Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Cows?

Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Cows?
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Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Cows?

Is Dairy Farming Merciless to Cows?

Stephen Larson, a lawyer for the Dick Van Dam Dairy, described the pictures as staged or are taken out of context. Earlier this month, a decide dismissed a lawsuit in opposition to the farm filed by one other animal rights group, saying it lacked standing. “The accusation that they mistreated their cows is one thing that cuts the Van Dam household very deeply, as a result of the reality is that they’ve all the time, for generations, cared about and cared for all of their cows,” Mr. Larson mentioned.

Dairy trade specialists and farmers who’ve seen the footage expressed revulsion and mentioned the abuses depicted weren’t the norm. “These movies make each dairy farmer and veterinarian sick to their abdomen as a result of we all know the overwhelming majority of farmers would by no means do such issues to their cows,” mentioned Dr. Carie Telgen, president of the American Affiliation of Bovine Practitioners.

The trouble to show Individuals in opposition to dairy is gaining traction at a time when most of the nation’s farms are struggling to show a revenue. Milk consumption has dropped by 40 p.c since 1975, a pattern that’s accelerating as extra individuals embrace oat and almond milk. Over the previous decade, 20,000 dairy farms have gone out of enterprise, representing a 30 p.c decline, based on the Division of Agriculture. And the coronavirus pandemic has pressured some producers to dump unsold milk down the drain as demand from college lunch applications and eating places dried up.

Throughout his Academy Awards speech final February for finest actor, Joaquin Phoenix drew rousing applause when he urged viewers to reject dairy merchandise.

“We really feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she provides beginning we steal her child, despite the fact that her cries of anguish are unmistakable,” he mentioned, his voice cracking with emotion. “After which we take her milk that’s meant for the calf and we put it in our espresso and cereal.”

The Nationwide Milk Producers Federation, which represents many of the nation’s dairy 35,000 dairy farmers, has been making an attempt to go off the souring public sentiment by selling higher animal welfare amongst its members. Which means encouraging extra frequent veterinarian farm visits, requiring low-wage staff to bear common coaching on humane cow dealing with, and the phasing out of tail docking — the once-ubiquitous observe of eradicating a cow’s tail.

“I don’t assume you’ll discover farmers on the market who should not making an attempt their finest to reinforce the care and welfare of their animals,” mentioned Emily Yeiser Stepp, who runs the federation’s 12-year-old animal care initiative. “That mentioned, we will’t be tone-deaf to shoppers’ values. We’ve got to do higher, and provides them a motive to remain within the dairy aisle.”

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