Veganism for health or for the environment is easy to get on board with. They are full of facts, statistics, and science. But ethics? That’s a trickier one. There isn’t a bunch of numbers and research I can throw at ya to convince you that consuming dairy isn’t ethical. The ethical motivation has got to come from your gut.
It’s nice for some to imagine that your milk comes from a cow who is free to roam, who loves her caretaker, and can’t wait to go in every morning to get pulled by the udders. The unfortunate truth is that basically none of the milk you can purchase at a store is harvested like this. And even if it was… why do we consume a cow’s milk, and not mi
For starters, when I was going vegan I was hit with this argument a lot: “but females cows constantly produce milk anyway, naturally.”
Stop that right there…. what?!
How does any mammal come about producing milk?
Through pregnancy. Cows are not some marvel of evolution that are exempt from this. So let’s be clear – cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy.
But what about the endless supply of milk in North America then?! The answer is as f’d up as you think it is. Cows are “forcibly impregnated” …every 9 months. Then specific measures are taken to stop the baby cow from drinking their mother’s milk (Which is “meant” for humans?)… *ahem* the veal industry.
All this, is aside from the fact that cows and all farm animals are kept in totally horrifying conditions. Lots of animal agricultural factories keep animals in a space not big enough for them to move. They are stuck like this their whole (very shortened) lives. Livestock cows are usually killed around 2-5 years old, because they’ve been worked so hard by the industry and their potential is worn out. Non-livestock cows on sanctuary grounds can live over 15 years old. I won’t go much further into this, and it’s pretty easy to google videos of inside factory farms, and see for yourself these horrifying practices. Or check out the movie “Earthlings” or “Dominion” if you wanna go really deep into it.
So even if you commit to exclusively getting your milk from a local, “happy”, “free-range” farm, these questionable practices still take place. Take the time to ask yourself if that’s something you are comfortable with contributing to (with your money.)
Another small thought – have you ever thought about that fact that humans drink the breast milk of a cow, into their adulthood? Human breast milk is meant for a growing baby, and after the time of milk production in a person’s life, that baby is no longer in need of breast milk. Even if they were, why do humans consume the milk of a cow and not a pig, a giraffe, or a dog?
I feel like I could write about this topic endlessly. Cows are also totally sentient mammals. Have you seen those adorable videos of cows who live inside a house with their people? We know they’re adorable, and no one has a natural inclination to kill them. Cows feel, cry, and have a desire to live.
Everyone’s veganism journey and experience is different. Veganism is a wonderful lifestyle for a passionate environmentalist, or a major health enthusiast. But you could not give even give a crap about the environment or health, and still totally understand why this is a rad way to eat and live. Veganism at its core, I truly believe, is about ethics.
Article series written by Savannah