Monday, March 22, 2010
The cost o' milk
“Land O’ Lakes” – the name suggests green fields, blue water and occasional farm houses. Bucolic. Clean. Good old days on the farm.
That's so not so.
PETA’s latest “Animal Times” magazine includes an expose-article on a Pennsylvania dairy factory farm that supplies milk to Land O’ Lakes, America’s largest seller of brand-name butter. As detailed in the article, life on the farm is “horrendous” for cows and their calves; industry consultant Dr. Temple Grandin called conditions there “absolutely atrocious.”
The following excerpt tells “Why ‘milk’ is a four-letter word”:
“On dairy farms, cows – who, like humans, carry their babies for nine months – are continuously impregnated in order to produce a steady supply of milk. Calves are torn away from their mothers almost immediately after birth so that humans can drink the milk that nature intended for calves. Male calves are usually sold to veal farms where they’re kept tethered in cramped, dark stalls for 16 to 32 weeks before they’re killed. Female calves are turned into milk machines like their mothers. When their milk production wanes, the cows – considered ‘spent’ by farmers – are hauled off to slaughter.”
PETA has called on Land O’ Lakes to buy milk only from farms that meet its 12-point animal welfare plan (that includes vet visits, stall cleaning and bans on electric shock prods and tail-docking). To date: no known implementation.
You can send a message to Land O’ Lakes through PETA.org. And you can think more about cows and calves in misery with every glass of milk.