Monday, July 26, 2010

What about the Happy Cows in California?

Ok, I'll admit it straight away, at this point I knew nothing about the dairy industry, and what went on behind closed doors. I remember years ago arguing with a guy from work (a vegan) about why I thought dairy farms were ok, because in my mind, after a cow gives milk for so long, the cows were put out to pasture, so whats the problem with that?  I remember his answer was not very compelling (rather lame actually like "no way man, they are like killed man"). So now, what little I recently learned would seem to blow away my original ignorant theory.

My wife asked me not long ago some basic questions, such as "how do you think a cows gives milk?" I said, "she has a baby, then produces milk", then I imagined a little calf frolicking in a field, with a smile on its face.  Thats it right?  One baby, and then she can give milk forever. I never thought about it that way.  Is that it?  OK, if she has to have more calf's, do they get a conjugal visit in an out of the way stall?  I imagined some Tom Jones playing, and the Bull give the Cow the come hither look, and one thing leads to another...Ok, I guess I didn't really know.  Thats when I learned that "rape" was a technical term in the dairy industry.  Seriously?  Thats what the call it?  Not too bright.  Come on, couldn't you call it the "Cow Milk Production Enhancement Process".  It is what it is though, no matter what you call it.  Maybe there is more going on here than I really knew about.

Over the coming weeks, I learned more and more, enough I think to reasonably form an opinion, and for the first time in my life I really thought about it when I picked up a gallon of milk.  OK, here is another issue, I have 2 big kids, and an ex-wife, who are not interested in a dietary shift.  Interesting, as I write this, I am recalling a conversation this evening with my son who had ribs for dinner.  Am I noticing what they eat more? Or are they begin fed more meat to vex me? Maybe I'm being paranoid.  Yes, my kids may not cooperate in this endeavor, so I'm still buying Milk, Eggs, Cheese, etc.  My son did eat some TVP based meatballs last Sunday, but he may have noticed.  Thats a story for another day....

So now here I am becoming reasonably educated (those are calves btw), enough so that its starting to make me think.  Like this is no longer really just a diet experiment, but a real shift in my way of thinking, and true blind ignorance being enlightened.  No pats on the back just yet.  I'm just starting, although I've already had my first real encounter where I felt the needed to defend myself, I mentioned the calcium myth, the cruelty, but my wife put it best when she asked me what I think milk is for?  Well its to help a calf put on about 600lbs.  How good can that be for us.  On that note, my friend asked if I subscribed to consuming breast milk, where I had to laugh, and told him. Absolutely!

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