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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Raising chickens and dairy cows humanely is a HUGE step in the right direction, and I certainly prefer supporting these egg and dairy farms over the agribusiness giants. However, I fully recognize that animals in the humane farming industry--the males in particular--still do not fare well. Even if they are spared from early slaughter and allowed to live in natural, healthy environments, they'll still end up being slaughtered later and sold as commodities. And for all I know, the calves are still taken away from their mothers at birth, and the males are either sold as veal or slaughtered after they reach maturity.

I'm considering a transition into veganism because I simply cannot feel good about supporting the non-meat animal industry as it currently exists. As I said, organic and humane is great, but in the end, these farms are in it for the profits. Sparing the lives of the males and keeping the babies in the company of their mothers does not make good business sense for them. So veganism is a good, ethical option. However, I have health issues that make me hesitant to make this change at this point in my life.

If I could find a humane, no-kill dairy or egg farm in the central U.S. that sells its products (as opposed to subsistence farming), I think I'd like to support this company. I know there's a no-kill dairy farm in Lawrence, Kansas, but their products come from goats, and I'm not a huge fan of goat milk and goat cheese.

Vegetarians: Do you know of any such businesses in the U.S. or elsewhere? Vegans: What are your thoughts on humane farms that emphasize no-kill principles?
 

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One of the several reasons i wouldn't support these farms is that it seems to me there is a high demand for these products and if i buy some of these products someone else cannot and therefore may end up buying more inhumane products. Also, most people don't have access to these products and i want to show people that it's possible to be happy and healthy without animal products.

If someone is going to eat animal products buying from those types of farms is one of the best options IMO.
 

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Originally Posted by faded_amaranth View Post

One of the several reasons i wouldn't support these farms is that it seems to me there is a high demand for these products and if i buy some of these products someone else cannot and therefore may end up buying more inhumane products.
I totally see your point, and I agree to an extent. But a high demand for no-kill products will also increase the supply of those products, which will in turn make it easier for people to purchase them, rather than the unethical alternatives.

I'd love to eat a completely plant-based diet -- hopefully I'll be able to get to that point.
 

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I realize that not everyone could have this option, but if you really want eggs, chickens are great pets if you have the land to keep them.

I have a rescued pet chicken and often give them to egg eaters or use them in baking. But she only lays in the spring and maybe one a day or every other day. I don't do anything to encourage/discourage it, just let her live life. Her name is Sunshine and she is a great companion. She follows me around when I am working in the garden and likes to sit on my tummy when I am laying in my hammock.

If anyone has the option to have a pet chicken, they are great and you have the bonus of eggs and you know they are from happy well cared for chickens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Originally Posted by syzygy View Post

I realize that not everyone could have this option, but if you really want eggs, chickens are great pets if you have the land to keep them.

I have a rescued pet chicken and often give them to egg eaters or use them in baking. But she only lays in the spring and maybe one a day or every other day. I don't do anything to encourage/discourage it, just let her live life. Her name is Sunshine and she is a great companion. She follows me around when I am working in the garden and likes to sit on my tummy when I am laying in my hammock.

If anyone has the option to have a pet chicken, they are great and you have the bonus of eggs and you know they are from happy well cared for chickens.
That is so awesome! I was actually talking with my mom about this option this morning, even before I posted on the topic. She wasn't too keen on the idea, but she might come around
 

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This is why I finally decided to stop eating eggs and dairy after over 10 years as lacto-ovo vegetarian. Although I know there are local farms where the animals are treated very well, premature death is still a normal part of the egg and dairy industries. I do think that no-kill farms might exist in the US, but you'd have to research them locally. I live in dairy country, and I couldn't find one.

For chickens, what happens to the male chicks if you buy only females? I think it's still ethically preferable to have a pet chicken as opposed to eating eggs from a farm somewhere where the chickens will be killed when they are older and less productive, but for me it made more sense to just stop eating eggs altogether.

You should know that for dairy cows, the industry uses in vitro fertilization to select the sex and variety of calf they need, so there is less "waste" -- for example, they could pick a female to raise more dairy cows, or a male if they have more demand for beef cattle. I think it is a good thing that dairy isn't necessarily just feeding into veal production, but it is still intertwined with beef production. And, dairy cows are still sold and slaughtered young. The life expectancy of a dairy cow is about 20 years, but the average age of a dairy herd from what I've read is about 4-8 years.

In the UK, there is such a thing as Ahimsa milk, which is no-kill. I think Earthling works there? I would gladly eat Ahimsa dairy, although I'm sure it would be expensive.
 

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You might want to check your city ordinances to see if they have zoning regulations against keeping chickens as pets. Quite a few cities have them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by syzygy View Post

I realize that not everyone could have this option, but if you really want eggs, chickens are great pets if you have the land to keep them.

I have a rescued pet chicken and often give them to egg eaters or use them in baking. But she only lays in the spring and maybe one a day or every other day. I don't do anything to encourage/discourage it, just let her live life. Her name is Sunshine and she is a great companion. She follows me around when I am working in the garden and likes to sit on my tummy when I am laying in my hammock.

If anyone has the option to have a pet chicken, they are great and you have the bonus of eggs and you know they are from happy well cared for chickens.
My girls still lay year round, and will always have a home, whether they lay or not.

I just adopted a rooster. The rescue from which I adopted the Captain has 17 or 18 roosters, all kept together with no problem. They say they've never had a problem with roosters being overly aggressive (other than fightings *****, whom they have not been able to rehabilitate). They have difficulty adopting out roosters, so I may adopt a few more, once the Captain is fully settled in.
 

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You'd have to go to a Hare Krishna dairy. There are a few in the US.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlp View Post

I just adopted a rooster. The rescue from which I adopted the Captain has 17 or 18 roosters, all kept together with no problem. They say they've never had a problem with roosters being overly aggressive (other than fightings *****, whom they have not been able to rehabilitate). They have difficulty adopting out roosters, so I may adopt a few more, once the Captain is fully settled in.
That's very interesting! I don't think I could adopt a rooster at this point, since I live in the city and although maybe they wouldn;t fight excessively with each other, they would still make a racket with their crowing. I'd also be hesitant to keep them in my yard if I weren't out there with them because I've seen hawks in my town at least 3 times.

Anyway: SadieP, I don't know of any dairies that keep all the animals who are born there for their full natural lives. I'm not saying they don't exist; there are Hare Krishna ashrams in my area, but I think they keep all milk produced for their community and have none to spare for sale. They're a whole day's trip away, in any case- too far for me to purchase it on a regular basis.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieP View Post

Vegans: What are your thoughts on humane farms that emphasize no-kill principles?
As I've argued many times: if I wanted to buy animal products, I would find it difficult to find any place that I could really trust. I would need to know the people personally; the people would really need to keep the animals more as pets or as rescues; I would maybe have to visit the place in person and spend some time there, if I truly wanted to be sure that the use/selling of those animals' products would not lead to neglectfulness.

I mean, hell, even people who have companion animals just for companionship still often end up neglecting them, not understanding their species-specific needs, not giving adequate veterinary care, not providing enough social interaction (this applies especially to dogs in families with children), and so on. Enter monetary profit into this equation and yeah, I'd need to observe the operation closely to see how sustainable it is.

That being said, of course a no-kill policy is great and a vast improvement over mainstream animal agriculture. Or rather, it is not great, it is an ethical requirement and necessary condition for any kind of ethically sustainable operation.
 

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read this!!! it will explain alot Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement - Gary Francione

and

Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge Applied Ethics) - Lori Gruen
 

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Slaughter-free, Eco Dairy Farm

Check out Gita Nagari Eco Farm based in Port Royal, PA, they are ethical and committed to the best care for the lovely animals on their farm. They are a no-kill farm and the quality of their dairy is top-notch. They will ship anywhere in the US.
 

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Check out Gita Nagari Eco Farm based in Port Royal, PA, they are ethical and committed to the best care for the lovely animals on their farm. They are a no-kill farm and the quality of their dairy is top-notch. They will ship anywhere in the US.
A big improvement, but expensive! Their milk costs $14 per gallon! https://gnecofarm.org/milk-subscriptions/

Calcium-fortified soymilk is only about half that price.
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Very interesting to learn about no-kill farms, thank you for sharing this, although seems like they are very rare.

Still, milk from these no kill places has to be better than others, but....

I am still a little skeptical. How long are they in retirnment vs how many years or producing?

If the cows have to be pregnant every year to produce milk, and all the calves are kept, wouldn't the population growth be exponential? How do they deal with this fundamental issue?

Wouldn't it be in the financial interests of the company that the male cows and older female cows die? Even if they don't kill them themselves, how might that effect the quality of life, quality of food, and level of medical attention they get? Ethical concerns and financial concerns are clearly at odds here - never a good sign.
 

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Just reading about the ahimsa dairy farm in the UK and it was said that non-dairy producing cows are "put to work". I guess that if they can make the cows work in their retirement (or when male), that could offfset some of the losses from taking care of them. I am not sure exactly how that works though.
 
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