In order for a dairy cow to be profitable, it must give milk regularly [”From Cow to Cup,” Sept. 18 Xpress]. This is done by inseminating cows within weeks [after they] give birth, so that they are continuously producing milk. This cycle of constant impregnation and being milked daily by machines stresses the animal, such that the average lifespan of a dairy cow is five years (versus about 20 if allowed to live free). The animals then collapse and are ground up.
The mental anguish is amplified when every calf the cow gives birth to is taken from its mother immediately because the milk needs to be sold. Both the cow and her calf make a sound similar to a guttural scream when they are separated, never to see each other again. One can imagine what that sounds like.
If the cow is a female, it will grow up to suffer the same dismal, tortured existence as its mother. If it is male, it will likely be placed into a bin so small it can't turn around in and fed a purposely deficient diet that results in an anemic, malnourished, sick muscle mass. This is also called "premium veal.” They are the lucky ones, destined to live just a few short months of agonizing misery before joining our food chain.
The dairy company featured in the article may feed their cows grass, but is that enough to justify the necessary life of a dairy cow? This information only begins to describe what animals raised for their products go through. There is a reason dairy and meat farms will arrest you if you are caught videotaping their operations.
— Jason Ference