The escalating rate of violence and abuse to the animal world and aquatic lives is on the rise, as a result of which, climate change, ecological crisis and environmental pollution are threatening the entire human race, making it a matter of grave concern, especially for those who are conscientiously aware. Those who are slumbering in ignorance do not realize that when any life is threatened, other lives are also at risk. It is all very well to say that an individual must wrestle with his or her conscience, but only if his or her conscience is awake and informed. Industrial society, alas, hides animals’ suffering and does not allow the conscience to be awakened.
Indian Dairy Industry
Today, the cows and buffaloes used for dairy in India also go through the same alarming fate as their counterparts in western countries, becoming milking machines for human beings.
The cows and buffaloes are kept pregnant every year for 6 to 7 years consecutively via artificial insemination.
As soon as a cow stops yielding milk, she is sent to the slaughterhouse for beef meat.
Newborn calves are deprived of the mothers’ milk that is rightfully theirs. They are fattened by hormone injections and kept in dark sheds, away from sunlight and in oppressive conditions, preparing them to become veal meat.
A cow’s milk is intended for her calf but is usually consumed by human beings. To obtain 1 litre (approximately 1.75 pints) of milk, 2,000 litres of water are used, depleting the water resources in the country.
The conclusion is that dairy farming inflicts unacceptable and unavoidable pain and suffering on cows and their calves.
To counteract this violence against these voiceless animals, great seers have reiterated again and again the importance of love and compassion. That is why since time immemorial, the core teaching of Sarva Dharma (all religions) remains Ahinsa, and that is why all its practitioners are vegetarians consuming no meat, fish, fowl, poultry, seafood or eggs.
In the olden days, people used to drink milk because the milk-giving animals were raised and treated as family members, where the babies were allowed to suckle the milk of their mother and were not separated from their mothers. They were allowed to graze freely in the pastures and were not confined to pens where they could not move freely.
But today, the story is very different. The extensive abuse caused to the dairy animals and the torturous lives of dairy cows and their calves have changed the idealistic image of the past. Knowing this has encouraged and inspired individuals to take one step forward to join those millions all over the world to adopt a vegan life style.
It is now time to remove the myth and face the truth so that one can see how much suffering is involved in one glass of milk. Each sip contains growth hormones, fat, cholesterol, allergenic proteins, blood, pus, antibiotic, bacteria and virus.
To keep producing milk for human consumption, a cow must produce a calf each year. In order to keep a steady supply of milk, the cows are repeatedly impregnated.
Although cows would naturally make only enough milk to meet the needs of their calves (around 16 pounds a day), genetic manipulation, antibiotics, and bovine growth hormones (BGH) are used to force each cow to produce more than 18,000 pounds of milk a year (an average of 50 pounds a day) (National Agriculture Statistics Service, 2004 Feb 17, “Milk Production”. US Department of Agriculture). The hormones adversely affect the cows’ health and increase the rate of birth defects in their calves. BGH may also increase the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer in humans.
Several times a day, cows are hooked by their udders to electronic milking machines, which can cause the cows to suffer electrical shocks, painful lesions and mastitis. Their udders become sore and heavy with the milking machines and often touch the floor.
Some spend their entire lives standing on concrete floors; others are crammed into massive mud lots.
Cows have a natural lifespan of about 20 to 25 years and can produce milk for 8 or 9 years. But the stress caused by factory farm conditions leads to disease, lameness and reproductive problems that render cows worthless to the dairy industry by the time they are 4 or 5 years old, at which time they are sent to the slaughterhouse.
Credits : PETA India