, Newburyport, MA

November 1, 2013

There are no happy cows

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I disagree with the view relayed by Newbury police that “there’s nothing spooky or scary going on” “Strange noises turn out to be cows missing their calves,” Daily News, Oct. 23.

There is something very scary going on. But the dairy industry, whether a large factory farming operation or a rural farm with a sunny or tender name, doesn’t want us to know.

We aren’t supposed to know that baby cows are routinely stolen from their mothers, crated and/or tethered, fed an unnatural diet that will keep them anemic so their flesh remains pink and tender, and then slaughtered at three months old. The dairy industry doesn’t want us to know that when the mother cows can no longer produce milk (milk intended for their babies, but which humans greedily drink) they will be slaughtered and likely rendered into pet food. The dairy industry is thrilled that we do not question why cows always seem to give milk. Cows produce milk because they are forcibly and repeatedly impregnated through “normal farming practices.”

Rather, the dairy industry wants us to believe the marketing myth of happy cows who freely give their babies to us so we could enjoy veal Parmesan and wash it down with a glass of cow’s milk.

It’s incongruent to say that cows “are not in distress” but then acknowledge that the “mother cows ... are lamenting the separation from their calves.” The cows are most certainly in emotional distress, and they are grieving the loss of their babies.

My hope is that the desperate wailing of these poor mother cows struck a chord of empathy in the heart of at least one person, who had never before considered these animals.

And I further hope that more people will educate themselves, explore and enjoy a healthy and humane vegan-based lifestyle.

Kathleen Downey