Executive Summary | Viva! - The Vegan Charity

Executive Summary

The farming of animals for meat has received much public attention and scrutiny over the past few decades, prompting calls for tighter animal welfare regulations and moving millions of people to adopt a vegetarian diet. Meanwhile, the farming of cows for dairy products, which has become increasingly intensive in recent years, has received less attention.

This report exposes modern dairy farming, shatters its picturesque image and shows the immeasurable mental and physical suffering experienced by millions of cows and their calves every year. It serves as a wake-up call for everyone who is opposed to animal cruelty yet continues to buy and consume dairy products.

While many of the welfare problems raised in this report – such as lameness, hunger, mastitis and invasive embryo technologies – are a result of the continued drive to increase the cows’ milk yield, the emotional trauma caused by removing a newborn calf from his or her mother is inherent in dairy production. The enormous physical demand placed on the cow by the dual load of pregnancy and lactation is also an intrinsic part of dairy farming.

For anyone reading this report, the conclusion that dairy farming inflicts unacceptable and unavoidable pain and suffering on cows and their calves is inevitable. We have a website specifically covering all the issues surrounding the dairy industry where you can find information, resources and our videos. Please go to www.whitelies.org.uk and a Facebook page White Lies & Milk Myths.

Please Note: The health aspects of consuming cow’s milk are not covered here. For a fully referenced report on the serious health issues associated with dairy consumption, please see the White Lies report by Viva! Health (www.vivahealth.org.uk).