Inspiring Compassion for Animals, People and the Planet

In the U.S., more than 42 million cattle suffer and die for the meat and dairy industries every year. When they are still very young, many are branded with hot irons, their horns are gouged out or cut or burned off, and male cattle have their testicles ripped out (castrated)—all without painkillers.
Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their young. In order to force the animals to continue giving milk, factory farm operators continually impregnate them, typically using artificial insemination.  Calves are usually taken from their mothers within a day of being born—males are destined for veal crates or barren lots where they will be fattened for beef, and females are sentenced to the same fate as their mothers.  
Like all animals, cows form strong maternal bonds with their calves, and on dairy farms and cattle ranches, mother cows can be heard frantically crying out for their calves for several days after they have been separated.
 
“Veal calves” are kept in dark, tiny crates where they are almost completely immobilized so that their flesh stays tender. In order to make their flesh white, the calves are fed a liquid diet that is low in iron and has little nutritive value. This heinous treatment makes the calves ill, and they frequently suffer from anemia, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
Frightened, sick, and alone, these calves are killed after only a few months of life so that their flesh can be sold as veal. All adult and baby cows, whether raised for their flesh or their milk, are eventually shipped to a slaughterhouse and killed.
After their calves are taken away from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. These cows are genetically manipulated, artificially inseminated, and often drugged to force them to produce about four and a half times as much milk as they naturally would to feed their calves.
Animals are often dosed with bovine growth hormone (BGH), which contributes to a painful inflammation of the udder known as “mastitis.” (BGH is used widely in the U.S. but has been banned in Europe and Canada because of concerns over human health and animal welfare.)According to the industry’s own figures, between 30 and 50 percent of dairy cows suffer from mastitis, an extremely painful condition.
A cow’s natural lifespan is about 25 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are killed after only four or five years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the intensive confinement, the filth, and the strain of being almost constantly pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows’ bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too “spent” to be used for anything else.
Cows are gentle giants—large in size but sweet in nature. They are curious, clever animals who have been known to go to extraordinary lengths to escape from slaughterhouses. These very social animals prefer to spend their time together, and they form complex relationships, very much like dogs form packs.
Cattle are transported hundreds of miles in all weather extremes, typically without food or water, to the slaughterhouse. Many cows die on the way to slaughter, but those who survive are shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun, hung up by one leg, and taken onto the killing floor where their throats are cut and they are skinned and gutted. Some cows remain fully conscious throughout the entire process. In an interview with The Washington Post, one slaughterhouse worker said, “They die piece by piece.”
 
 
 
Photos and information:  www.PETA.org
Cows are gentle giants—large in size but sweet in nature. They are curious, clever animals who have been known to go to extraordinary lengths to escape from slaughterhouses. These very social animals prefer to spend their time together, and they form complex relationships, very much like dogs form packs.