VeggieBoards banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I had a disagreement with my mom yesterday and I'm left a little confused. It was my understanding that dairy cows only produce milk for only a limited amount of time after bearing each calf (10 months to a year?) and then they would have to give birth to another calf in order to produce milk again. My mom thinks that if a dairy cow gives birth once, they can continue to produce milk indefinitely, as long as they are milked regularly. Therefore, she thinks it is entirely possible to produce humane milk - a calf could nurse as long as needed, then the cow would be milked for a long time after that.<br><br><br><br>
So, my question is, how long can a cow continue to produce milk once the calf has been weaned? Is it true that a dairy cow can be milked for many years without having to give birth to more calves? Sources, please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
it is completely false that dairy cows continue to produce milk after their calf is mature. Dairy cows are artificially kept pregnant at all times to continue their milk production. and there is nothing humane about keeping cows, especially pregnant ones in the confined cages, not able to graze. After the cows give birth, the calf is sent to become veal, so really, the entire process of dairy cows contributes to the meat industry.<br><br>
to answer your question. your mother is wrong. there is nothing humane about the dairy industry, no matter how you look at it.<br><br><br><br>
ps. check out the book Meat Market by erik marcus.<br><br>
thats where i get my snazzy facts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
^<br><br>
what she said!!<br><br><br><br>
check out <a href="http://www.milksucks.co.uk" target="_blank">www.milksucks.co.uk</a>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,670 Posts
According to the University of Guelph, "The period of lactation, or milk production, then continues for an average of 305 days."<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.foodsci.uoguelph.ca/dairyedu/biosynthesis.html" target="_blank">http://www.foodsci.uoguelph.ca/dairy...synthesis.html</a><br><br><br><br>
Basically, as long as a calf would need milk.<br><br><br><br>
It goes on to say that cows produce more milk than calves need, but I'm going to guess that's related to how they've been engineered to do so.<br><br><br><br>
Furthermore, they don't produce milk if there IS no pregnancy and calf.<br><br><br><br>
According to this wikipedia entry (and other sources I've seen), a cow's milk production peaks after about 70 days before declining. It's at this point that cows are bred again (corroborated by the u of guelp link): <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dairy_cattle" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dairy_cattle</a><br><br><br><br>
Please note this info is from non-veg sites.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,981 Posts
My father in law is a dairy farmer who treats his cows very well. However, when the cows no longer produce milk he sells them to a slaughterhouse. Dairy cows are turned into meat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. I'm wondering if the cow's milk production declining is a result of her pregnancy? I've known human nursing mothers who became pregnant while nursing and noticed a distinct decline in their milk production - it would make sense that it would be the same in cows. I wonder what a cow's milk production would look like if they had one calf and were milked and not impregnanted for a long time after that? Like the old-world "family cow" thing? I know that some mothers nurse their children for 2, 3, 4 years, even beyond. Right now I'm still nursing my 16-month-old. As long as I continue nursing, I will still have milk supply for him.<br><br><br><br>
I know that most dairy farming in this country is an awful business. I have no intention of ever supporting it again. Even the most humane dairy I ever found in my supermarket (Organic Valley) takes the calves away from their mothers at 5 days of age. This is more of a philosophical question - could it ever be humane to take milk from a cow? In the days when families nurtured and loved their dairy cow, who sustained them through harsh winters, was that wrong?<br><br><br><br>
My mom and I got started on this discussion because we will be traveling to South Africa for a few weeks to visit my sister, and she was asking if our family will still be vegan during that time. When I replied that we would, she asked what we knew about South African farming methods and why we were opposed to them. Honestly, I don't know the first thing about them. I posted a question about this on the South Africa thread and was told that the country still has mostly small family farms.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, I'm rambling...but I'm trying to get to the root of my reason for being vegan. Initially it was a response to learning about the attrocities of modern farming methods. Then, for awhile, I thought I could in good conscience support free-range, organic farms. But then I found out that even with these farms there is the problem of the calf being taken away from its mother (or in the case of egg production, the male chicks being "disposed of"). So, now I'm just trying to figure out whether taking milk from a cow is inherently a cruel practice, in all cases, or if there are times when it can be kind and humane. If we are invited into a South African home for dinner, and we refuse to eat any dairy products in addition to our refusal to eat meat, I want to be sure that we really have a good reason for it, and that we're not unreasonably extending our boycott of American animal products to a country that treats their animals humanely.<br><br><br><br>
Whew...I hope that made some sense!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
I grew up on a small family dairy farm. Even on small farms I saw many things that one could consider "inherently cruel." If you read some of my other posts, you can read specific examples of the things I observed while I lived on the farm.<br><br><br><br>
I don't know about other countries, but in the US the cows are inseminated to <i>prevent</i> the reduction of milk. If they don't continue to give birth, then the milk production will significantly decrease or cease altogether within a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jojob1969</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I grew up on a small family dairy farm. Even on small farms I saw many things that one could consider "inherently cruel." If you read some of my other posts, you can read specific examples of the things I observed while I lived on the farm.<br><br><br><br>
I don't know about other countries, but in the US the cows are inseminated to <i>prevent</i> the reduction of milk. If they don't continue to give birth, then the milk production will significantly decrease or cease altogether within a year.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Thank you. I just read one of your previous threads where you talk extensively about your past experiences. Thank you so much for sharing that - it really helps. As a nursing mother myself, it just hits me so hard everytime I hear about calves being taken away from their mothers. I can imagine what those mothers must go through, and their poor innocent babies... If that is an inherent reality of dairy farming everywhere - calves being taken away - then I don't think there's any more question about what I should do!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,670 Posts
colorful, the stuff i read while locating those links indicated that the cows are impregnated at that particular point precisely BECAUSE that's when their production begins to decline.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top