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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen several posts around here linking to dairy cow & dairy farm footage. I've also seen PeTA footage of dairy farms.<br><br><br><br>
Growing up in Oregon, the only dairy farms I ever saw actually did look like the California "happy cow" commercials. Over the weekend, when remi & I were driving to the beach, we drove alongside miles of pasture of this: <a href="http://www.co.tillamook.or.us/photogallery/cows.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.co.tillamook.or.us/photogallery/cows.jpg</a><br><br><br><br>
Cows sitting in grass, eating grass, walking in grass... even saw a cow & a bull having sex.<br><br><br><br>
So I have to wonder - how accurate are the videos, and how do I/you reconcile what we see IRL? Are manual-fertilization and the mucky, muddy dairy farms as common as we're led to believe? Or are most dairy farms operating under much different conditions than on the videos?<br><br><br><br>
(and yes, I'm sure there are still the issues with the veal industry, selling dairy cows to slaughterhouses, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter #2
another picture (and article) <a href="http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=15371" target="_blank">http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Arti...ticle_id=15371</a><br><br><br><br>
and another <a href="http://www.potb.org/images/cows.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.potb.org/images/cows.jpg</a><br><br><br><br>
and another <a href="http://www.el.com/to/Images/oregon/tillamook/tillamookcows1.gif" target="_blank">http://www.el.com/to/Images/oregon/t...amookcows1.gif</a>
 

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I watch <a href="http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/dirtyjobs/dirtyjobs.html" target="_blank">Dirty Jobs</a> on the Discovery Channel. Mike Rowe, the host, oftentimes goes to a hog farm or a turkey farm to do a dirty job. Well this one episode he went to a cow ranch, I don't remember if it was for dairy cows, but there were high density feed lots, tons of manure, and not a blade of grass to be seen. Add some dramatic music and Alec Baldwin and it could've been MYM (well, it was much more lighthearted). The turkey farm was the same way, thousands of turkeys in a giant warehouse. Mike's job was dead turkey collector, he picked up quite a few.<br><br><br><br>
Plus if you think about it, for all the dairy that's produced in this country it wouldn't be economical to have all the cows out standing in a field happily humping. PeTA might be dramatic, but I don't think they're very far from the truth.<br><br>
~Wonder <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/kiss.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":kiss:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>~Wonder</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
Plus if you think about it, for all the dairy that's produced in this country it wouldn't be economical to have all the cows out standing in a field happily humping.</div>
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That doesn't explain where the thousands of cows, most producing milk for the second largest cheese producer in the USA, we saw came from.
 

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Are you sure it was a cow and a bull? Most dairy farms don't have bulls because dairy bulls are very aggressive, and cows get pretty tired of getting pregnant without having the fun of making a baby. In my animal science class we learned that the majority of dairy farms in the U.S. are dry-lot operations (unlike the farms that surround me). When ever use saw a video in that class with dairy cows in it (and there were plenty of them) the cows were inside eating or being milked. There were a couple videos that a sole cow standing in a dirt coral, having things shoved up her vagina, either tubes for AI or embryo transfer, or hands and chains for calf delivery. Never anything like MYM b/c they never showed were the cows spent most their lives. So for all I know it could all be photo shop.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>faded_amaranth</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Are you sure it was a cow and a bull? Most dairy farms don't have bulls because dairy bulls are very aggressive, and cows get pretty tired of getting pregnant without having the fun of making a baby.</div>
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Um... it was either a bull or a steer, and I'm not sure that having steer on a dairy farm would be of much use. It did have a penis, so unless it was a cow with a sex change, I'm pretty sure it was a bull.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>remilard</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
That doesn't explain where the thousands of cows, most producing milk for the second largest cheese producer in the USA, we saw came from.</div>
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Which producer?<br><br><br><br>
There are dairy farms here in MN and WI. The weather here isn't suitable for cows to be on pastures year-round, I don't think. But I'm no farmer.<br><br><br><br>
Here's a very long (but somewhat iteresting) page to read about "The Social Implications of Management Intensive Rotational Grazing" from UW-Madison.<br><br><a href="http://www.cias.wisc.edu/bibliog2.php" target="_blank">http://www.cias.wisc.edu/bibliog2.php</a>
 

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Here's another interesting read: <a href="http://cdp.wisc.edu/pdf/trends.pdf" target="_blank">http://cdp.wisc.edu/pdf/trends.pdf</a> (This one is much shorter and even more relavant to the topic.)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SallyK</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Which producer?<br></div>
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Tillamook
 

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I googled Tillamook. I hadn't heard of that brand before. It appears that it isn't sold in eastern Wisconsin.<br><br>
They appear to be a fairly responsible company.
 

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ok, OregonAmy,*begin sarcasm* I just wanted to point out the true horror of the dairy industry: they make cows prison gay, that was not what God wanted. And just thinking of the majority of cows giving birth so many times and still being virgins, if that doesn't make someone wanna give up milk, I don't know what does.*end sarcasm*
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>faded_amaranth</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
ok, OregonAmy, I just wanted to point out the true horror of the dairy industry: they make cows prison gay, that was not what God wanted. And just thinking of the majority of cows giving birth so many times and still being virgins, if that doesn't make someone wanna give up milk, I don't know what does.</div>
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That doesn't do it for me and what part of a male cow shoving his penis in a female cow is gay?<br><br><br><br>
If you want to go the God route I think the God of Abraham explicitly gave permission to raise domestic animals for food.
 

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No, I didn't meant the cow and bull. Most dairy farms (from what I learned in my ag class anyway) don't have bulls, they use AI, so the cows become sexually frustrated and cows will mount other cow, I see it every day. I meant the cow on cow action as something God wouldn't want, not raising animals for food use. Sorry for my poor attempt a sarcasm.
 

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I've wondered about this same thing myself. As a kid, we'd visit my step-uncle's farm in Oklahoma every summer, and the cows' living conditions didn't seem bad to me. I've driven up the California coast and seen miles and miles of cows (steers?) grazing the green hills, looking just like the "Happy Cows" commercials. It's not what I expected.
 

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Thats the point of this thread. Reconciling the thousands or tens of thousands of dairy cows in good conditions visible along all of these roads. And we know the ones in Tillamook county are providing milk for a very large corporation. None of this meshes with the notion that only a handful of small operations let cows graze.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>faded_amaranth</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
ok, OregonAmy, I just wanted to point out the true horror of the dairy industry: they make cows prison gay, that was not what God wanted. And just thinking of the majority of cows giving birth so many times and still being virgins, if that doesn't make someone wanna give up milk, I don't know what does.</div>
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Huh? this post didn't make sense to me.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>amaranth</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
And just thinking of the majority of cows giving birth so many times and still being virgins, if that doesn't make someone wanna give up milk, I don't know what does.</div>
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A guy I know who was vegan while I was still a lowly l/o vegetarian tried to get me to become vegan by saying that milk was cow excretions and honey was bee vomit. I'm not sure if I would've switched with your description of these cows giving birth over and over. If my friend had just told me that dairy cows get slaughtered and mutilated when they don't keep up to the dairy farmer's expectations then I would've been vegan (well sans milk anyway) long ago. If I had to watch that just once it would've been enough to make me switch instantly. I think PETA should focus more on the slaughtering of the dairy cows and less on the conditions (althought that is also very important).<br><br><br><br>
If I could get milk from a Hare Krishna farm (where none of the cattle are slaughtered) I might consider milk but I really don't see the need for it. All these other "nice" dairy farms aren't so nice (as alluded to in the OP):<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>OregonAmy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
(and yes, I'm sure there are still the issues with the veal industry, selling dairy cows to slaughterhouses, etc).</div>
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<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>~Wonder</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Plus if you think about it, for all the dairy that's produced in this country <b>it wouldn't be economical to have all the cows out standing in a field happily humping.</b> PeTA might be dramatic, but I don't think they're very far from the truth.</div>
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It would be interesting to know how many dairy farms let their cows graze in the field. The dairy industry is like any industry and money talks. It takes time (and ultimately money) to let the cows out and in for milking and the dairy farms that don't allow that would probably be making more money. More money means they can lower prices and drive the "nice" dairy farms out of business. Efficiency is a key to business so whatever lowers costs would almost be inevitable. And these farmers who are willing to sell their cows to slaughterhouses wouldn't necessarily be above allowing other harm (all-day stalls) to their products. I think there are actually laws in some parts of Europe (perhaps Sweden?) that ban factory dairy farms. But like I say, for me that's only a part of the issue.<br><br><br><br>
I wonder though: if Tillamook can make money with their cows in the field why would these other farms put them into stalls all day? It's like these Tillamook people have at least some concern for the cattle and those other companies don't care at all. Does Tillamook advertise their milk as "free-range" or something like that?
 

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Tillamook is somewhat different from a lot of operations, being a farmer-owned cooperative. It is by no means representative of the state of Big Dairy, which isn't to say you won't find other cows grazing on pasture.<br><br><br><br>
I see all manner of cows lining the highway in Missouri between Kansas City and the Ozarks, but they are just the tip of a very big iceberg.<br><br><br><br>
ETA: The cows could be raised as big, sweet pets, and I'd still abstain from dairy. Now that I've learned it isn't necessary for my health, and can actually be unhealthy in certain respects, I'm happier without it.
 

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You're describing the difference between factory farming and free range. I definately think free range is better but there are still plenty of ways for cows to be treated cruely by free range farmers, and that's not taking the fact that their calves are taken from them and that they're eventually killed into account, as you mentioned.<br><br><br><br>
You probably did see a bull and a cow having sex. In New Zealand the first time cows (heifers) get pregnant to an actual bull because it's cheaper than artificial insemination and the farmer usually doesn't intend to keep the heifers calves anyway because they tend to be smaller than the calves of the older cows. What they'll do is get the heifers in calf to a bull who is a small breed and will therefore produce a small calf which is easy for the first time calvers (who are still smaller than the older cows) to give birth to. A farmer will also often use a bull on any cows who don't get in calf after a couple of times using artificial insemination because they won't want to keep the 'late' calves anyway, as they will also be smaller in the end than those calves born early in the season. So again it doesn't matter about the calf, so they don't spend money using AI.
 
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