I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other night, and I stumbled upon a video that someone had shared. It was entitled “Dairy is F*ckin Scary: the Industry Explained in 5 Minutes” and I have never wanted to simultaneously throw my phone out the window while projectile vomiting everywhere. The video was made by an Erin Janus, and while I fully support every person having the right to express their opinions, I don’t support spread blatant lies and biases to push an agenda.
In Erin’s video, she accuses the entire industry of overworking and abusing their cows, which for one is a giant generalization to accuse every single farm of cruelty. Secondly, a cow produces the most milk when she is well nourished and comfortable. Farmers scrutinize their entire farm to make sure their cows are safe and healthy. A herd with 100 high producing cows is much more profitable than a farm with 300 low producing cows due to being sick or abused, which is why farmers take such good care of their herds.
In response to her claims of Beastiality, I call bullshit. Breeding cows with a live bull is extremely dangerous due to the aggressiveness of bulls, which is why artificial insemination is used. Semen is collected from the bull and inserted into the cow through an insemination tube by weaving through the cervix and depositing the semen into the uterus. Which, by the way, is the same procedure for humans. Pregnancy checks are done by inserting an arm into the anus, and the reproductive tract can be manipulated this way. It is the same for horses and other large animal stock. It is the most effective way to ensure pregnancy after insemination and to check if the cow is pregnant.
Erin also touches on mastitis, a disease seen in dairy herds. A cow with mastitis is immediately separated from the herd and her milk is not used until she is healthy and goes through a five to 10 day withholding period to ensure all antibiotics are out of her system, as FDA regulated. P.S. Erin, those cows don’t have bloody teats. That’s iodine, a red post-milking seal to prevent bacteria from infecting her udders. But good try. Farms that are antibiotic free have to either not treat their cows for illnesses, or send the cow off to slaughter once it has been treated to maintain their anti-biotic free status, instead of just going through a five to 10 day milk withholding period which conventional farms do.
Calves are born with extremely low immune systems, and their mothers are covered in germs and bacteria. Calves are taken from their mothers and placed in clean and dry pens. This gives the calf a chance to be in a clean environment where they can build their own immune systems. Farmers milk the mother for several days and give the milk to the calf to ensure that the calf gets all the essential nutrients and immunoglobulins from the mother. It is scientifically proven that calves left with their mothers are more likely to be lower producers over their lifetime, more likely to get scours (a disease common to calves), and more likely to suffer from a premature death.
An organic dairy farm cannot use antibiotics, hormones, or GMO crops. This means their cows are less efficient producers and need more cows to meet their milk production goals. This means more cows are needed, more methane is produced and more waste produced. Hormones like rBST (bovine sonadotropin) are naturally produced in the cow’s pituitary gland to stimulate milk production. When the cow is given additional levels of rBST, lactation is prolonged so the cow does not need to give birth as often to produce as much milk, aiding efficiency to the herd.
I can’t talk on every subject Erin mentions because that would be 20 pages long. Honestly, I could go on for forever about how big chain restaurants and companies are using fear and ignorance to sell a product, just like she does in this video. If you choose to be vegetarian or vegan, that’s entirely your choice, but don’t do it for reasons like Erin’s. Farmers work 18-22 hour days to produce food for the population, and they try to make a nutritious and environmentally friendly product for us. Whether it be on an organic farm or a conventional farm, the goal is all the same.Educate yourself on agriculture before you start running your mouth, Erin.