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#31 of 42 Old 03-02-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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I have to jump in. I love milk and drink lots of it. My dh grew up on an organic dairy farm. When I was nursing dd1, I was introduced to this farm life and also felt sorry for the cows being impregnated and lactating annually. My IL's do take the calves away from their mum several days after birth. I believe though that the mum is milked seperately and the baby calf gets her milk with the colostrum.

 

My thoughts have changed since then.  In general the dairy cattle are very relaxed. They thrive in their routine. They are used to be handled it and they don't mind it. These are some chilin' cows. When I walk through this barn and I see the cows getting milked and fed, I just love it. It sounds weird but I get a real sense of peace.  If it was possible for me to live amongst the cows in the barn I would...LOL.

 

Have you ever tried coming close to beef cattle? It is like a total different animal. They are not handled as much and mostly pastured out in the fields. They get agitated very easily when someone "different" approaches. There have been a few occasions that I thought that I was going to get charged in the fields.

 

Your distaste is for the conventional milking methods. I was vegan when I met my dh and was kind of disgusted that he was raised on a dairy farm. However at that point I had only been exposed to the ugly side of farming reading John Robbins books and PETA material. I had NEVER stepped foot on a dairy farm. And when I did finally, I was surprised at how different my perception was of this industry.

 

The truth is, more people are aware of biodynamic eco organic farming. Every year more meat and veggie CSA's pop up in my area and more people are getting to know their farmers.

 

Farm Gate sales are popular here. If a person likes or dislikes what they see their farmer doing they can tell it to their face and take their money elsewhere.

 

There are no words that I can say that will change your mind. If you feel so strongly about dairy farming you could always look up local family farms in your area and pay them a visit. You may be surprised (in a good way) at what you find. A lot of family farmers sell stuff from their farms and are used to getting phone calls and visits from potential customers. In our area we have a local foods agricultural map. We can pick one up at our local stores and restaurants. The farmers markets are also a great place to find local farmers. You can chat it up with a farmer and ask if they have farm store hours that you could visit their farm.

 

To sum up.. Yes cows are impregnated annually and milked annually. However they do get dry periods. Milking cows on a good farm are not stressed. If they were stressed their milk supply drops. It is in the best interest of the farmer to take good care of them.

 

About the male calves that are born... my ILs raise some for meat and others they sell. But before they sell to anyone they talk (interview) them about their farm. If the farm is not up to snuff then the won't sell that calf to them.

 

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#32 of 42 Old 03-05-2011, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I certainly do not think that most dairy farms in this country are like the above. If they were free to roam and graze why are they fed corn and soy instead of letting them eat grass? "Organic" dairy would not have to exist if they all just ate grass. Every dairy I have seen has cows in cages. The company my father worked for was a small company, with the kind of milk they now sell at Whole Foods, they did eat grass as well, but spent the majority of the time in their cages. They would have 3 or 4 cows grazing freely within a fenced in yard over by the ice cream shop, but when you went into the actual dairy you see the IDK how many, a 100 or so cows all in cages standing is feces eating out of a pile of who knows what in front of them. I remember feeling sorry for them.

 

I mean come on we have BIG names in dairy like Hood and Garelick and all the store brands, you think all that milk comes from nice little dairy farms where the cows graze freely?

 

http://www.mercyforanimals.org/dairy/field-notes.asp This was more like the picture I envision when I think dairy..


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#33 of 42 Old 03-05-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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I think, for the purposes of this discussion, it would be advantageous to differentiate between industrial dairy and bio-dynamic/pastured dairy.  As I read the OP's posts, she seems most disturbed by industrial dairy practices.  OP, is this right, or do you believe that industrial dairy is the greater of two evils? 

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#34 of 42 Old 03-05-2011, 04:53 PM
 
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milk makes me feel strange too. i grew up lactose intolerant so i never drank a glass of milk- used it on my cereal at the most (then got a stomach ache lol) i just hate the cycle, i feel like if i had a cow and there was any leftover milk or a calf passed away, sure i would eat/drink it. but to separate mom and baby would be too much. its complicated greensad.gif


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#35 of 42 Old 03-05-2011, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
"Organic" dairy would not have to exist if they all just ate grass.

this is incorrect

 

MANY do eat just grass--the local RAW milk dairy feeds ONLY grass, the grass is not organic, it's sprayed and they can not claim to be organic.

 

I do know in many parts of my state and surrounding states, the do roam freely and are not caged, you can go for 100's of miles and see non-organic farms with cows in the fields---in my state they display the dairy they ship to at the farms so you know where it is coming form- I am in the northeast. I recently went from my state to VT and passed several dairy farms in 4 states, they were all in the fields.


 

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#36 of 42 Old 03-05-2011, 05:38 PM
 
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There are "bad" dairy farms and there are "good" dairy farms...both exist.  

 

Organic has nothing to do with being grass fed.  Many small dairies that take awesome care of their cows (considering they are a dairy farm and yes, do take the calves and milk the moms) are not organic....it is not easy to get certified organic and is often cost prohibitive for smaller farms.


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#37 of 42 Old 03-05-2011, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was not trying to say organic was better which was my point. I did not know that organic milk included free ranging cows though.

 

Right so I guess I am against the industrialization of dairy. I don't necessarily think it's a good thing either way, but if a dairy farm had free ranging cows and didn't separate the young and of course treated the cows well then I wouldn't really care one way or the other. I still won't drink milk or anything, but that's a personal choice. I am not malnourished and do not need to drink another mammals breast milk.

 

I for one am terrified of GMOs and also wonder the effect that this will have on the cows and their milk and of course our society.


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#38 of 42 Old 03-05-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

I was not trying to say organic was better which was my point. I did not know that organic milk included free ranging cows though.

 

Right so I guess I am against the industrialization of dairy. I don't necessarily think it's a good thing either way, but if a dairy farm had free ranging cows and didn't separate the young and of course treated the cows well then I wouldn't really care one way or the other. I still won't drink milk or anything, but that's a personal choice. I am not malnourished and do not need to drink another mammals breast milk.

 

I for one am terrified of GMOs and also wonder the effect that this will have on the cows and their milk and of course our society.

 

If you truly are terrified (perhaps you didn't mean this literally?) of GMO/GEO, it might help to read about biodynamic farming (or grass farming... or whatever the kids are calling it these days).  It seems, from what you have written, that you've just recently learned about some of the costs and effects of industrial food production.  I'll take liberty to say that you'd most likely be really offended with what is done with corn, soy, and rapeseed.  

 

It is possible to control the production of the food you eat, whether personally or by delegation.  This is not an easy task, though.  I speak from experience... I have a passion for traditional foods prepared with traditional methods.  

 

I know I have the power to change things I don't like.  My spouse and I didn't like being consumers in the industrial food system, so we opted out.  We took all of our rage at Monsanto, the FDA, and the EPA, and we put it into action.  Since we do not have a lot of disposable income (heck, no disposable income!), this has not been easy.  If you are motivated to action, head over to the Traditional Foods or Paleo forums.  Diggin in the Earth is another good source of info.  It is very empowering to take ownership of your food supply.  
 

 

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#39 of 42 Old 03-06-2011, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to grow my food so badly but we live in an apartment on a cliff with no yard literally. I did just sign up for a local meat CSA though.

 

I sign every single petition against Monsanto and for labeling GMOs ect that I can find. I know it doesn't seem to be helping at all, but I am doing what I can. We are a fam of 3 on a $1700 a month income...

 

I certainly do not know everything, I am only 23 and finding my way in the world over here. The more I find in the food industry the more I am disturbed.

 

GMOs do scare me a lot. I am afraid for my family and for humanity. Who knows the repercussions of this. Monsanto is playing God and that is not ok.


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#40 of 42 Old 03-06-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post


 

 

This.  I'd guess that, if given a choice, mama cow would rather have her milk "stolen" than be killed and eaten.

 

Do you know why cows are revered in India, and other cultures?  It's because of their milk.  It's literally life giving, especially in countries where food is scarce.  Actually, I just a letter in the mail from a charity I donate to, who's purchasing large quantities of powdered whole milk for Finland (I think it was Finland) to give to children in places like Haiti.  One girl they spoke of was 1 year old and weighed 7 pounds.  She's a healthy 2 year old now, due in large part to the daily milk that the charity provides.  I guess it's all well and good to pontificate about the morality of milk consumption in the West, but try to remember that it's literally the difference between life and death in some places. I'd also wager that this is why there's a long history of milk consumption and domestication of dairy animals.  When food is scarce, milk will keep you going.  Using an animal for milk also provides nutrition for a much longer time, and for more people, than killing it for meat does.

 

We drink the milk of other species because it's an extremely nutritious, nutrient dense food; it's a nearly complete food.
 



I wanted to comment on this because its not just overseas, Alaska has a dairy for this reason too I was just reading about it the other day.Most food is flown or shipped into alaska and if something were to happen like a food crisis, they have a dairy for people to recieve milk. I also believe in having a dairy animal for a household too, I want to have goats for this reason when we get back to alaska. I think its easy to get caught up in these ideas when you live a comfortable life here in the us with everything you could possibly want at your finger tips. I also agree with those asking why you would eat meat then dismiss dairy. Also soy is not a good alternative imo because of the hormones and overly processed nature of the products they make out of it. I'd rather drink milk any day.

 


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#41 of 42 Old 03-07-2011, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Already said I am not going to argue over it. I don't drink soy.


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#42 of 42 Old 03-07-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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not arguing just stating an opinion and how things aren't always so black and white...there are a lot of reasons why people drink milk, I think you were given a lot of valid reasonings. I also think that a lot of people feel that way about milk and meat even because we are so far removed as a society from our food systems. Back when this country was mostly all farming families noone would have thought twice about it, it shows a lot about how people are so far removed from their ancestrial roots with food etc too. Anyway it's interesting, Oh and as for soy... I was also refering to soy in general not just soy milk...


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breastfeeding,cosleeping, non vax,no circ,and nature loving family!

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