The following was taken from the Toronto Vegetarian Association:
Stress, antibiotics, mastitis, and pus...
People who regard milk as "the perfect food" rarely think about milk as a commercial product – prone to the hazards of mass-production. John Robbins, author of May All Be Fed, puts it well; "The modern-day Bessie is now bred, fed, medicated, inseminated, and manipulated for a single purpose – maximum milk production at a minimum cost."
In order to produce milk, a dairy cow must give birth. To maximize their milk supply they are artificially inseminated every year, meaning they are pregnant for a physically demanding 9 months out of every 12. Their calves are traumatically taken from them shortly after birth. The resulting surplus of calves feeds the veal industry.
With genetic manipulation and intensive production technologies, Canadian cows produce an average of 9,519 kg of milk per year (2003) — seven times more than they would produce naturally. When their milk production wanes after about four years, dairy cows are sent to slaughter where their worn out bodies are ground up into hamburger.
These unnatural conditions make the modern dairy cow highly prone to stress and disease.
The most damaging stress-related disease is mastitis (an inflammation of the udders). It reduces milk yield and directly affects milk quality by altering composition and increasing the somatic cell count (pus). The National Mastitis Council estimates that it costs about $200 per cow per year on the average dairy farm. In Quebec, mastitis is the second-leading cause of culling.11
Antibiotics, mostly common penicillin, are given to cows for treatment of mastitis. Cows are not supposed to be milked for 48 hours after receiving penicillin. When this precaution is not followed the penicillin appears in the milk in small amounts.12
In 1993, Food and Drug Administration in the United States approved the use of a synthetic growth hormone, rBGH (also known as rBST). This genetically engineered hormone, so far banned in Canada and Europe, has no therapeutic value but to boost milk production. This can cause additional stress, and more frequent bouts of mastitis.
Non-dairy calcium sources
Foods rich in calcium include dark green vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and kale, beans, tofu (made with calcium), tahini, sesame seeds, almonds, figs, seaweeds, and fortified soymilks.Since the consumption of animal protein increases calcium requirements, a person following a vegan diet may have much lower needs. Although some plant foods contain oxalates and phytate that can inhibit calcium absorption, the calcium in plant foods is generally well absorbed.
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Knowledge id everything.
HOW TO TELL THE TRUTH AND GET IN TROUBLE
"I am a fourth-generation dairy farmer and cattle rancher. I grew up on a dairy farm in Montana, and I ran a feedlot operation there for twenty years. I know firsthand how cattle are raised and how meat is produced in this country.
Today I am president of Earth Save International, an organization promoting organic farming and the vegetarian diet. Sure, I used to enjoy my steaks as much as the next guy. But if you knew what I know about what goes into them and what they can to do you, youd probably be a vegetarian like me. And, believe it or not, as a pure vegetarian now who consumes no animal products at all, I can tell you these days I enjoy eating more than ever.
If youre a meat-eater in America, you have a right to know that you have something in common with most of the cows youve eaten. Theyve eaten meat, too. When a cow is slaughtered, about half of it by weight is not eaten by humans: the intestines and their contents, the head, hooves, and horns, as well as bones and blood. These are dumped into giant grinders at rendering plants, as are the entire bodies of cows and other farm animals known to be diseased.
Rendering is a $2.4 billion-a-year industry, processing forty billion pounds of dead animals a year. There is simply no such thing in America as an animal too ravaged by disease, too cancerous, or too putrid to be welcomed by the all-embracing arms of the renderer." Howard Lyman