoons emit toxic airborne chemicals that can cause inflammatory, immune, irritation and neurochemical problems in humans.”

    Kayla, you were never a vegan. Veganism is not a diet, it is a social justice movement that stands to eliminate the property status of all non-human beings. Would you stop being against human slavery if it were done in a more routine, friendly manner? No. Would you stand by idly as a human woman was force-impregnated (raped) against her will? No. Would you as a female want your offspring stolen from you at birth? No. Would you want any of this to happen to you as a female human being? No. And just because they are different from us we think we have a right to do this to them? It’s wrong.

    When you take a stance against injustice, you stand up for those being oppressed regardless of species. Period. Especially when those who are being exploited do not even have a voice.

  28. Frederick

    You are a corrupt idiot. There is NO justification for animal exploitation.

    • Gramma

      It seems that some people chose to use anger and name calling to get their point across. There are loving and humane ways to care for the animals God gave man for his use. My joy is in knowing that when the Savior comes again, there will be no more death for any life forms, including animals, who, according the scripture, will praise God forever. But He gave them to us in mortality to care for and yes, eat. And if there are those who do not look upon them as gifts from God but rather treat them inhumanely, they will have to answer to Him. You go live your life the way you choose, and let others do the same. If you come upon someone who is causing undue suffering and pain to animals, then yes, speak out to educate and abolish the abuse (as I hope you would with children as well if you learn of their being abused), but there are people who have educated themselves to treat animals with respect and kindness, with humane ways of killing them for food. One need not glutton himself on animal flesh, but constrain himself to moderation in that, as well as in all things. I personally eat little meat, consuming 90% of any animal protein as milk, eggs, cheese, etc. But I’m tolerant of any who choose to totally abstain from any animal sources of food, or those who would consume it with every meal. But don’t tell me what to think or what to do, or not to do, and I won’t bother you either. Shall we agree to disagree and be civil in our conversations? Thank you!

      • “humane ways of killing them for food”

        Human animals are not morally superior to nonhuman animals, which is why using nonhuman animals for our own selfish unnecessary pleasure is immoral.

      • Gramma

        There is evil in the world, as well as good. I do appreciate your opinions and beliefs and you may continue to have them. But I believe in the God of this universe who created the earth and the animals for his crowning creation, man, and woman, whom he made in His image; He gave them instruction to take care of everything on the earth as their stewardship. That’s my belief, and that’s my right to hold to them, as you hold to yours. This ugly and imperfect world will be saved someday, and there will be no more evil in the mind of mankind.

      • Despite general acceptance of the ethos of domination within Western Christianity, the fact remains that when all scriptural passages pertaining to animal welfare are viewed within the larger context of the Christian message of grace, atonement, and mercy developed throughout the Bible, there exists an even stronger argument that promotes the humane and compassionate treatment of animals. As a matter of fact, a very strong biblical case for complete abstinence from meat and all animal products has been taught for years. – See more at: http://freefromharm.org/#sthash.ZCTq8BAl.dpuf

  29. Thank you to all who have contributed to this discussion. We continue to welcome all viewpoints that add constructive content to this conversation and ask that you remain respectful of all contributors.

  30. There’s a direct correlation that makes your statements impossible to substantiate. The most profitable cow is one that is happy and healthy. One of the first signs of illness or discomfort is a drop in milk production. No matter the motivation, one can’t successfully operate a dairy farm without keeping cow comfort at the forefront.

    • “Farm animals can be profoundly mistreated and still produce, in the same way that profoundly mistreated humans can be overweight, sexually active and able to produce offspring. Like humans, farm animals can adapt, up to a point, to living in slums and concentration camp conditions. Is this an argument for slums and concentration camps? Farm animals do not gain weight, lay eggs, and produce milk because they are comfortable, content, or well-cared for, but because they have been manipulated specifically to do these things through genetics, medications, and management techniques.

      For example, cage layer producers artificially stimulate and extend egg production by keeping the lights burning for 16 or 17 hours a day to force the hen’s pituitary gland to secrete increased quantities of the hormone that activates the ovary. Animals in production agriculture are slaughtered at extremely young ages, before disease and death have decimated them as would otherwise happen even with all the drugs. Even so, many more individual animals suffer and die in intensive farming, but because the volume of animals being used is so big — in the billions — the losses are economically negligible, while the volume of flesh, milk and eggs is abnormally increased.” — Karen Davis, Ph.D.

      – See more at: http://freefromharm.org/eating-animals-addressing-our-most-common-justifications/#treatment

  31. 100% Industry propaganda. This post is one big, fat, oily used-car salesman.

  32. There is certainly a lot to know about this subject. I really like all of the points
    you made.

  33. Spot oon with this write-up, I really believe this web site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll
    probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info!

  34. Tmiddy

    Many of you seem to be forgetting the amounts of water used to created dairy products. Water usage may not be an issue where you live, but here in SoCal it’s on everyone’s minds. And when I’m told to change my shower head to save a few drops when it takes 1,000 gallons of water just to make 1 gallon of milk (http://water.epa.gov/learn/kids/drinkingwater/water_trivia_facts.cfm#_edn11) I get a little frustrated. Why shouldn’t you consume dairy? Water. Also this little thing called methane which is in cow farts, of which they produce billions of gallons each day and is 25-100 times more powerful than CO2. So, that. And while I’m sure some of these dairy farms that we should all take a visit to have sewage treatment plants, many do not. That goes into the rivers, then into the oceans, and is a major contributer to oceanic dead zones, places where nothing can live, in an already overfished environment. But who needs the oceans, anyway?

    Dairy tastes great, and there are plenty of farms that are run cleanly and run by great hardworking people. The fact is that cows, in mass quantities, are a destructive force in the environment. They require a lot of resources and emit a lot of bad stuff. This article forgets a lot of big things.

    • Paul

      Tmiddy, I saw the EPA sight that you refer to the comment about the “1000 gallons of water per 1 gallon of milk produced”… This information is from a ‘green’ group out of Holland. I would say “BS!!” A cow might consume 4 gallons of water for every gallon of milk produced, leaving “996 gallons of water” to be utilized by the rest of the food chain. This is bogus info… a little common sense would go along way here. Doing your environmental duty to bash the dairy industry due to the California drought, methane and dead zones in the ocean… as I said a little common sense would go along way here. There are hundreds of eutrophic sights around the world even in the North Sea and areas of the Indian Ocean. Anywhere fresh water meets salt water the warmer water meeting the cold salt water creates a layering of water slowing down the oxygen exchange and creating a ‘dead zone’. The great dead zone of the Gulf of Mexico, maybe exists yet the Gulf as a whole has had record catches of fish and other seafood. Greatest contributor of methane is natural made ‘peat bogs’. There are so many variables in science. You are a typical sensationalist that will say anything to scare people ‘that the sky is falling’… a little common sense will go a long ways!!

      • J

        “Producing 1 kg of animal protein requires about 100 times more water than producing 1 kg of grain protein (8). Livestock directly uses only 1.3% of the total water used in agriculture. However, when the water required for forage and grain production is included, the water requirements for livestock production dramatically increase. For example, producing 1 kg of fresh beef may require about 13 kg of grain and 30 kg of hay (17). This much forage and grain requires about 100 000 L of water to produce the 100 kg of hay, and 5400 L for the 4 kg of grain. On rangeland for forage production, more than 200 000 L of water are needed to produce 1 kg of beef (30). Animals vary in the amounts of water required for their production. In contrast to beef, 1 kg of broiler can be produced with about 2.3 kg of grain requiring approximately 3500 L of water”
        100000 L is equivalent to 26417.2 us gal
        So 1000 gallons of water for a gallon of milk is quite plausible.

        http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.full

      • Paul

        J, For example… lets run the following scenario in the midwest which is where I am from. Avg rainfall is 34 inches. Alfalfa silage 6 tons/acre. Corn 200 bushels/acre. Soybeans 60 bushels/acre Cows daily consumption 45 gallons. Cows daily production 90 pounds or 10.5 gallons milk. 34 inches rain equates to 922,862 gallons per acre. Corn = 82 gallons per lb at 56 pounds per bushel. A bushel of Soy bean meal = 48 lbs x 60 bu/ac = 2880 lbs SBM/acre nets 320 gals per pound SBM. Alfalfa silage 77 gal/lb forage.
        A cow consumes 48 lbs dry matter of the alfalfa, corn and Soy bean meal. If the diet requires 4,718 gallons water plus the 4 gallons she is drinking equates to 449 gallons of water per gallon of milk produced. My rough figures are still one half of your suggested rate. Needless to say this is a good understanding of what is involved in the production side of our milk supply.
        Now J I will ask you, aside from your Journal of Clinical Nutrition to support your assumptions, From your perspective or anyone else that wishes to jump in on this what other uses of the water is more beneficial. Tmiddy basically makes comments as if it is the dairy cow is endangering the life of this planet. In my area the rains fall from the sky and we have good production of forages and grains. We have the ability to produce a nutritional food product for the population as a whole. Other areas are more arid and livestock consumption of water competes for the human use. But then I do not hear or see the west coast vacating that land for other areas of the country, so one might assume that there are challenges but not to the degree that people are leaving the area. What else can we use this water for to give us other nutritional benefits? Maybe the cow is not the best conversion from some individuals perspective. Aside from the dairy, beef cattle are identified as utilizing water for their production, yet the cow herds are consuming grasses and forages that are not well suited for grain production. Should we let the land for grazing go dormant? I am open to others input here…

    • “dairy tastes great” is not a moral argument for using animals and manipulating their reproductive systems. It’s just an admission that you value your own tastebuds over the entire life experiences of an animal who will go to slaughter in her youth when her milk production declines.

      What you have here is a puff piece on the dairy industry. These 10 facts about dairy apply to all forms of dairy farming even those that claim to be humane: 10 Dairy Facts the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know – See more at: http://freefromharm.org/dairyfacts/#sthash.AfGffn9V.dpuf

  35. Subramanian Iyer

    What about the poor cows who are forced into a perpetual cycle of rape, childbirth, and deprivation through their severely shortened lifespan? What about their murder and the murder of their male calves? Do you think any sentient being would choose to lead such life? Would you? Industrialized or family owned, a dairy farm represents the worst form of cruelty that humans can inflict on innocent beings. Also, if you knew the facts or basic economics, you would never label meat or dairy as sustainable. According to a recent report by the Worldwatch Institute, livestock (including dairy farming) generates at least half of all human-caused greenhouse gases.

  36. Do we really have to continue exploiting the reproductive systems of cows and slaughtering their calves for a food that we have no biological need for?

  37. The exploitation of cows’ reproductive systems and the slaughtering of their calves all for a food that we have absolutely no biological need to consume. I’ll take cruelty free. Thanks.

  38. rganesan

    Lots of wonderful dairy free alternatives at your local supermarket! Check out all the wonderful new plant milks for your cereal and coffee. Earth Balance makes a truly delicious and SUSTAINABLE plant-based butter — can be used in place of butter in any recipe. For desserts, So Delicious makes a wide range of devine dairy free ice creams. A favorite is the chocolate-coated almond milk ice cream bar — well worth a try. All delicious, and cruelty-free, and sustainable.

  39. rganesan

    Forgot to add my favorite dairy free yogurt – WholeSoy Unsweetened Soy Yogurt in the Large Tubs. I specifically asked my local stores to carry it, and there it was, within a couple of days. Lovely creamy texture, very satisfying yogurt.

  40. KJMOORE

    This is a lovely piece of propaganda supporting a cruel and failing industry. People are becoming aware of the moral and environmental toll the dairy industry causes. Plant milks are nutritionally superior and delicious. Make a humane, sustainable and health conscious choice and ditch the dairy.

  41. Gina Young

    Uh…. 1000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk. “Water trivia facts.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. In what world is that sustainable? And… what happens to the baby calves? Oh, right, In what world is that compassionate??

  42. Paul

    The compassion displayed of all of these recent posts by the ‘vegans’ trolling the internet I am curious how many of you have a domesticated dog or cat in the house or other ‘pets’. Sure your compassionate yet you keep an animal confined inside a building against its own will. You also eat foods that other microbes and small animals utilize for their consumption. You seem only to express your sentient desires among the larger animals that you feel and touch yet there are hundreds of living organisms that respirate and consume organic material that you are taking from the ground. What about the suffering of these living organisms that you are killing due to the cultivation of the ground that you walk upon?!

    How many of you veg’s are diabetic and take insulin need to thank a pig for producing it for your better health. Pigs also offer us valves for human heart surgery, suede for shoes and clothing, and gelatin for foods and non-food uses. Swine by-products are also important parts of products such as water filters, insulation, rubber, antifreeze, certain plastics, floor waxes, crayons, chalk, adhesives and fertilizer. Lard is fat from pig abdomens and is used in shaving creams, soaps, make-up, baked goods and other foods.

    This list could go on as there are hundreds of items that we use in our everyday life that we all take for granted that is a by-product use from animals. It is a multi-billion dollar industry. Animal by-products touch all of our lives and would be drastically different without the use of animals. Most veg’s are basically hypocrites as they are living a lifestyle that has been built upon the use of animals for food and compassion yet have enough prosperity which now allows them to literally bite the hand that has fed them and their fore-fathers since the beginning of time.

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