After visiting rescued animals at The Gentle Barn, I wanted to share some information on the typical life each type of animal has on a factory farm, starting with dairy cows.
Like any other mammal, cows must be pregnant in order to produce milk. Just like humans, they carry their baby for 9 months. They suffer a constant cycle of artificial insemination on a machine the dairy industry calls a “rape rack,” only to have their babies stolen away moments after birth. Mother cows can be heard crying out for their babies as they are stolen away, and they will never have the opportunity to nurse or care for their calves.
They are hooked up to machines that steal their milk and cause an infection called mastitis, which is very painful and produces pus, which is also sucked up by those machines along with her milk. In fact, the government allows 1 eye dropper’s worth in every glass of milk. After her body finally begins shutting down, she will be sent to slaughter around 5 years old, despite her natural life span being closer to 20 years.
Female calves are doomed to live the same miserable life as their mothers, while male calves have no value to the dairy industry. Many of them are locked inside small veal crates, where they are fed a formula that is low in iron to intentionally make them anemic, creating the desirable pale veal flesh. They will be slaughtered at 20 weeks old or even younger.
This cow, Buttercup, has a permanently swollen belly because she was pregnant so many times. She was pregnant when she arrived at The Gentle Barn but sadly, due to stress and malnutrition, her baby was born with underdeveloped lungs and did not survive. Hearing Buttercup’s story and experiencing how open she was to receiving hugs and love brought tears to my eyes. For all of her lost babies, and all of the cows in the dairy industry that are still in pain, please boycott this horrific industry by refraining from consuming dairy products as often as you can. No mother or baby deserves this life.
Read more about Buttercup here, and if you live near LA, I HIGHLY recommend you make the drive to visit her and all the animals at The Gentle Barn.