Organic Dairy

Organic Dairy


Dairy production on any scale depends on “harvesting” enough milk from each cow (or goat, or ewe) to make a profit, or at least break even. In order to keep the females lactating at a profitable rate, they must be forced to give birth once a year. In order to “harvest” a profitable amount of milk from each lactating female, any competition from her hungry child must be eliminated. To that end, the babies are taken from their powerless mothers shortly after birth and either raised in isolation (if they are females slated as “replacers”), or sent to slaughter (if they are males or surplus females). If all the cows (or goats, or ewes) on a dairy farm were “permitted” to keep their babies, their milk production would not only fail to yield a profit, but their numbers would double every year. And, given that roughly half of those new additions would be males (who are useless to the dairy farmer because they do not lactate), keeping them around would guarantee bankruptcy. Please take a look at what our dairy consumption means to the millions of captive mothers and their babies, and ask yourself why we cling to the degrading belief that something as trivial as our taste is more important than their lives.



“OUR” MILK | Her Misery

Virtually all females used for milk are torn from their babies shortly after birth.

Some try to fight off the attackers, some try to shield their babies with their own bodies, some chase frantically after the transport, some cry pitifully, some withdraw in silent despair. Some go trustingly with their keepers only to return to an empty stall.

They all beg for their babies in language that requires no translation:

They bellow, they cry, they moan. Many continue to call for days and nights on end. Some stop eating and drinking. They search feverishly. Many refuse to give up and will return to the empty spot again and again. Some withdraw in silent grief. They all remember to their last breath the face, the scent, the voice, the gait of every baby they carried for nine months, soundered to, birthed with difficulty, bathed, loved, and never got to know, nurture, protect, and watch live.

After 4-6 cycles of forced pregnancy, difficult birth, violent child loss, grieving, (over)lactation, and the unnatural and perverse practice of having their babies’ milk stolen by adult humans — their bodies break, their spirit wilts, their milk production drops and they are considered “spent”.

At the age when, in nature, they would barely enter adulthood, the life of a dairy cow is over. As soon as her milk “production” declines, she and her other “spent” herd mates are trucked off to slaughter.

Because of the crushing stress of yearly pregnancies, inescapable bereavements, excessive lactation, and nearly-constant milking, most of these young females arrive at auction weak, worn out, and often suffering from one or more of the diseases that commonly afflict dairy herds, such as mastitis, lameness, bacterial infections, pink eye, etc.

Confined to auction pens — exhausted, bewildered, often in pain, surrounded by the sounds and scents of fear and distress, menaced by forces they can neither understand, nor fight or escape — they await the final chapter of their sad lives: the prolonged terror of transport to a horrifying death.

Many of these broken cows, goats, and sheep are pregnant. Most are still producing milk for babies they were never allowed to nurse. All of them are young adults. As they are prodded towards their death, they drip milk on the killing floor.

Whether exploited in backyards, family farms, organic, “certified humane”, or so-called “factory farms”, ALL dairy cows, goats and sheep used for milk are forced to endure the same bitter, brutal, and untimely end when deemed “spent” (which is to say, no longer profitable enough to be allowed to go on living).

Organic or not, milk comes from a grieving mother.


Adapted from Milk Comes From a Grieving Mother, Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary


“OUR” DAIRY  |  His Despair

Every Year, Millions of Newborns Are Killed For Their Mothers’ Milk

All babies born to females used for milk production are torn from their mothers shortly after birth so that humans can consume her milk.

They are barely days old, umbilical chord still attached, coat still slick from the birth fluids, legs wobbly, eyes unfocused. They are defenseless.

They are frightened. They cry pitifully for their mothers.  They beg for their mothers in language that requires no translation and no interpretation.

Having achieved their only “purpose” — that of getting their mothers to lactate so humans can indulge a bizarre taste for the breast milk of another species — they are now useless to the dairy producer. Considered “waste” products, the males, who do not lactate, and the “excess” females are killed either soon after birth of 4-6 motherless months later, while the “replacer” females are raised apart from their mothers to take their place in the line of production.

Orphaned at birth, their only experience of mother love will be one of yearning for it, their only experience of emotional connection, will be one of absence. Soon, the memory of the mother’s face, her voice, her scent, will fade, but the painful, irrepressible longing for her warmth will still be there.

At four months old, the “veal” calves are corralled into trucks and hauled to slaughter. As they are dragged onto the killing floor, they are still looking for their mothers, still desperately needing her nurturing presence, especially at that dark time when they are frightened and needing protection more than ever in the midst of the terrible sights, and sounds, and scents of death all around them, and, in their despair, in their want for a shred of consolation and protection, most try to suckle the fingers of their killers.

Organic or not, all dairy production is predicated on ripping apart mother and child.


Adapted from Dairy is a Death Sentence, Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary



As a result of generations of selective breeding, farmed animals live their lives trapped in genetically tampered bodies whose planned malfunctioning is designed to increase the producer’s profits while causing untold physical and psychological pain to the animals whose hearts fail and whose bones break under the morbid weight they are designed to gain at an abnormally fast rate, and whose systems are ravaged by the forced overproduction of babies, eggs or milk.

Isolated from the natural world to which they belonged for millennia, farmed animals are forced to live their short lives in severely degraded physical and psychological environments that are far different from the ecosystems and cultures from which they historically derive. Severed from the intricate social structures that governed and guided their free-living communities and confined, without the possibility of escape, to a human world where they have no place in the present, no link to the past, and no possibility of a future, domesticated animals have no power whatsoever over the most important aspects of their lives.

• Humans decide where they will live.

• If they will ever know their mother.

• If, and how long, they will nurse their babies.

• When, and if, they will be permitted to see or be with their families and friends.

• When, where, or if they will be allowed to socialize with members of their own species.

• When, how, and if, they are going to reproduce.

• What, when, and how much they will eat.

• How much space they will have, if any.

• If, and how far, they will be allowed to roam.

• What mutilations they will be forced to endure.

• What, if any, veterinary care they will receive.

• When, where, and how they are going to die.

Whether or not they are well treated in their short lives, domesticated animals are doomed to an enslaved existence that, for most of them, ends in an untimely, violent death.

Header image, The Mother, and The Life Denied: Jo-Anne McArthur
The Child: Unparalleled Suffering