As I was skimming through my facebook newsfeed today, I saw this picture and the video below and felt the urge to write about the "dairy" topic. I have not been dairy-free my whole life (although many times I wish I had) and the choice to go vegan over a year ago came about from researching the ill effects dairy has on the body and seeing the cruelty inflicted upon the animals in this industry.
One question that pops into my mind is what brought us to drinking milk in the first place - we are the only mammals on the planet that drink the milk of another species. How did that happen? To read more about theories about this check out How Grok Got Milk. At this point now, I believe dairy has become such a household tradition that we don't even question its consumption. And when you have billions of dollars being spent on this industry and doctors touting how good it is for us, why would we? This video sheds a bit more light on this, too.
But what if the tables were turned? Here is a hypothetical for you:
What if a woman gave birth to a baby and it was immediately taken from her. What would we call that, kidnapping? The woman, now distraught, is hooked up to a machine that will pump the milk from her breasts that will then be manufactured and given to another animal species. Can we even imagine such a horrific scene? Now, what if I told you the baby was a boy and it was taken away and slaughtered. What would we call that, murder? Suppose the baby was a girl and she was locked up in a pin until she was old enough to be impregnated (in reality, raped). What would we call that, slave labor?
In the human world, this type of behavior wold not be tolerated, but in the animal world these types of atrocities happen every day. How can this be considered humane? Animals are also mammals and they have feelings (if you don't believe me, watch the video below). Why shouldn't animals receive the same compassion we show our fellow human beings? And what about the rights of a mother? As a kid, I witnessed first hand the loss an animal feels when it's babies are taken from it. There is no denying the pain and hurt, which is heartbreaking.
But it gets worse. Dairy cows are fed food made with chicken feces and given antibiotics that make them sick, are impregnated again (remember, raped) while they are still lactating (a process that shortens their life spann by 15 to 20 years) and rarely see the light of day. So the picture we have in our minds of cows grazing in the grass is a far cry from reality. But the grass could be greener for cows and other animals if we choose to make different decisions in regards to the foods we purchase and ultimately consume. Do your own research and learn the facts, because the truth will not only enable you, but it will help to set the animals free.
Below are links to documentaries that have been instrumental in helping Andrew and me make the shift to a dairy-free (vegan) lifestyle.
Got the facts on Milk? Documentary
Forks Over Knives Documentary
Genetic Roulette Documentary
"Find out for yourself what is truth, what is real. Discover that there are virtuous things and there are non-virtuous things. Once you have discovered for yourself give up the bad and embrace the good."
~ The Buddha