Murder free milk is a myth?

Alexnt

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I was wondering is it possible to produce dairy without killing? Are there any examples of that?
 

Jamie in Chile

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Yes, it is possible to produce dairy without killing. The killing inherent in the dairy industry is not necessary to produce the product.

However, in practice, there is nearly always killing as far as I know. It doesn't make economic sense to keep caring for a cow into old age and so I think the cows are usually killed for meat once their milk production declines. If you buy milk from supermarket or other mainstream sources or local shops or any major brand it will likelybe such a situation.

It may be possible to find a small dairy that looks after the animals until they die of old age, or an educational farm that has children/family visits that does that same thing and also sells milk. I don't have any specific examples. However even such well looked after cows have some moral concerns about how they are treated and whether it's appropriate to keep an animal captive for its product.

You could also try plant-based milk alternatives that may be just as healthy and tasty, with no animals products in.
 
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Don't forget the male calves in the dairy industry. They're almost always killed because they can't produce milk. They may be raised for veal or beef but even then they're killed at a fraction of their natural lifespan.
 

Jamie in Chile

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True, so in order to produce dairy without killing you have to look after one cow for a part of their life into old age and on average one other for their whole life. Actually makes it a lot harder. Alternative would be that you give away or sell the cows to some other establishment that will look after them well and not kill them, although I don't see how that's feasible, at least not on a large scale.
 
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Alexnt

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But I heard that in India they stole milk from a cow, deprived her calf of it and somehow did it without slaughtering either of them. Is it just a tale?
 
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Paul Gammage

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It's not 'without killing' that is the issue with the diabolical dairy industry. It's the greatly reduced lifespan of a milk cow. The cruelty. Women: how would you fancy being kept pregnant YOUR WHOLE LIFE, so that an alien species could drink your milk? How would you fancy your progeny being taken from you and, if female, put to work like you, or, if male, slaughtered for baby meat? Go vegan! Imagine the Earth being invaded by aliens with a taste for human milk. Imagine women with milking pumps attached to their breasts. Imagine shed full of constanly pregnant women, with sore and infected breasts, wailing as their children were taken away from them. Imagine being dragged off and slaughtered when you simply could not stand up any longer. Welcome to the world of dairy cows. Go vegan!
 

Mark Mywordz

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It's not 'without killing' that is the issue with the diabolical dairy industry. It's the greatly reduced lifespan of a milk cow. The cruelty. Women: how would you fancy being kept pregnant YOUR WHOLE LIFE, so that an alien species could drink your milk? How would you fancy your progeny being taken from you and, if female, put to work like you, or, if male, slaughtered for baby meat? Go vegan! Imagine the Earth being invaded by aliens with a taste for human milk. Imagine women with milking pumps attached to their breasts. Imagine shed full of constanly pregnant women, with sore and infected breasts, wailing as their children were taken away from them. Imagine being dragged off and slaughtered when you simply could not stand up any longer. Welcome to the world of dairy cows. Go vegan!
That is a very convincing argument, Paul. At the same time, though I don't want to consume dairy products, I have to admit that I like to see cows in the countryside, because I like animals. Sheep too. A world without these animals would be a lonelier place for us to live in. An unproductive cow is like an unproductive human, it's existence is harder to justify. We have to find new ways to use animals without abusing them. That way they can have a secure future in a fairer world. I too like to be useful to other people. My work is not abuse, it is partly self realization and partly my contribution to the survival of society.
 

SD Joe

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There's always death in milk. The cow has to be constantly pregnant to produce milk and her offspring are usually sold for veal. Once the cow can no long become pregnant she is also killed off. Its a horrible process for something we don't need, milk is only something babies need until they can eat regular food on their own.
 

Mark Mywordz

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I understand that and am in total agreement with you, Joe.But reiterating the same points doesn't seem to get us very much further especially when the richest and most powerful country in our world has not yet got round to banning the killing of people. Europe is a tad more civilised in that respect but we are generally ready to go to war when the USA asks us. How can we expect people who can justify the slaughter of their own kind to have any feelings for the suffering of animals. I think we have to find a way to make it just as profitable to keep the animals alive and allow them a more dignified and "humane" life. But the vast majority of mankind is not reading from the same page as us. The arguments for veganism which stress the ways in which it helps us to live a longer and healthier life are much more likely to be successful in furthering the interests of animals.
 

Mom2vegan

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We tried to do murder-free milk. Before I believed everything that vegans say about milk and eggs and meat, and when I was still in the business of trying to find a way to find a compromise, I decided we'd have a little hobby farm. So - as part of our hobby farm, we bought 2 beautiful Oberhasli milk goats. They were in milk when we got them and we hand milked them every day. They had nice lives - treated kindly and gently. Loved. The first year was great. The goats enjoyed being milked because that's when they got fed loads of alfalfa (which goats who aren't in milk really can't eat without getting fat). The milk was awesome - we used it to make formula to feed babies who had failure to thrive. It really did work great for those babies - one was quite under weight, very sick all the time and suffering miserably. She fattened up and I kid you not - she started pooping (she'd had constipation so bad that her poop was like hard rocks and hand to be dug out by hand) - she started pooping as soon as she finished the very first bottle. Another had terrible eczema and also very bad constipation. Those kids got so healthy and grew like weeds. I enjoyed milking the goats. It was the most lovely experience. I loved seeing the babies get so healthy.

Then the next year, in order for the goats to continue to produce milk, they had to be bred. I felt a bit nervous about it but I knew some people who'd be willing to take the babies so I did it. We let the babies nurse but also milked the goats at the same time. We didn't take the babies away from the moms and bottle feed them - but that's what we would have had to have done if we wanted to make a profit from goat milk. We milked the goats for another year, fed babies, enjoyed lots of goat yogurt and milk. I put on about 20 lbs (no kidding).

But the third year.....I realized that if I bred my goats and they had females I could easily find homes for the females, but if they had males nobody wanted them except for meat. I thought about it. I was still a meat eater and I heard goat meat was good. I went through all the ways one could possibly kill a goat without causing it to suffer in any way, shape or form. I asked my husband if he could ever kill a goat and he said "no way." I knew there was no way on earth I could kill a goat. So - we didn't breed the goats again. Then we had to move and couldn't bring goats with us. Thank God I was able to find a home for all of them living with a woman I used to work with. She posts pictures of them all the time on Facebook.

Honestly - if we'd been able to find a way to kill the male goats with a 100% guarantee that they would not experience any suffering whatsoever, I think I may have done it and been OK with it. I mean - wouldn't it be awesome if WE could live happy lives being pampered and coddled and fed, never have to work a job, and then die without ever having to grow old or experience any suffering whatsoever? The goats were so content. They loved to play on the rocks and lie in the sun. It probably would have been possible.....but that would only be possible for goats raised on a very small scale, killed by an expert marksman at home and never forced to ride in a truck to a slaughter house and go through all of that. So that was the end of our goat experience.
 

Lou

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@Mom2vegan
Thanks for that nice story. And also resurrecting a thread that had been forgotten for years.

Eliminating milk from my diet was my very first step into veganism. It was an easy decision once i discovered all the facts.
1. More than 80% of the dairy cows in the USA live terrible lives(1).
2. Milk is not essential. Or necessary. And maybe not even good for you (2)

However, I guess there are always exceptions. Like your goats. Which reminded me of a dairy farm that is an Abbey that was featured in one of the Documentaries by Micheal Pollan. (3) The documentary just touched on the cows at the Abbey. But each cow is taken care of by one nun. And the nun and the cow seem to be best friends. (4).




1. 80% is just a guess. Pretty much every day a small dairy closes. Here in California, most dairies have very large herds and it's my assumption that worst situations are at the largest dairies.
2. Well, except for babies who in most situations can have human breast milk.
3
4. As I was googling stuff for this thread I discovered the nuns also keep beef cows. Oh, no.
 

rogerjolly

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Vegans believe that it is morally wrong to needlessly take a sentient life. Surely an even greater crime is to bring a life into being with the firm intention of snuffing it out.

I mean - wouldn't it be awesome if WE could live happy lives being pampered and coddled and fed, never have to work a job, and then die without ever having to grow old or experience any suffering whatsoever?


No, it absolutely would not. It would be a terrifying dystopia.

What you describe forms the basis of “Logan’s run.” In the book once people reach 21 years they are put to death in a most pleasurable way. Absolutely no pain or fear following a life of hedonism.

In the film people believe that once they reach the age of 30 years they will be “renewed” by undergoing the compulsory rite of Carrousel. Of course it is a death sentence con that almost everyone falls for.

Runners are the small minority who will not submit. In one way Vegans are similar to Runners in that they will not accept that animals should lead such dystopian existences.

My path to veganism was very much like that of Mom2vegan. My wife and I had a wonderful few years looking after goats and hens until the reality finally sank in. Please see post number 6 under
https://www.veganforum.org/threads/im-interested.1969/

Roger
 
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Mom2vegan

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@Mom2vegan
Thanks for that nice story. And also resurrecting a thread that had been forgotten for years.

Eliminating milk from my diet was my very first step into veganism. It was an easy decision once i discovered all the facts.
1. More than 80% of the dairy cows in the USA live terrible lives(1).
2. Milk is not essential. Or necessary. And maybe not even good for you (2)

However, I guess there are always exceptions. Like your goats. Which reminded me of a dairy farm that is an Abbey that was featured in one of the Documentaries by Micheal Pollan. (3) The documentary just touched on the cows at the Abbey. But each cow is taken care of by one nun. And the nun and the cow seem to be best friends. (4).




1. 80% is just a guess. Pretty much every day a small dairy closes. Here in California, most dairies have very large herds and it's my assumption that worst situations are at the largest dairies.
2. Well, except for babies who in most situations can have human breast milk.
3
4. As I was googling stuff for this thread I discovered the nuns also keep beef cows. Oh, no.

I am so embarassed for reviving a dead thread! I clicked on "new posts" and just started reading and responded to this one. without even reading the date. I was thinking this forum was busier than it is and had pages and pages of new posts/threads.

The giving birth and having the calves taken away has to be painful. I tried to rationalize that to myself for a long time, as well, telling myself the cows don't remember or this or that, or making up stories in my head to make it OK. It's easy not to think about it and just buy the milk. I'll watch that documentary about the nuns. I wonder if the beef cows they keep are the products of keeping their cows bred to produce milk? I know there are idyllic situations where humans and animals can be together in mutually beneficial relationships but in those instances nobody's making money and those situations are so rare. Even then I'm sure it takes effort to protect the calves. The "fatted calf" the Bible talks about was, I'm sure, the male calf of a dairy cow . I mention the Bible because I think if you read it closely it looks like they did not raise animals for meat, but for milk or for wool and then they sacrificed the excess or ate them on special occasions.. There were very specific rules on exactly how the animal was to be killed to prevent it from feeling pain or fear - and that's better than we do it today for sure. Meat was a "luxury" and not a staple of their diets...and that's pretty much the best case scenario we can have if we want to consume animal milk . It was individual families, not factory farming, and I imagine they loved their animals. They treated them as well as they could be treated but there was still the excess animals produced from breeding the cows to have the milk produced.

My daughter in law couldn't produce enough milk for my granddaughter and she got milk from another woman rather than using animal milk. If our entire society was breast feeding rather than feeding formula, my guess is we would have to find a way to deal with the women who were unable to produce enough milk and there might be rare occasions when human milk would not be obtained and there might be a way to get milk from a goat without causing harm.......animals will increase their milk production if there's an increased demand for milk so the goat kids would still be able to nurse.......

I think about these things too much.
 
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Mom2vegan

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Vegans believe that it is morally wrong to needlessly take a sentient life. Surely an even greater crime is to bring a life into being with the firm intention of snuffing it out.




No, it absolutely would not. It would be a terrifying dystopia.

What you describe forms the basis of “Logan’s run.” In the book once people reach 21 years they are put to death in a most pleasurable way. Absolutely no pain or fear following a life of hedonism.

In the film people believe that once they reach the age of 30 years they will be “renewed” by undergoing the compulsory rite of Carrousel. Of course it is a death sentence con that almost everyone falls for.

Runners are the small minority who will not submit. In one way Vegans are similar to Runners in that they will not accept that animals should lead such dystopian existences.

My path to veganism was very much like that of Mom2vegan. My wife and I had a wonderful few years looking after goats and hens until the reality finally sank in. Please see post number 6 under
https://www.veganforum.org/threads/im-interested.1969/

Roger

I have not read Logans Run - I will get it.

I believe that animals are always in the here and the now, like Buddha. They do not think about the future or the past and they do not have anxiety over the future. If we were the same way, and the situation you're describing was the case, we wouldn't care and we would never have to suffer old age or sickness or death.....we would be robbed of living full long lives and raising children and becoming grandparents, as well though. That's a depressing thought - that we could be very satisfied and not know that we could have more.... I'll check out your thread.

I'm sitting here petting my dog and your post is making me think about how she doesn't know she's been robbed of the chance of ever having puppies......she doesn't know what she's missing and she has a good life, though. She wouldn't be here enjoying life if somebody hadn't unintentionally and irresponsibly allowed their dog to get pregnant. I've got another dog laying under my feet and another laying in teh recliner next to mine staring at me with adoration. He's going to be having some serious anxiety this afternoon with all the fireworks......fireworks and thunderstorms are the only thing that cause him suffering, he's happy the rest of the time.

Isn't a short, happy life better than no life at all?
 

Lou

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I am so embarassed for reviving a dead thread! I clicked on "new posts" and just started reading and responded to this one. without even reading the date. I was thinking this forum was busier than it is and had pages and pages of new posts/threads.


No, Don't be embarrassed. I don't know what the etiquette is but personally, I would rather have someone revive a dead thread than to start a new one on the same subject. Maybe its the conservationist in me but I think there is value in those old threads. Save The Threads!
 

Lou

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I've only seen the movie Logan's Run. I'm pretty sure Roger just provided you with a huge spoiler.
 

Mom2vegan

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My path to veganism was very much like that of Mom2vegan. My wife and I had a wonderful few years looking after goats and hens until the reality finally sank in. Please see post number 6 under
https://www.veganforum.org/threads/im-interested.1969/

Roger

Roger, I read your thread. It looks like we did come to it the same way and have a lot in common with the hobby farming. I'll bet we came to hobby farming from different directions - what were you doing before that?

I come from a long history of meat cutters. My dad's grandparents immigrated here from Bavaria - they were meat cutters and processors in Bavaria and brought their traditions here and have passed the meat business down from generation to generation, and opened steak houses etc. My dad owned a small town rural meat market where the cattle and pigs were bought and processed from start to finish by my dad and a couple of employees. My mom and siblings and I worked in the meat market with him, and we spent very much time there. Most of my friends were farmers' daughters and everybody raised their own meat. My friends were in 4-H, etc.When I was 16 my dad sold his business and we moved back to the city where our larger family lives with all of their businesses. I worked in the meat department of a grocery store all throughout high school. My extended family now owns a huge ranch where all the cows are grass fed and well cared for and they sell gourmet meat....which is definitely a step up from factory farming and much more humane.

My highschool sweetheart's little sister was vegetarian. She'd been vegetarian since the age of 7, when the family was at a KFC next to a small family farm. My sweetheart was 9 and his sister was eating a chicken leg and watching the chickens outside. He pointed at the leg and said "That is the leg of a chicken - see those chickens? You're eating one of their legs." That was it for her, she never ate another bite of meat. Her parents supported her decision 100%, her dad became vegetarian for a long while. They provided her with everything she needed and I think she was in college when she became vegan. I always felt a bit intimidated by her and judged.....considering our vastly different backgrounds. It was hard for me and I felt defensive but at the same time some bells way in the back of my head started going off very quietly. I managed to ignore them for the most part, but tried vegetarianism here and there throughout the years.

The bells kept going off louder over the years and I'd try this and that. Finally, when I was in my 40s and living in Michigan, I decided I'd stop eating anything factory farmed or killed at a processing plant. We would raise all of our own meat, eggs, and cheese and be self-sufficient. If we couldn't kill it ourselves, we would not eat it. We raised meat chickens as well as the milk goats, and we tried turkeys.

I told myself our chickens had a better life than those on the factory farms. They were Cornish Rocks. "Frankenchickens." Chickens that grew to eating size by 6 weeks and by 10 weeks would supposedly be dying of heart failure due to their extremely rapid weight gain. We raised them in "chicken tractors." Moveable pens that were brought to fresh grass every day, where the chickens could scratch and look for bugs. The chickens were "lazy" and just laid around all day, rarely scratched for bugs. They seemed to be very stupid - as if they did not have any thoughts at all. I thought maybe they really were just live meat with the instincts to eat and drink and the ability to poop and that was it. So - I thought it was OK they didn't have more freedom and didn't feel bad about raising them. Clearly they didn't like to walk around, right? We gave them a more humane death than factory farmed chickens get.....but death is not humane. We raised the chickens for 3 years in a row and really did enjoy the meat and the broth and all the canning and the family time. Not one morsel went to waste - we learned to pressure can all of the bones and organs, etc. for the dogs (the bones turn chalky in a pressure canner and are safe to eat). We felt good about not wasting. My teenage son met his now wife while we were raising the chickens......which I believe is probably one of the reasons neither of them speak to us at all anymore......I regret inviting her to the chicken processing party but she's now vegan and so are my son and grandchildren so - good came from evil.

Anyway. The third year we were raising the chickens, one of the chickens was too small to bother with and my son asked if we could give it a pardon. I said "sure - maybe it won't get so big that it won't be able to walk, and it can live with our egg chickens and be happy." That chicken did get huge and it was still able to walk, and it was a very active chicken. Not at all "lazy". It was active like our egg chickens and scratched around and enjoyed life and I realized the meat chickens aren't any dumber or lazier than the egg chickens, and we loved our egg chickens and treated them a bit like pets. Everything you read says if you let a cornish rock live more than 8 weeks it's at very high risk of breaking a leg just from it's heavy weight, or of having a heart attack. That chicken was very healthy and did not break a leg or have a heart attack, and it showed us that cornish rocks do indeed have thoughts and feelings. It was a sweet, affectionate chicken.

I don't know if we would have stopped raising the chickens or not, or if I ever would have made it to going vegan, if tragedy had not struck. My husband (whom I meet in MI) and I had to sell our hobby farm and move back to my family. My husband still misses raising the chickens and we both miss milking the goats and making the baby formula, doing all the canning and being self sufficient. Now that we don't have the hobby farm I've been able to think things over and decide it's really not what we want to do again. It is so very easy to buy everything you need to be vegan here. My husband will never stop eating animal products. We live next door to my dad, who still works at the family business. We're having a 4th of July party today and he's doing the traditional Bavarian barbeque, we have about 50 people coming. I'll be the only vegan here and nobody knows I'm going vegan and I'm not telling them!
 
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Emma JC

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"We're having a 4th of July party today and he's doing the traditional Bavarian barbeque, we have about 50 people coming. I'll be the only vegan here and nobody knows I'm going vegan and I'm not telling them! "

Thinking of you today and sending you peace and strength. A year from now you might be surprised at how different your life will be and there is no hurry to get there. Be all you can be, one day at a time!

Emma JC
 
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rogerjolly

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Isn't a short, happy life better than no life at all?


This question is frequently posed to vegans by detractors. It is often delivered with a triumphal expression on the face. It is the coup de grâce in the demolition of veganism. It is a tricky one that we must all be prepared for. Because it will inevitably be presented to each and every one of us.

The immediately obvious answer is yes. The true answer is an indefatigable no. Or rather that the question is completely meaningless. But it takes a lot of heavy thought provoking logic to understand why.

Mary had a little lamb
His name was Fred
And he had no inkling that far before his time
He would be very, very dead

The Fred we are talking about is an existing being. But what if he had never been conceived? This is the hub of the argument.

People sometimes say to a child, “Eat up your vegetables. You are very lucky to have been born in this country. You could have been born into a poverty stricken country and to have been always hungry.”

This is nonsense. It would have been impossible for that particular child to have been created elsewhere by different parents. That child was the result of one sperm out of many millions winning a race to an egg. If a different sperm had won that race then an entirely different child would have been born.

If our Fred had never existed then there would have been no Fred to have a short happy life. So it cannot be better for him because there never was a “him” to begin with.

This is all related to what statisticians call a self-selecting potential population. The self-selected are the ones that were actually born.

It is morally wrong to bring forth a life with the purpose of extinguishing it. Once it does exist it should be allowed to live.

But if that life never existed then there would be no loss. People find this difficult to understand because we are so full of our own self-importance that we cannot comprehend there never having been a “me”.

This is my second attempt to address this question. I do hope I have improved a little on the first.

Please see https://www.veganforum.org/threads/how-to-respond-to-this-argument.1986/ and see posts 3 & 4 from Jamie and 5, 6, 7 and 8 from me.

And the very best of luck in your journey forward! :)

Roger.

Edit: In fact it is my third attempt at this very thorny problem! Please see also:

https://www.veganforum.org/threads/the-animal-product-industry-creates-life.3074/

There are a lot of good contributions here and I’m afraid the thread has three whole pages! But it is well worth your attention.
 
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