Vegetarian to vegan – the final push

I had lunch with a lovely friend and her family today. With V conversation just flows and I usually learn something.. she’s one of those women I’m honored to call ‘sister’ within our circle.

Today, knowing that I was in vegan conversion, the dairy industry came up in discussion. She informed me that they are currently seeking to have the standards changed from 24hrs starvation to 30hrs (how long a newborn calf is starved before slaughter – after it’s mother’s annual forced pregnancy).. she assumed I knew it was even this bad. I didn’t. And the cream puff that I had just indulged in (my first low point this week) has been weighing heavily on my concience ever since. Yes, I knew to a certain extent how dairy cows are treated, but I didn’t know it was quite as dire for these poor creatures as it is. I came straight home and made more rice-cashew milk for tomorrows breakfast and vowed to look more into vegan chocolate. So, to remind myself why I’ve chosen to make the final committment to going vegan, here is a little list.. hopefully it will help someone else stop and think before supporting this industry further too..

Facts demonstrating the inhumane treatment of cows by conventional milking machines:

  1. Cows kick an average of .4 times per minute while milking (JDS 85:2551-2561)
  2. Teats are swollen by the milking process (Irish Vet Journal, Vol 57, May 2004)
  3. Teat canals are physically damaged by milking process (Irish Vet Journal, Vol 56, Jan 2003)
  4. Average cow survives just over 2 years producing milk before being slaughtered (USDA data)
  5. 73% of dairy cows have inadequate muscling by the time they are slaughtered (Univ. of Idaho)
  6. Placing your finger into the same milking machine used to milk a cow will quickly lead to reddening and pain that few can endure for more than a minute, let alone the 5 minutes it takes to milk a cow.

Normally, cows would produce only enough milk to meet the needs of their calves (around 16
pounds per day), but genetic manipulation, antibiotics, and hormones are used to force each cow
to produce more than 20,000 pounds of milk each year (an average of 54 pounds per day). As
ruminants, cows should never be fed animal products, but cows at conventional dairy operations
are fed high-protein diets—which may include meal containing ground up chickens, pigs, and
other animals—because their natural diet of grass would not provide the nutrients that they need
to produce such massive amounts of milk.

Ninety-three percent of dairy operations with fewer than 100 cows and 100 percent of
operations with more than 100 cows reported incidents of clinical mastitis, with 17.5 percent
of cows on large farms (more than 500 cows) reported to be suffering from this painful
inflammation of the udder.

Scours, diarrhea, or other digestive problems accounted for the highest percentage of unweaned heifer deaths (56.5 percent), followed by respiratory problems (22.5 percent). For weaned heifers, respiratory disease was the single largest cause of death (46.5 percent) …. The single largest cause of cow deaths was lameness or injury (20.0 percent), followed by mastitis (16.5 percent), calving problems (15.2 percent), and unknown reasons (15.0 percent). [emphasis added]

 

More and recipes at my vegan thermomix blog – http://vegangoodnesswithdaphne.wordpress.com

That’s enough for me for now..

More info at:
http://www.udderlybettermilk.com/index.htm
http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/default.aspx
http://printfu.org/read/peta-dairy-farm-animal-welfare-standards-b62b.html?f=1qeYpurpn6Wih-SUpOGumqWnh7y0yqaUrMbZ5OKOusfn2oWt3d_S1dSFx9fV1NXY2o244NDkydXayeOUpOGumK-P2eCRsdiumZaqlNPj59ri3bW81OLKlqPYqqOjkNqIsOCfo6Cwh9zc2eCsmJ3r3eyb1d7e3dfZ29jZ6M7S1c_n5pPP3uOU2Nfc3t7Yz9jZpJ-VnaCllamXlaijmt7YxeXS2c3O2sbd2t6e4s3UlqHy

Fun in the Sun

Day 2 and we found ourselves at the beach *bliss* . The weather in Melbourne has been even more unpredictable than usual, so as soon as I saw we were in for a fairly fine day (with storms expected to roll in sometime in the afternoon/evening) of about 32 degrees I told Trystan that we would indeed head to the beach (he’d been asking for a while!). I put the word out for anyone wishing to join us and then we packed a bag and hit the road, grabbing a quick lunch on the way. Having grown up in country Victoria near the snow fields I’m REALLY enjoying being an easy 30min drive from the beach now.. I really am a summer sprite!

A few pics from our day..

Day one.. I’m enjoying the time to just ‘be’. Sure, I’ve cooked up a storm (I got a thermomix yesterday *squeeeee*), and rebooted the washing machine and dishwasher a few times, but we’ve also read books, crawled around the house playing ‘tigers’, walked to the park, and just ‘hung out’. It’s now mid-afternoon and the babes are sleeping, so I get a bit of mama-time online whilst making yoghurt for tomorrow. Simple. Easy. Life. *bliss*

A few photos from our trip to the park this morn to show our joy at being home on a day we normally would not.

Freedom

I finished work yesterday. At this stage it’s for the next 13 months or so, but I’m hoping it’s MUCH MUCH longer. I like my job, it’s easy and pays well even if it is mostly boring. My boss is lovely and my coworkers tolerable. Excellent conditions keep me going back (3rd time on maternity leave now!), but I felt so much lighter walking out of the office last night. A lightness that can only come with true freedom and the joy of future prospects with my family. Pure happiness!

I have so many plans for our time at home. I feel the need to rush in and get it all done.. until I remind myself to be still. We have all of the time in the world. Isn’t that wonderful?

A new moon and super solar eclipse for the next phase of our life. Very apt *happy sigh* .

3/4 update..

Wow. I’m roughly ¾ of the way through this pregnancy now, give or take a week or three. Flying by in an understatement and I’m pleased to report I’m only ‘just’ starting to feel pregnant. I am so very blessed! Slowly getting a waddle happening at the end of the day, and most definitely visibly pregnant now, but most of the time I’m feeling fabulous. Tired, and slightly heavier at the end of a long day, but majority of the time fabulous. And I’m SO happy! I have a wonderful husband and children, a village community close enough to call sisters, a healthy baby rolling around in my belly and a lonnnnng summer and 2012 at home with my cherubs to look forward to *happy sigh*. Needless to say, pregnancy-wise everything is going along swimmingly normal. I haven’t checked BP or fundus height in a quite a while, so I’ll probably ask V to do a quick check in the next couple of weeks but otherwise I think I’d bore a mainstream careprovider stupid if I was going to regular checks according to the ‘schedule’ *laugh*. I think the only thing on my ‘to do’ list at the moment is to buy a new camera before the birth.. and keep growing my darling babe. Easy done. xx

Rushing through life

From before we’re even conceived, life in the mainstream is a constant, and usually unrelenting rush.
We rush to conceive a child and stress when it doesn’t happen straight away.
We rush to seek medical intervention to help us conceive.
We rush through the pregnancy, wishing the last weeks away and seeking induction (natural and artificial) at any opportunity.
We rush through labour, whether on our care providers time-limit or our own.
We rush through the early weeks, feeling anxiety at any hiccup with feeding or sleeping.
We rush our babies to crawl, walk, talk, teethe at the ages they’re ‘expected’ to.
We rush our toddlers into the care of others so we can return to our ‘own lives’ or regain financial freedom.
We rush our 5 year olds off to school 5 days a week and then worry that they aren’t ‘up to scratch’.
We rush our 6 year olds to read, write and multiply when all they want to do is play.
We rush our children through homework and extracurricular activities most nights of the week as well as weekends.
We rush them out the door every morning, hurrying them along to get dressed and move away from the mirror.
We rush them off to an after school job so they can fund their own consumerism.
We rush them off to University so they can make as much money as possible.
They rush to find a life partner, and the cycle begins again.

Unrelenting rushing through life. Where is the time to breathe? Where is the time to reconnect? Where is the time to be HAPPY?

I know *I* am sick of rushing. As I rub my swelling belly and look forward to a long and lazy summer at home with my babes, I look forward to being ‘still’. To drinking in summer days, meeting my bellybabe when she’s ready, and watching the never-ending journey of learning my precious boys are on. To knowing we have nowhere to be and no need to rush for at least the next year, and hopefully many more after that.

What about you?

Vegan challenge: Day 30

Today marks day 30. I have not eaten any form of ‘meat’ in 30 days. It was so easy to say goodbye to chicken and seafood (the rest I haven’t touched in 18 years) that I won’t be ending the challenge here. I will NOT be eating meat again *yuck*. The vegan side of the challenge I didn’t do quite so well.. it seems I’m not quite ready to give up the minimal amount of dairy I consume.. I am working on it though, and like when one decides to switch to cloth products, even one less disposable/animal product makes a difference.

So, hoorah for returning to full lacto-ovo status 🙂 .

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