Goat dairy industry vs. cow dairy industry

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Is the goat dairy industry as bad the cow dairy industry?
I'm asking for information to explain to my parents that the goat industry is just as bad as the cow Industry
(I've taken a tour of a goat farm - LaClare Farm- and the goats are kept in such small stalls their whole life. It's horrendous.)
Thank you in advance
 

rogerjolly

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There is generally not a great deal of difference in animal welfare concerns about commercial cow milk production and that of commercial goat milk. Goat herds are usually much smaller than cattle herds so it has been argued that there is a closer relationship between animal and keeper so a goat might be better off than a cow. This would be especially true of a small local producer but of course that is not how goat milk reaches the supermarket shelves.

There are laws about the treatment of animals. Boundaries are set and that is what makes people think that eating meat and dairy is ethically acceptable.

But vegans understand that for every herd of milking goats there was once an equal number of male kids who were unwanted and met a very nasty early end. We believe it is morally wrong to deliberately bring life into the world with the intention of snuffing it out when there is absolutely no need to do so.

We also believe that we can lead much healthier lives and do the planet much less harm.

Roger.
 

TofuRobot

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The only milk we need is human milk, until the time we are weaned, which around the world is advised to be anywhere from at least a year to 3+ yrs or more. I developed a distaste for milk in my 20s, but I continued to eat cheese. There's no logical sense in that, I know, but I did. Now I just don't get it at all. The entire idea of consuming milk from another species is so absurd it's ridiculous (is that redundant?). I mean - if you're literally starving on a desert island with a goat - sure. Better than eating the goat, for sure. ;)
 

Forest Nymph

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Actually I'm aware of several local goat farms in Northern California and I must say they are run much more "humanely" than most cattle farms I'm aware of. Of course I live in a county known for its dairy and the cows also run around in the grass here, we don't have factory farms.

A key difference with goats is that it's not profitable to single out the males to be sold as veal, and also goats can be made "useful" in a non-violent way, old goats and young male goats will happily munch on blackberry brambles and otherwise serve as an apparently oblivious living lawn mower. I know of one goat farm specifically that refuses to slaughter any of their goats or sell them for slaughter, and they've been goat farming for like 100 years.

On the other hand, I'm aware that a very famous prominent local goat dairy sources its chevre from their own well cared for stock, but some of their hard cheeses involve milk production from other farms, which makes me question what sort of treatment those other goats are getting.

From an environmental perspective, goat farming is far less damaging. From an animal rights perspective, I would say in some but not all cases the goats are treated better. Adult female goats are milked a grand total of two minutes per day, one minute in the morning and one in the evening - it really doesn't seem remotely comparable to the horrors I've viewed in the cattle industry, but of course as a vegan you'd avoid all animal products.
 
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rogerjolly

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A key difference with goats is that it's not profitable to single out the males to be sold as veal
This may have once been true. It was often standard practice to drown male kids at birth rather like unwanted kittens. If any were kept it would be for home consumption.

Certainly in the UK in the last few decades there has been a step change in goat meat production originally kick started by an “ethnic” market for halal meats. Here is an advert from last month:

Kid Goat Whole – Small 6-7 kg Gross (cut into pieces) Available 27th November £110.00

The financial rationale of a goat keeper is this: If I keep a male kid through the summer it will initially take milk that I could have sold. Then it will graze on what could otherwise be eaten by a milk producing goat. I have to calculate if the profit from the meat is greater or less than the money I could make instead from the milk. I certainly cannot keep males through the winter because I would have the expense of buying in feed for no increased future return.

The key thing for us to remember is this: If you drink any kind of animal milk you are supporting the deliberate killing of animals whether it be when they are newly born, a few months old or past their milking prime.

Roger.
 
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mavrick45

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The key thing for us to remember is this: If you drink any kind of animal milk you are supporting the deliberate killing of animals whether it be when they are newly born, a few months old or past their milking prime.
quoted for truth!
 
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Lou

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Semi-unrelated.

Last summer there was a twitter storm when a NYC subway line was stopped to get some goats off the track.
Happy ending, the goats were unharmed and "rescued". And taken to a Sanctuary Farm. I think they had concluded that the goats had escaped from an area where they employed to eat weeds and clear brush.

I read somewhere that even this apparently benign use of goats wasn't totally benign. That goats employed this way often suffered from health issues.

I think this link will take you to the relevant tweets.
Some good photos and lots of bad puns.
https://twitter.com/NYCTSubway/status/1031562440251793409
 
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TofuRobot

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Semi-unrelated.

Last summer there was a twitter storm when a NYC subway line was stopped to get some goats off the track.
Happy ending, the goats were unharmed and "rescued". And taken to a Sanctuary Farm. I think they had concluded that the goats had escaped from an area where they employed to eat weeds and clear brush.

I read somewhere that even this apparently benign use of goats wasn't totally benign. That goats employed this way often suffered from health issues.

I think this link will take you to the relevant tweets.
Some good photos and lots of bad puns.
https://twitter.com/NYCTSubway/status/1031562440251793409
They use a herd of goats where I live for that very purpose. Our hills are very prone to fires. People love them - when you do see them, they all seem well cared for and healthy. But to be honest, I don't think anyone asks about their well-being outside of their intended purpose, or if there are 'casualties' of this practice. I'm sure if you did, everyone would say they were wonderfully well looked after, and honestly, if one were to question the ethics of it all in a public forum, no doubt there would be a lot of backlash as many people vividly remember a fire not long ago that destroyed a bunch of homes, and more that were destroyed in the aftermath during mudslides. Personally I am not sure how I feel about it. It does seem rather "benign," as you say. Thought I don't know what the goats do/where they go in the 'off seasons.'
 

Lou

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I don't know what the goats do/where they go in the 'off seasons.'
I think the particular herd of goats that experienced health issues had been used to clear weeds in an urban setting. (maybe along a railroad track). I imagine there may have been some noxious weeds like a thistle but maybe even more important there was probably garbage. and if you ever been around goats you know how discerning they are about what they eat. :)
 

Lou

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I can't blame my Google News Feed on this one. It is local news in the SF Chron.

Big Goat Heist in Morgan Hill yesterday.

This guy has a landscaping firm and had a herd of 250 goats in an abandoned driving range. He left them overnight behind an electric fence and with his 120-pound Anatolian shepherd guard dog.

The thieves struck at night and got away with 60 of the goats. The dog " was waiting happily by the gate .... as if nothing had happened to the flock."

The owner of the herd seems like a good guy.
"His biggest worry, though, is that his beloved goats, many of which he has named, will somehow find their way into a slaughterhouse.
“One of the biggest things people want them for is meat, and that’s my concern,” he said. “Don’t take them to the butcher, please.”

Link to full article below. the article has some good goat pictures too.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/a...ontent=newsletter&utm_campaign=sfc_morningfix
 
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Forest Nymph

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This may have once been true. It was often standard practice to drown male kids at birth rather like unwanted kittens. If any were kept it would be for home consumption.

Certainly in the UK in the last few decades there has been a step change in goat meat production originally kick started by an “ethnic” market for halal meats. Here is an advert from last month:

Kid Goat Whole – Small 6-7 kg Gross (cut into pieces) Available 27th November £110.00

The financial rationale of a goat keeper is this: If I keep a male kid through the summer it will initially take milk that I could have sold. Then it will graze on what could otherwise be eaten by a milk producing goat. I have to calculate if the profit from the meat is greater or less than the money I could make instead from the milk. I certainly cannot keep males through the winter because I would have the expense of buying in feed for no increased future return.

The key thing for us to remember is this: If you drink any kind of animal milk you are supporting the deliberate killing of animals whether it be when they are newly born, a few months old or past their milking prime.

Roger.
Well I know two of these goat farms here in California really don't kill their goats. It varies by farm obviously.

We aren't big on promoting halal in the US. The first time I saw a woman in a full face cover burqa on the street in LA I nearly screamed, it actually frightened me, not because I think Muslims are terrorists but because that extreme form of Islam that covers women's entire faces is creepy and sexist, and she looked like a character in Medieval horror fairy tale. My point is we just don't have the market for it here. Part of the reason that lady's costume frightened me is because there just aren't that many Muslims in the US that aren't moderate.

I think a bigger issue here is Kosher slaughter.
 

Forest Nymph

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I can't blame my Google News Feed on this one. It is local news in the SF Chron.

Big Goat Heist in Morgan Hill yesterday.

This guy has a landscaping firm and had a herd of 250 goats in an abandoned driving range. He left them overnight behind an electric fence and with his 120-pound Anatolian shepherd guard dog.

The thieves struck at night and got away with 60 of the goats. The dog " was waiting happily by the gate .... as if nothing had happened to the flock."

The owner of the herd seems like a good guy.
"His biggest worry, though, is that his beloved goats, many of which he has named, will somehow find their way into a slaughterhouse.
“One of the biggest things people want them for is meat, and that’s my concern,” he said. “Don’t take them to the butcher, please.”

Link to full article below. the article has some good goat pictures too.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/a...ontent=newsletter&utm_campaign=sfc_morningfix
These people sound experienced in taking animals. Could this actually be Animal Liberation Front? It would explain why the goats aren't showing up anywhere for resale.

I feel bad for the guy though. He doesn't want the goats slaughtered and was running a small eco business.
 

Lou

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I think it's more likely that it was goat rustlers. There are all kinds of criminals nowadays. (some are even Presidents).

A few months ago I posted a story about bee rustlers. They snuck in one night and stole a whole tractor trailer of hives. The thieves were eventually caught. They were Russian mobsters. ( I think there might be a script in there somewhere. Matt Damon and Jenifer Lawrence could play the poor beekeepers. Joe Viterelli could be the mobster. )

I feel bad for the guy, too. As far as animal exploitation goes, this seemed pretty minimal. Anybody who names his goats can't be all bad. Sounds like the goats were just there to clear brush. I don't know the story with the abandoned driving range but I've seen goatherds "working" below power lines and keeping fire breaks clear.

However, if most of his goats were females, one has to wonder what happened to the males.
 
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