You say I can’t compare dairy with rape? And you’ve seen cows being milked before and they don’t looked terrified for their lives?
Yesterday I received an email essentially stating the two sentences above. And having never walked myself through, as in actually written out, the explicit facts I use to justify a statement as inflammatory as equating the sexual interference of a sentient being to the romantic notion of how it is we actually obtain “our” milk, I thought I’d share my response to that email below.
First off, and most importantly, the animal user industries have been extremely successful at selling us an image they need us to believe in order to conduct business as usual. That’s no mystery. It’s a fact. What is a mystery, figuratively speaking, is everything involved in providing us with “products” without a face or a story. Sadly the image they’re selling and what really goes on do not line up, even remotely, in the same vicinity of each other…
Let’s step back a second. What is rape? My computers dictionary defines it as such. “The crime, committed by a man [which isn’t necessarily always the case in this instance], of forcing another person [or individual] to have sexual intercourse with him without their consent and against their will.” That seems clear enough, right? Remember that. Now that same dictionary also defines sexual intercourse as “sexual contact between individuals involving penetration.” Penetration is the word I’m most interested in.
Now cows are mammals, right? Which means female cows don’t lactate without becoming pregnant and giving birth first. Just as human females don’t. Who are also mammals. Suffice it to say, while the dairy industry prefers us not to make that connection, it’s a natural fact of life. There is no getting around it.
Which effectively means cows must have offspring in order to “give” milk. And here’s where the label of “rape” applies. These days, cows don’t have sex. It’s not efficient enough — and there are too many variables involved (disease, genes, etc.) that could “taint” the final “product” — for the economic demand of milk. They are inseminated. The modern dairy industry use, what the industry themselves call, “rape racks,” to aid what I well imagine is an impossible task of impregnating cows. Apparently you need both hands — err, I mean arms. One in her anus, to position her cervix, while the other is in her vagina, performing the inseminating. Meaning female cows are penetrated into, against their will, while being held as the act of impregnating her is being performed.
These conditions, most definitely, meet the definition of rape.
But, if that wasn’t bad enough, after a mother gives birth to her calf it (more on that in a bit) is taken (read: stolen) in the first day or so from her so it doesn’t drink the “farmers” means to profits. Denying the the mother and baby their most base instincts. I don’t imagine the author of the email I received yesterday has ever seen that. Which explains her comment. And, not only that, but the absurd notion we are somehow doing dairy cows a favour by milking them and consuming their milk. To be fair what I just said wasn’t so much stated as it was assumed by me. Just so we’re clear.
And if the calf is female, she is destined for the exact same servitude as her mother. Providing milk to the only species on planet earth who consumes milk past the point of infancy, and from another species, no less!
But when a dairy cow is spent (which basically means when her bones are depleted of calcium), in about 3 to 6 years approximately (dairy cows live well past 20, normally, by the way), she is carted (as she can barely walk from weakness/illness) off to the slaughter house (which is a whole other and much worse story; read Gail A. Eisnitz’s book Slaughterhouse) to become hamburger.
However, on the other hand, if the calf is a male, luckily he won’t experience much of the suffering his sisters do, and not one bit less tragically, he’s destined for a veal crate (that or immediate slaughter)! You heard me right, without the dairy industry there would be no veal industry. Vegetarian delusions and dollars hard at work.
Is it any wonder, well those willing to admit it of course, why women are still treated differently (read: worse) than men. If this is the way “we,” as a society, exploit females, of a different species, is it really a stretch to assume we, whether consciously or not, might hold females, of the same species, in a similar regard? I don’t think it is. That’s what I say bullocks to.
But before I finish this piece, you’ll notice, I didn’t link any of my assertions to “proof.” Not that proof doesn’t exist. But the online sources I did find referencing the practices I’ve become quite familiar with over the past decade, say — like HumaneMyth.org and Change.org — could be interpreted as me citing biased voices. For the record, while I still didn’t link to the articles I found, I don’t think they are biased. Or, better yet, no less deserving of being cited as proof to what goes on.
Think about it practices such as these are not something the industry wants readily available for people to read about. What goes on in modern day industrial “farming” operations is counter productive towards the very idea of business and profit. Therefore if seeking the truth is what you’re after these sources (you’ll noticed I pluralized source) are pretty much all we have. And, before you say it, I’m not saying this is how all milk operations are carried out, across the board, only the vast majority are. Demand determines production afterall.
Please, don’t take my word for it. Look it up yourself! And if you find something that refutes any or all of what I said, I’d love to see it…
It’s Tuesday May 31st. Just this past Friday, I saw Eli Pariser on Democracy Now! discussing his new book, The Filter Bubble: What the internet is hiding from you. Absurdly interested I thought I’d “read” it via my very first Audiobook. I’m enjoying consuming a “book” in such an accessible format — forgetting, of course, I need a certain amount of understanding, technology and services, which aren’t all that “accessible” themselves, in order to enjoy such an experience.
Speaking of accessibility, you might be wondering, how this is relevant to the post above. Well I asked you to inquire about certain dairy industry practices, in said article, yourself. As it turns out Corporations, such as Google and Facebook, are “personalizing” each of our online experiences to suit our “preferences” (read: what we “click” on). Meaning two people may not see the same two search results/news stories on the exact same services/sites they use/visit. See what I’m getting at? So I’ve gone ahead and amended the above two sources I cited, to the two specific pieces of information I most wanted you to see.
Just when you thought you had enough reason to fear the future…