cruelty-free milk - dairy cows

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  1. Kathy petty says:

    I’m a fan of unsweetened original Ripple plant-based milk. Made with a pea protein blend. It’s 100% vegan. It doesn’t contain soy, nuts (a water intensive crop), dairy, lactose or gluten. It also has 8g protein and 0g sugar. I can also find it in my local (S. Calif) grocery stores.

  2. As a lifelong vegetarian, I was right there with you until you said:
    “The issue also applies to producing backyard … eggs. What’s enough for them versus us?”

    1. In the section discussing hobby farming and milk production, the article correctly highlights the more humane practices where cows are often kept with their calves. Milking cows in these settings can stimulate milk production without adversely affecting the well-being of the calves. This practice exemplifies ethical and responsible farming, as it allows both calves and humans to benefit from the milk produced. Similarly, a nursing mother expressing milk during the day does not deny milk to her child. She will produce more milk to meet the demand. This is how it works with mammals. Additionally, cows that may eventually be used for food in this scenario have had a much better life than grocery store cows.

    2. How does this apply to eggs? Chickens do not NEED unfertilized eggs. In most backyard setups, roosters are not kept. As a result, the eggs laid by hens are non-fertilized and cannot develop into chicks. Therefore, collecting these eggs does not involve depriving potential offspring of their mother’s care. This practice aligns with responsible backyard chicken keeping, where hens are often regarded as pets and contribute to the household with their eggs. In exchange, the hens are given shelter, food, and safety. We do keep a rooster to offer our hens more safety. However, the hens do not choose to sit on their nests. They lay their eggs and abandon them. We have rehomed most of our roosters to a farm down the street that free ranges and does not eat them. There is nothing unethical about our situation. And, most people that do choose to eat their roosters have raised those chickens in a much healthier environment than grocery store chickens.

    Also, as others stated, you casually overlook the harmful impact of the “plant based ethical” options – some of which include child slave labor. While the article touches on ethical concerns in nut farming, it’s crucial to delve deeper into these issues. Nut production, especially in the case of almonds, has been associated with concerns related to bee exploitation, child labor, and human rights violations in certain regions. These concerns are indeed valid and require urgent attention. To address these ethical issues, consumers can advocate for transparent and responsible sourcing, support ethical certifications like Fair Trade, and demand higher standards for labor practices in the nut industry

    The extensive water usage in nut farming, particularly in regions facing water scarcity, is an ethical concern that cannot be ignored. Nut crops like almonds are known to be water-intensive. It’s essential for both consumers and producers to prioritize sustainable water management practices. Supporting local farmers who use water responsibly and promoting awareness about water conservation can contribute to mitigating the environmental impact of nut farming.

    In short, simply switching from animal based products to plant based products isn’t a simple answer. Users are simply switching from one form of exploitation to another. I believe that backyard farming is the simplest and best solution to meet most ethical considerations.

    1. The truth is that we don’t “need” to eat animal products. Most of us were brought up eating them, but as outlined in the article there are many varieties of plant-based “milk” that can be substituted. The same goes for eggs. A tofu scramble is healthier anyway, and they’re delicious. There are obviously other egg substitutes on the market as well. We can simply leave non-human animals out of the equation. They don’t work for us.

  3. Before, in the second sentence, was not supposed to be in the post I just posted. Auto correct. Can you please remove the “before” from that sentence? Thanks!

  4. Always appreciate your articles.

    Warning before against soy, rice and anything that is not organic.

    Soy has estrogen and is known to be associated with causing breast cancer. This makes sense when you realize it has estrogen. Anybody who had any kind of sex cancer (breast, ovarian, possibly others) knows you do not want estrogen. Additionally, imagine what consuming estrogen does does to your body, outside of cancer. Additionally, what does this due to not only females, but males too?!

    On top of the estrogen, soy is known for being pumped full of chemicals and GMOs.

    Rice is high in arsenic.

    Non-organic food is pumped full of pesticides that lead to cancer, gut health issues, many other problems.

    Many thanks! <3

  5. Catherine Cheung says:

    I’ve been vegan-ish for about 2 years. The most difficult thing to adhere to for me is cheese, or the lack of it. I’ve looked into making my own but can’t even fathom to start until I’m retired, if that. This article is devastating news as it doesn’t look like even small batch, crafted cheeses would be humane.

  6. Hi there — you should do some research on cashew harvesting — it extracts a terrible toll on the workers who are often children. I am not at the point where I gave totally given up factory farmed meats yet (I should say anymore — this is mostly due to chronic illness that resulted in poverty, which limits my food options).

    Anyhow, when I read about cashew production I realized I couldn’t ethically biy them anymore even when they are cheap enough to afford.

    Thanks for the great website!

  7. You very conveniently leave out the human as well as ecological impact of all the plant based options. Where and how do you think the oats that are used to produce oat milk are farmed for example and by whom and under what conditions and with what impact on the environment. Same questions go unanswered for all of the other plant alternatives.

    1. Spoken like someone who either has a vested interest in the dairy industry or has family or friends that do…or simply someone looking for a way to rationalize unnecessary animal exploitation. If you’re truly concerned about human exploitation I hope you’re vegan, as workers in the animal agriculture are some of the most poorly treated workers in any industry, and the UN even called out the industry for human rights violations. The bottom line is there’s no such thing as perfect, but one can strive to minimize their contribution to cruelty to any being, human or non-human.

  8. Christine Mc says:

    I want to stop consuming milk and dairy products from cows as the life of a dairy cow is terribly cruel and unnatural.
    However, I have read this week from a reputable source (Daily Telegraph) that Alpro and Oatly sell the by-products of their oat milk production to farmers, and ironically, Alpro’s by-products from oat milk go to feed dairy cows!
    It seems it is incredibly difficult for consumers to buy fully ethically, despite all good intentions.

  9. Very helpful article. It’s difficult to be vegan after a lifetime of consuming dairy, but I am doing it, 50 per cent, 70 per cent better than trying 100 per cent and giving up.

  10. I dont understand why there can’t be a humane dairy farm.. for example, a farm that lets the cow live her whole life in a pasture, breeds the cow by using a bull, keeping the calf with their mother for at least a month before being weaned off milk, letting the cow be retired on a pasture after milk production decreases, using a good and safe milk machine, and/or treating the cow as a pet. I hope if I become a farmer one day, this is how the cow’s life will be..

    1. There is a dairy in England that leaves the calves with their mums for 5 months leaving the calf drink in the morning and milking for themselves in the evening. After 5 months they move them to an adjacent pasture so the mother can see them. They have found that this practice reduces the mothers stress level significantly & they live twice as long. And the calf grow significantly faster & larger.

    2. Comes down to money.. that’s why they say billionaires are evil because there’s no ethical way to become a billionaire. To become a billionaire, you must squeeze out every half cent that you can from your production

    3. I don’t understand why humans feel the need to drink the milk of another species, or to drink milk after being weaned. I don’t know of any other animal that does that in nature. But if you want to drink milk, why not drink human milk? Funny how most adults are disgusted by that idea.

  11. Mike Connell says:

    Very interesting !
    I was shocked at the cruelty involved in dairy farming
    I will definitely try the oat milk
    However I’d like to know more about organic milk and if this is relatively cruelty free to cows
    I’m already a vegetarian but may switch to a vegan lifestyle asap

    1. Exactly my question as well. I have been Vegetarian for 10 years, and gradually moving towards a vegan diet.

  12. it’s almost as though, living in a neoliberal capitalist society, it’s *practically impossible* to consume anything in a cruelty-free, non-exploitative way…

  13. Amazing article. It’s important to stop the inhumane treatment of cows. Vegan milk all the way.

    1. More important than stopping the inhumane treatment of Humans?

      1. It’s not binary, James. We can strive to stop ALL inhumane treatment of both humans and non-humans. We don’t have to choose one or the other. It’s impossible to be perfect in the world we’ve created, but we should at least do the best we can on all fronts.