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 –

That’s enough for me for now..

More info at:

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