Readers Blog: Profits rule when it comes to farm practices

I refer to dairy farmers concerned with milk market profits and oversupplies of milk, and recent articles in national papers about how dairy farmers are risking damage to market with oversupply.

High prices have increased production on dairy farms.

This is with 350,000 tons of skimmed milk powder in storage. While farmers debate their greed the defenceless producers of milk the cow herself continues to suffer on a daily basis.

The milk production cycle of a dairy cow typically begins at approximately 25 months of age when, after a

nine-month pregnancy, she gives birth to her first calf and commences lactation.

Male offspring to dairy cows “are of little or no value to the dairy farmer”, mainly as they are unable to produce milk and are different breeds than those typically raised for beef.

Female calves are slaughtered immediately or used to replace their mothers in the dairy herd, and many male calves not bred on for beef end up in veal crates a fate characterised by confinement, darkness, malnutrition, and of course slaughter.

Calves born of dairy cows are not even allowed to drink the milk that their mother produces. Ironically, that milk is reserved for human consumption only.

Does anyone see an injustice here? The babies are then fed a nutritional supplement. Mother cows will cry for days longing for the bond with the newborn calf they went through so much to give life to.

They often go into depression and lose weight from the ordeal. Studies have shown that this gets particularly harder each time the cow gives birth.

Because these factory-farmed animals are forced to live in such inhumane and disgustingly dirty conditions, antibiotics are needed, and in large quantities to try and keep the animals healthy.

If that isn’t bad enough, the majority of these antibiotics are used to artificially increase rapid growth. Hence more money for farmers.

Antiseptics, used to disinfect cow teats, can provide a source of iodine, but have been found to boost the level of pus in the milk of cows with staph-infected udders. An even more horrendous device is the spiked device that is used on calf noses to stop then suckling their mothers… ever.

As a vegan, I find this blatantly cruel. The rise in veganism is mainly as a result of exposing the truth about farming sentient beings.

Imagine the inherent suffering and brutal death of animals on farms. All for a taste of flesh or a glass of another species milk (with pus too of course)… Profits rule.

Bernie Wright

Alliance for Animal Rights

Dublin 1

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