ANIMAL WELFARE: the truth about the dairy industry | Viva!

ANIMAL WELFARE: the truth about the dairy industry

The dark side of dairy

There are around 1.8 million dairy cows living on the UK’s 14,550 dairy farms (Defra, 2013). Ninety per cent are the Holstein-Friesian breed (black and white cows) while other breeds include Ayrshire, Guernsey and Jersey cows. Cows produce milk to feed their babies – just like humans. It flows for the best part of a year and then stops. More milk requires more babies so around two million dairy calves are born in the UK each year. The female calves may be spared only to endure the same fate as their mothers: that of a life of pregnancy and servitude. The male calves are either killed soon after they're taken from their mothers or they'll live for a few months - deprived of nutrients so that they can be sold and killed for the veal industry. That’s the reality of dairy farming. It sounds innocuous but masks a cruel, much darker side of the dairy industry that few people ever see. Milk does a body good? Not if you're a cow. The truth about the dairy industry is that cows suffer. Behind milk's myths lies a very grim and sad reality for the cows and calves whose lives are manipulated for profit.