Last week, BBC Wales released a video where a dairy farmer described the emotional turmoil of her cow being killed because it has TB.
Bovine Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a highly contagious disease, meaning when a member of a dairy herd contracts it, they must be killed so they don’t pass it on to the others.
The suffering and death of any animal is a highly emotional event – but what is confusing about Abi Reader’s video is how upset she is that a cow 'is leaving the farm before her time’.
In the UK, dairy cows are typically sold to a slaughterhouse when their milk yield drops and they are no longer profitable.
Suffering is inherent to the dairy industry
Before this, cows are worked tirelessly from the age of sexual maturity. They are forced into a cycle of artificial impregnation before being separated from their calf between a few hours and days after birth– a highly traumatic experience for both the mother and the baby – and then milked for farmers to sell to supermarkets.
So how can Reader be so upset to see cows shot on the farms, when their fate would have been no less gruesome should they had made it to the end of the dairy cycle?
Does the cow only have worth while she is producing milk for the farmer to sell? Is she simply a cash cow until her milk yield drops, at which point any emotional attachment is dissolved?
Suffering is inherent to the dairy industry, so it’s hard to see how Reader can feel so much remorse over putting a cow with TB out of her misery.
If she wants to end her cows suffering, she should stop breeding them into the dairy industry, stop forcing her cows through the cycle of impregnation, separation and milking, and allow them to live their lives in line with their natural behaviours.
The only way to give cows a loving and happy life is to free them from the cruel dairy industry. We can all help create this kinder world, by choosing vegan and learning how to live a dairy-free life.
For more information on the UK dairy industry, as well as all the info you need to live a dairy free lifestyle, go to scarydairy.org.uk.