Got Milk? A Disturbing Look at the Dairy Industry

AlterNet - By Tara Lohan
Most dairy enthusiasts would be horrified to know the conditions cows endure and how closely dairies are tied to veal operations and the rest of the meat industry.
January 26, 2010  | The bucolic scene of Holsteins grazing on a grassy hill that adorns milk cartons and cheese wrappers is nothing more than fantasy these days. While the meat industry has come under intensive scrutiny (and with good reason) for the massive factory farm system of
raising cattle in confinement, animals in the dairy industry are arguably worse
Eating milk, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, and other dairy yumminess is impossible to do with a clear conscience -- and I'm not referring to the fat or cholesterol. Calves born into the industrial grip of today's dairy industry have a road ahead of them that is short, but not merciful. Dairy cows
are subject to brutal conditions before being sent to slaughter for beef and
male calves are worth next to nothing in the dairy business. Some are simply
left to die after birth. Many are slaughtered for low-grade "bob veal" a few
days after they are born and will end up as cheap hot dogs or dog

While a small number of dairies are bucking the industrial trend, the vast majority of dairy products we eat come from factories that are nothing
short of horrific in many cases.
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I just want to stop eating.... Can we exist on supplements alone? Good grief. Maybe I just need to become a farmer? Grow my own food, humanely own a few egg laying chickens, and give up on dairy altogether...

I do remember well the '60s when so many young people were heading 'back to the land', living in communes, living off the grid, and attempting to learn how to live harmoniously with nature, while abandoning corporate consumerism. Sadly few communes survived, and most returned to live their lives within the 'system' they tried so hard to escape from.

New 'green' communities are again popping up around the US, using solar and wind energy to heat/cool and power their homes, compost their waste, garden, determined to keep their carbon-footprint as low as possible. Check out this discussion, Off the Grid and Thriving! where one couple has taken the leap...
I'm too old to become a farmer, and too accustomed to some of my creature comforts to take on such an huge enterprise, but I do admire those who are young and willing enough to give it a go.
Try going to a local dairy farm where you can see the cows and the environment they live in.


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