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Cows: Foodprint

CausesRising demand for dairy and beef

Foodprint on cowsConfinement, Toxic living conditions, Denial of natural behavior, Chronic Diseases, Psychological disorders, Male calf genocide, Mutilations, Abuses during transport & slaughter

Most people consider milk to be vegetarian, but a dairy cow is amongst the worst abused animals in factory farms. She is typically tied to a single spot for her entire life, where she stands and lies down in her own urine and feces. To increase milk productivity, she is artificially impregnated within a few months of having given birth, resulting in her body being either in a pregnant or lactating state for the majority of her life.

Her body is overburdened due to being constantly pregnant or lactating, the use of unnatural feed stocks / growth hormones / antibiotics, unhygienic living conditions and the unnaturally high levels of milking. This results in most dairy cows being so sick and exhausted by the age of 5-6 years (compared to a natural lifespan of 20+ years), that they are considered spent and sent for slaughter.

Male calves are the forgotten victims of the dairy industry. Being of no use for milk production, he is either starved, abandoned or sent for slaughter. An extremely cruel, yet widely followed practice, involves starving the male calf to death in front of his mother, as it is believed to help increase milk productivity.

Did you know?

Cows are intelligent and social animals, who in natural surroundings form well-defined hierarchy based social groups of 100's of other animals. Maternal bonds are very strong in cows, and calves will not leave their mothers for the first 4-6 months of their life.

  • A dairy cows is typically tied to a single spot for most of her life, with little space to movement or exercise. Poor sanitation leads to cows lying in their own urine and dung. The unhygienic conditions and lack of movement cause painful diseases of the hoof, joints and udder. Source: ourfoodprint.com investigation
    A dairy cows is typically tied to a single spot for most of her life, with little space to movement or exercise. Poor sanitation leads to cows lying in their own urine and dung. The unhygienic conditions and lack of movement cause painful diseases of the hoof, joints and udder. Source: ourfoodprint.com investigation
  • To prevent calves from drinking too much of their mother's milk, calves are tied at a short distance and denied access to their mother's.  It is believed that as the calf cries out of hunger, the anxious mother generates more milk (an yield improvement process). Source: ourfoodprint.com investigation
    To prevent calves from drinking too much of their mother's milk, calves are tied at a short distance and denied access to their mother's. It is believed that as the calf cries out of hunger, the anxious mother generates more milk (an yield improvement process). Source: ourfoodprint.com investigation
  • The male calf is a useless by-product for the dairy industry. He is either starved, abandoned or sent to slaughter. The picture shows a dead male calf, who was starved to death in front of it's mother (again to help boost milk yields) at a tabela in Varanasi, India. Picture source: Julie O'neil blog
    The male calf is a useless by-product for the dairy industry. He is either starved, abandoned or sent to slaughter. The picture shows a dead male calf, who was starved to death in front of it's mother (again to help boost milk yields) at a tabela in Varanasi, India. Picture source: Julie O'neil blog
  • Cows are artificially inseminated within a few months of having given birth. A dairy cows body is under consistent strain, being constantly in a pregnant or lactating state, unnatural feedstocks, growth hormones & antibiotics and unnaturally high levels of milking. Picture source: PETA India
    Cows are artificially inseminated within a few months of having given birth. A dairy cows body is under consistent strain, being constantly in a pregnant or lactating state, unnatural feedstocks, growth hormones & antibiotics and unnaturally high levels of milking. Picture source: PETA India
  • Modern dairy farms use assembly line milking stations for automated milking of cows. These machines often continue to run, even once all the milk has been drained, causing damage & injuries to the cows udders. Picture source: Gowardhan dairy, India
    Modern dairy farms use assembly line milking stations for automated milking of cows. These machines often continue to run, even once all the milk has been drained, causing damage & injuries to the cows udders. Picture source: Gowardhan dairy, India
  • Dairy cows suffer from a range of painful diseases, including Mastitis (inflammation of the udder), Milk fever (due to calcium deficiencies), Laminitis (due to unnatural feedstocks) and Learned helplessness (a psychological reaction to their living conditions). Picture source: web commons
    Dairy cows suffer from a range of painful diseases, including Mastitis (inflammation of the udder), Milk fever (due to calcium deficiencies), Laminitis (due to unnatural feedstocks) and Learned helplessness (a psychological reaction to their living conditions). Picture source: web commons
  • Cows transported by truck are crammed in so tightly, that most cows do not have more than an inch to move over long journeys. They are forced to remain standing in a single position, over all kinds of road and weather conditions. Picture source: PFA
    Cows transported by truck are crammed in so tightly, that most cows do not have more than an inch to move over long journeys. They are forced to remain standing in a single position, over all kinds of road and weather conditions. Picture source: PFA
  • Cows are made to stand in accumulated blood, excreta and organs, and watch helplessly and terrified, as their companions are slaughtered in front of them. Cows are slaughtered by cutting the jugular vein and are often dismembered and skinned, before losing consciousness.  Picture source: outfootprint investigation
    Cows are made to stand in accumulated blood, excreta and organs, and watch helplessly and terrified, as their companions are slaughtered in front of them. Cows are slaughtered by cutting the jugular vein and are often dismembered and skinned, before losing consciousness. Picture source: outfootprint investigation
  • In modern 'processing' units, cows are hung upside down on conveyor lines, and shot in the head with a captive bolt gun that is meant to stun them, prior to having their necks slit. Often stunning is not done correctly, leading to some cows having their body parts cut off while being fully conscious. Picture source: web commons
    In modern 'processing' units, cows are hung upside down on conveyor lines, and shot in the head with a captive bolt gun that is meant to stun them, prior to having their necks slit. Often stunning is not done correctly, leading to some cows having their body parts cut off while being fully conscious. Picture source: web commons