Cruelty Free Dairy Products - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-05-2011, 09:54 PM
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Dear All,
I am hoping to hear your opinions.
I am in the budding stages (consideration stage) of starting a business producing cruelty free dairy products. ie the cows are all well taken care off, the calves aren't weaned off until they are ready (we only take a portion of the milk, the calf gets the rest), the calves and older cows aren't sent off to slaughter and are allowed to grow old peacefully in the paddocks etc.

I am seriously thinking about this, because I would love access to these kinds of products, but even with organic milk there is no guarantee that the cows/calves aren't eventually slaughtered or aren't treated kindly.

Because there would be such a small market for these products (sadly there are so few people in the world who care about these things) my concept is to initially produce freeze dried milk and cheese in order to reach our niche market.

So what I would like to know is, if there are many of you out there who would be interested in such products to basically give me an idea if it would at all be a viable business and any suggestions you might have.

I understand this is the vegan forum, so please don't feel I am disrespecting. I am just very interested in your opinions.
I look forward to your responses.
Best wishes,
Shaki
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#2 Old 11-05-2011, 09:58 PM
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I do avoid milk for ethical reasons, but for myself personally, it is mostly a health issue. Dairy doesn't agree with me, so I would not buy them.
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#3 Old 11-05-2011, 10:13 PM
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Yeah I like where you are coming from but I feel like you are hitting a very niche market. Vegans avoid all animal products. Cheese, no matter how it came to be is still an animal product. Your other main market would be vegetarians and most of them eat regular cheese anyway. Your other market (which would be very small imo) would be caring and compassionate omnivores who would be willing to pay a higher rate in exchange for something free of cruelty.

I personally avoid dairy products because I think they are generally unhealthy and not environmentally friendly (same reason I avoid meat). Good luck though and I appreciate the idea and your dedication by asking it on a vegan message board.
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#4 Old 11-05-2011, 10:32 PM
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Thanks guys, gives me an idea.
Best wishes,
Shaki
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#5 Old 11-06-2011, 07:40 AM
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Mother cows produce milk for their babies, and no other time. Where is the baby calf in this picture, and is he getting enough milk for himself?
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#6 Old 11-06-2011, 09:01 AM
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I see it this way.
If someone does not agree with the dairy industry, they give up animal products and buy soy etc milk instead
If someone does not agree with the dairy industry, but does not like the inconvenience of giving up dairy products, they eat it anyway.

Introducing a product that is expensive and harder to get than soy milk... why not just use soy?

Personally I wouldnt be buying any dairy products, but hey good luck anyway.
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#7 Old 11-06-2011, 09:06 AM
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MOD POST

This thread had been moved into the "Vegetarian Discussion" sub-forum, because dairy products, regardless of whether or not they are "cruelty-free" are excluded from a vegan diet.
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#8 Old 11-06-2011, 09:17 AM
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won't that be incredibly expensive? having to pay for food, shelter, and medical care of all those males that are born for their entire lifetimes while making no money from them.
in any case, i wouldn't use it even if it was free or you paid me to do so.
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#9 Old 11-06-2011, 09:38 AM
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So if you were raped, then enslaved, then forcibly milked,---but your babies were still allowed to be with you until an age determined by your captors, and they promised not to kill them, and you got fed well and not beaten---that would be cruelty free?

Seriously, all you'd be doing would be promoting milk consumption. By going to extremes just to make dairy an "ethical" choice only raises it demand.
I agree with Pirate Ferret.

As it is, I know too many people who speak of buying "humanly raised meat and eggs" that are complete liars
This would only add to the illusion.
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#10 Old 11-06-2011, 10:48 AM
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I've got two horses and my annual costs for maintenance (aside from setting up fences and barns and feeder purchase and watering set up) is about $1500.00 per year. That is hay, pelleted food, and one vet visit for shots and doing their teeth. And by the way, hay in our region is cheap. Then if the vet needs to come for one illness, you can count on $500 - $1000 and that's only if it's not super serious. That would cover the vet visit, a weeks worth of meds and maybe one or two different kind of tests.

The barn that we just built to keep the hay dry and shelter the two horses is not fancy but it still cost us $34,000.00. Fencing probably $1,000.00. Not to mention that in order to do the fencing, feed the large round bales (which are cheaper than small square ones), and clean up the tons of manure that large animals leave behind, you absolutely would need a tractor (another $45,000.00).

So after looking at all these figures, is it really practical to bother with a cruelty free dairy which would have you keeping how many calves for the next twenty years or however long they lived? You'd have to sell cheese for like $50.00 a pound or something like that.
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#11 Old 11-06-2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

MOD POST

This thread had been moved into the "Vegetarian Discussion" sub-forum, because dairy products, regardless of whether or not they are "cruelty-free" are excluded from a vegan diet.

I think he was looking for vegan opinions.

I don't agree with the other posters that this is super niche. You wouldn't just be selling to vegans who care more about the specific abuses of dairy industry than an abstract prohibition. You could also be selling to well meaning vegetarians, people looking for a more humane option, people looking for locally produced dairy, people who want an all natural source without additives or pasteurization, etc. Depending on your location, there could be a decent market.
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#12 Old 11-06-2011, 12:42 PM
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I think he was looking for vegan opinions.

I don't agree with the other posters that this is super niche. You wouldn't just be selling to vegans who care more about the specific abuses of dairy industry than an abstract prohibition. You could also be selling to well meaning vegetarians, people looking for a more humane option, people looking for locally produced dairy, people who want an all natural source without additives or pasteurization, etc. Depending on your location, there could be a decent market.

No, you wouldn't be selling to vegans at all, if you did, they would not be vegan anymore.
How is is cruelty free to impregnate animals and take their milk, without any regard for their babies? Just because they're not killed doesn't make it right.
I don't understand how many male cows would need to live out their lives, but the whole idea sounds just like cage free eggs and happy meat.
Why would anyone try and sugar coat the idea of dairy if they were truly concerned, and not advocate against it?

I understand vegetarians who still consume dairy once in while, because vegan options can sometimes be prohibitively restrictive, and I that I can understand. To think and make it sound cruelty free is only to make people free guilty.
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#13 Old 11-06-2011, 02:59 PM
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I guess it's kind of like that "free range" label that helps so many people sleep at night. It sounds lovely on paper, really. It gives you the impression the animals are treated well if you don't know any better.

As others have said, it's possible to get milk in far less cruel ways than the dairy industry does, but that would be a terribly expensive and niche market, and it's a lot easier and less expensive to just drink or produce soya milks or rice milks or something.

Tam! RUGH!
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#14 Old 09-16-2013, 01:48 PM
 
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I would definitely be a customer!!!! But it is my understanding that in order to make cheese you have to have enzymes that are taken from calves?? Its just what Ive heard, don't know for sure if its true.

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#15 Old 09-16-2013, 04:32 PM
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I would definitely be a customer!!!! But it is my understanding that in order to make cheese you have to have enzymes that are taken from calves?? Its just what Ive heard, don't know for sure if its true.


Hey,

The enzyme you're talking about is commonly called 'Rennet' (though sometimes they just say 'enzyme' because they like to be painful). They don't need it for all cheeses, there are even vegetarian versions of it. So, it's just a matter of checking labels to see if it's in cheese or not.

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#16 Old 01-21-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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Hello:

 

It would be wonderful to know a company like this could exist. It was because of animal abuse that I have stopped dairy products altogether. I love dairy, I just do not agree with mistreating animals for the benefit of others (us).

 

Good  Luck.

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#17 Old 01-28-2014, 05:58 PM
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The thing is, I don't really think it's possible for cruelty free dairy. At least not any dairy that you'd see for sale on any shelf. This is an email train I had with Straus, basically the vanguard of organic, "humane" dairy, in Marin, California. Read about their practices, and you decided for yourself if you're comfortable with it.

 

--

Me: I’m impressed with all your values, but I was looking for some information that I couldn’t find on your website— what happens to all the calves after they are born?

 

Straus: Thank you for your inquiry.

On our dairy the calves are removed from their mothers within the first day or so.  If we keep them together longer the bond will be too difficult for them both.  Also, unfortunately, both mother and calf are susceptible to disease, such as Johnes* if kept together.  Also, we can make sure the calf is receiving the correct amount of colostrum.

* Johne's (pronounced "Yo-nees") disease is a contagious bacterial disease of the intestinal tract. Johne's disease occurs in a wide variety of animals, but most often in ruminants, like dairy cattle.  Young animals are far more susceptible to infection than are adults. Ingestion of the bacterium occurs when the newborn's environment is contaminated with manure or by drinking milk from an manure-stained teats.

Though taking a calf away from their mother is not the best of circumstances, we try to do it in a way that is the least emotional for both mother and calf.

Once our calves are 3-4 months old, they are all put on pasture together with their age group and live together as a group quite happily.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact us.
 

Me: Thanks for the information. That's very interesting. Could you also please tell me specifically what you do you do with the male calves? Do you sell them to be raised for beef, and if so who buys them? Is there any connection to veal, or any connection whatsoever to industrial farming?

 
Also, how often are cows impregnated, how many years does each cow produce work, and what do you do with them once they have stopped producing milk? 
 
I really appreciate your taking the time to give me some information. 

 

Straus: Half of the calves born on the farms and the other half are female. Common practice is that the female calves are kept and some male calves are kept for breeding future generations. The remaining bull calves are sold and are most likely purchased by a local organic beef producer.

 

In regards to your question about how often the cows are impregnated; Cows are like people, mammals. After they have a calf they start producing milk. To optimize their quality and quantity of milk, they should have a calf every 12-14 months. Gestation is 9 months and a week.  After 60 days of milking, we try to get them pregnant. We stop milking them 2 months prior to them having the next calf.(Dry period)

 

There are commonly used practices at an organic dairy for cows that have reached the end of their productive lives. Usually cows are sold after their production level decreases, typically around the age of 7 or 8 years. They are sold to a local auction yard where they are purchased by a third party.

 

A cow eats 90 pounds of food and drinks 25-50 gallons of water per day. Though it would be nice to be able to keep them all, it would be financially unfeasible to keep a cow on a dairy for the remainder of its full, natural life. 

 

Thank you again for inquiry.

 
Me: Thanks for all the information, I do appreciate it. I view Straus as the vanguard of the dairy industry, and don't question your integrity at all. I just wanted to see what the practices are under the best possible circumstances for dairy production, and decide for myself if I'd feel comfortable drinking it. And I think at this point, I'm still going to continue to abstain from consuming dairy. But I can see how other people, given the same information you just gave me, would have no issues with consuming dairy. Thanks again for being so forthcoming about your practices, it's really very helpful.
 

 

 

 
 
 
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#18 Old 03-09-2015, 01:14 PM
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I would purchase cruety free dairy.

I am a lacto vegetarian because my body doesn,t do well with no dairy. I am definitely interested in finding cruelty free yogurt, milk, cottage cheese and kefir. The only ones I know of for sure at present are the Hare Krishna Farms because in their religion the cows are considered one of their mother's. Their cows are sacred and never killed, "slaughtered." After they no longer give milk they are put out to pasture for the rest of their lives and this includes males as well. They are used for oxen, and bulls to breed only. Never salughtered.
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#19 Old 03-12-2015, 08:32 AM
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I am a lacto vegetarian because my body doesn,t do well with no dairy. I am definitely interested in finding cruelty free yogurt, milk, cottage cheese and kefir. The only ones I know of for sure at present are the Hare Krishna Farms because in their religion the cows are considered one of their mother's. Their cows are sacred and never killed, "slaughtered." After they no longer give milk they are put out to pasture for the rest of their lives and this includes males as well. They are used for oxen, and bulls to breed only. Never salughtered.

Bonnie from Largo, FL

I Find this hard to believe tho. There would be thousands of bulls quickly filling these sanctuaries.
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#20 Old 03-12-2015, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Shaki View Post
Dear All,
I am hoping to hear your opinions.
I am in the budding stages (consideration stage) of starting a business producing cruelty free dairy products. ie the cows are all well taken care off, the calves aren't weaned off until they are ready (we only take a portion of the milk, the calf gets the rest), the calves and older cows aren't sent off to slaughter and are allowed to grow old peacefully in the paddocks etc.

I am seriously thinking about this, because I would love access to these kinds of products, but even with organic milk there is no guarantee that the cows/calves aren't eventually slaughtered or aren't treated kindly.

Because there would be such a small market for these products (sadly there are so few people in the world who care about these things) my concept is to initially produce freeze dried milk and cheese in order to reach our niche market.

So what I would like to know is, if there are many of you out there who would be interested in such products to basically give me an idea if it would at all be a viable business and any suggestions you might have.

I understand this is the vegan forum, so please don't feel I am disrespecting. I am just very interested in your opinions.
I look forward to your responses.
Best wishes,
Shaki

I think the problem would be the cost. It would be a lot. You would be hard pressed to turn a profit while selling at a rate customers will buy.

But nevertheless, if everybody listened to skeptics we. wouldn't have light bulbs or televisions or cars. But do a lot of research before investing money in your idea tho.
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#21 Old 03-15-2015, 01:18 PM
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I think it's just easier not to eat dairy, but I would prefer it if lacto-vegetarians ate this instead of factory farmed dairy.
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#22 Old 03-15-2015, 01:36 PM
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I think it's just easier not to eat dairy, but I would prefer it if lacto-vegetarians ate this instead of factory farmed dairy.
Me too.

Hi Pirate Huntress, good to "see" you!
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#23 Old 03-15-2015, 03:59 PM
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I think it's a wonderful concept and I would so much prefer if a system like this could overtake conventional dairy farming. I'm glad that people are even considering alternative practices, and so I would support you-- morally.. I would be willing to spread the word among my milk-drinking friends. Personally though, as a vegan I still wouldn't feel comfortable buying or drinking the milk.

I also think the concerns raised about cost and the sheer number of bulls are relevant and potentially insurmountable-- but if you can find a way around them, and make your company famous, I would be genuinely pleased.
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#24 Old 03-15-2015, 05:48 PM
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I appreciate your efforts, I do hope your business is a success.
I would not buy your product because I disagree with using animals for food when it is so easy not to. I could not know 100% that there was no mistreatment coming from any off your staff (you can't watch everyone at once) and I don't see how you could let the 50% of calves that are born male grow old at pasture and still make money. Also, I want to be more environmentally friendly with my food choices than cows can possibly be. That's just the truth, I would not be interested and I think other established vegans would react the same. I think your best market would be vegetarians and omnis who are unwilling to quit dairy but don't want to hurt animals more than is necessary to obtain it. However, best wishes, I hope you are able to start that business.


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#25 Old 03-16-2015, 07:08 AM
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OP - Vegans do not eat dairy products so no I do not see the market. Now purely money wise this would have to be a hobby lifetime farm because animals naturally live a pretty long stretch of time and if you were not having the cows raped (which I am assuming is the goal being cruelty free) it would limit how often they are pregnant which would mean you would have no idea when milk is available.

I think your heart is in the right place but this only works if you ignore or do not see animals as deserving of autonomy from us humans using them like things for our own enjoyment / taste buds. Which you might though?... I believe in animal Abolition so never see a ok "use" for them.

Grace
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#26 Old 03-16-2015, 09:36 AM
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Just fyi the OP is from 2011. Interesting topic, though.
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#27 Old 03-16-2015, 10:28 PM
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Just fyi the OP is from 2011. Interesting topic, though.

hey maybe the farm is up and running
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#28 Old 03-16-2015, 10:53 PM
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OP - Vegans do not eat dairy products so no I do not see the market. Now purely money wise this would have to be a hobby lifetime farm because animals naturally live a pretty long stretch of time and if you were not having the cows raped (which I am assuming is the goal being cruelty free) it would limit how often they are pregnant which would mean you would have no idea when milk is available.

I think your heart is in the right place but this only works if you ignore or do not see animals as deserving of autonomy from us humans using them like things for our own enjoyment / taste buds. Which you might though?... I believe in animal Abolition so never see a ok "use" for them.

Grace
Vegans don't eat dairy products, but vegetarians do..... So that's where the market would be.

Also, for anyone else wondering, you can keep cows lactating long after they've had babies. As long as they're regularly expressing milk, be it for their babies or by milking them, then they produce for a fairly long time.From memory, at least a year onwards, but even more in some circumstances. Also, as long as there's a mature bull there, then cows can fall pregnant every year, or at least every 2 years depending on various circumstances.

Obviously, there are other things to take under consideration and I'm not saying harm-free dairy would be easy to achieve.

I'm just saying that's how cows work....
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#29 Old 03-17-2015, 01:21 PM
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I would honestly avoid all dairy products if you want to be truly cruelty free.

Even organically farmed cows will be killed when they get sick or old and their male calves will either be killed at birth or used for veal.

Why is the suffering and killing of animals wrong? Because the value of a sentient organism's life is priceless. They are their own beings and have their own lives and loves. They have higher emotions and thought processes. Their minds are different from ours in degree, not kind - meaning that fundamentally there are critical similarities.
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