A Glass of Milk - A Glass Full of Suffering
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org


Animal Friends Croatia
October 2010

On the occasion of World School Milk Day Animal Friends Croatia says: A Glass of Milk – A Glass Full of Suffering

With chains around their necks and holding banners, Animal Friends’ activists will point to the suffering of calves and cows in the dairy industry.

dairy cow

On Wednesday, September 29, 2010 on Ban Jelacic Square (Zagreb, Croatia) from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. representatives of the dairy industry will mark World School Milk Day with an advertising program. The targeted audience are first and foremost children of elementary schools, whom they want to encourage to a mandatory consumption of diary meals in schools and their homes. The special guest on the main square will be the cow Sara with her new calf, whose stress and nervousness Zagreb people could already see in previous years.

Animal Friends' activists with chains around their necks and banners will draw the people's attention to the distressed life of cows and calves and point to the unnatural and excessive consumption of animal milk.

dairy cow

The intensive campaigns of the Croatian diary industry are focused on the constant deception of consumers by showing cows and veal calves in pastoral living conditions, on green sunlit fields. They portray cow milk as ‘the most perfect natural food’ which it really is – but for calves. The consumption of milk of other species is completely unnatural, because mothers of other mammals species produce milk suitable for the offspring of their species before they switch to solid food. Humans are the only species which consumes milk of other species and the only species which consumes milk in adult age.

By crossing and genetic manipulations for the purpose of greater milk production, man turned a conscious living being into a machine for the tenfold production of milk than her youngster could normally drink. Normally a cow produces up to three litres of milk a day. Today more than 50 liters of milk a day can be milked out of cow.

Contrary to the deceptive marketing of the dairy industry, happy and healthy cows with untroubled calves do not ‘produce’ milk. In order to produce milk, each year cows are raped so they can become pregnant by artificial insemination. After the calf is born, the strong motherly bond between the cow and her calf is soon cut. Separating the calf from the mother is extremely stressful for those emotional animals and it is followed by mutual sad and scared calling. In some cases, mother cows after the separation show symptoms of anxiety and mourning such as depression, apathy and denial of food.

Naturally the calf would be suckled by her/his own mother for six month, but after the intensive fattening with food replacement in the period of three to four months it ends up in the slaughterhouse and is used for deriving meat, rennet for the production of cheese and their skin for leather. Other youngsters are entering the fattening proces for the purpose of getting more weight. Their life ends in slaughter in the age of 12 to 20 months. Only 20-25% of calves remains in the production of milk.

Manipulated breeding for the hyperproduction of milk causes foot deformity, lameness, very high rates of chronic mastitis (painful inflammation of the udder) and osteoporosis as a consequence of complete depletion of calcium from the bones. In nature, cows can live up to 25 and more years. But, after being exploited in the dairy industry, exhausted cows at the age of two to six years are sent to slaughterhouses. During the slaughter, most cows and calves are stunned by the captive bolt pistol at the front of their heads and hung upside down by both of their hind legs. Their throats are slit while their hearts are still beating. Their bodies are used for various meat products, livestock feed, manure, and similar as well as in the leather industry.

Cow milk is a liquid meant to turn the calf into a cow. Precisely from that reason children are most sensitive to the dairy diet. Consumption of animal milk and diary products is connected with intolerance to lactose (milk sugar, which results in bloating, pain and abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea), allergic reactions, increased risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and malignant disease (cancer of the prostate, rectum, breast, leukemia...), asthma, juvenile diabetes, sinus congestion, ear infections, resistance to antibiotics... Drinking milk because of the abundance of animal proteins leads to the loss of calcium from bones and osteoporosis. Because of the favorable ratio of calcium and phosphorus, vegetable sources of calcium are much healthier (green leafy vegetables, legumes, dried fruits, seeds, soy products).

Instead of animal milk, Animal Friends invites children and adults to consume plant-based milk (soya, oat, rice), creams and yoghurts which, besides being healthier and of better taste, are not made out of suffering and exploitation of animals. Beside that, the production of plant-based milk is ten times cheaper than the production of cow's milk, which also is of general interest for the whole community.

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