To the editor:

As a recent story pointed out, the forcible separation of newborn cows from their mothers, considered an absolutely ordinary standard practice in all dairy operations —even seemingly bucolic family-operated farms — causes obvious and tremendous suffering. Enough so that the sounds of anguish and grief made by local dairy cows spawned several recent distress calls to local police. These are sounds which need little translation.

In order to meet demand for dairy products, cows’ reproductive systems are hijacked and their babies subsequently taken away, subverting the natural order of lactation for nourishment of the calves, in order that we may drink it instead. These gentle, sensitive beings are made to suffer tremendous loss, repeatedly, even in the “best” of circumstances, in order to meet human demand. And, of course, all of the mothers and all of the babies will be slaughtered long before the end of their natural lifespans, also as a routine part of the dairy production cycle. These systems are what we directly fund as dairy consumers.

We can also easily empower ourselves to boycott this violence. With greater availability than ever before of non-dairy products — even Market Basket has inexpensive, healthy and delicious alternatives to everything from butter and milk, to yoghurt, cheese, sour cream and ice cream — it is a wonderful time to explore plant-based alternatives to please both our palates and our conscience.

Sarah Florez


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