Originally Posted by Indian Summer
But we have not seen evidence that dairy farming is inherently cruel - only that the industrialized, factory farming sort of dairy farms are cruel.
The farm I grew up on was a small family farm. My aunts and uncles ran small farms. Many of our neighbors had small farms. From what I observed during the 17 years I lived in the farming community, small family farms, even though they are not industrialized, are still cruel.
The animals are often viewed as property, not feeling creatures. The calves are removed from their mother and given a soy based formula to drink. Ironically, the calves drink soy so humans can drink "real" milk. The males are sent to the auction.
The image of cows happily grazing in a meadow on family farms is not completely true. When winter comes the cows can not go outside because of the snow and cold. They spend months in a crowded barn where they only have enough room to stand or lay down. They aren't able to walk around. Spending the winter months on the hard concrete floor is hard on their knees. Many go lame.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, these cows only live for a few years. When they get sick or are no longer useful, they are disposed of.
I described some of my childhood experiences in another thread.https://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=62138
...One of the worst memories took place about 30 years ago. I was about 6 at the time. There was a sick cow in the barn. My father called the "auction guy" to take her away. The cow was too sick to stand up so they tied a rope to her leg and dragged her screaming accross the concrete floor and onto the truck. When I asked my father where they were taking her he said, "To sell for dog food." When I started crying Dad sent me into the house. When my mom found out why I was upset she just said "Thats just part of life, get use to it."
I started remember other things too. The "free range" chickens spent the winter in a unheated coop. When I asked why some of the chickens were missing toes I was told that they had frozen off in the winter.
The chickens were there for the eggs. Most of the roosters that hatched were killed as soon as they were big enough to eat.
Male calves were sent to the auction. Bull calves are useless on a dairy farm. I remember how thier mothers would call out for them for days after they were sent away. A few years ago a local girl was kidnapped while out riding her bike. Her family went on TV begging for her return. The police found her clothes but they never found her body. Are the human mother and the cow mother really any different? They both just want thier babies back home safe; but their babies are already dead.
I could go on and on...
Keep in mind that these events took place on a small family farm, not a factory farm. The other farms around us were no better. Perhaps somewhere there are cruelty free dairy farms, but I have never seen one.