Dairy farms-factories that produce milk.
A cow does not give milk because she is a cow, but because she has given birth to a calf.
Cows are curious and intelligent with long-term memories and the ability to learn from each other. They form close friendships that last a lifetime, and the bond between a mother and her calf is particularly strong. What does an industrial farm give them?
In the dairy industry, the life of a cow is all about maximizing milk yield. Whether a cow gives milk is determined by the birth of a calf. A few minutes after birth, the calf is taken away from its mother and spends several days in a plastic enclosure. This is the end of motherhood. When the parting finally occurs, the cries of the cow and the calf are filled with despair and sadness.
Female calves will become the next milk producers, while male calves are fattened and killed in the slaughterhouse.
Cows in the dairy industry still have their horns burned off and undergo artificial insemination within a few months of birth. They are milked several times a day and inseminated again. The average life expectancy of a dairy cow is between two and five years. Cows are not retired when they are no longer productive and are sent to the slaughterhouse.
The production cycle is designed to maximize production while reducing the transition periods when the cow is not producing milk. Why are calves not left with their mothers for longer periods?
So that the bond between mother and child does not develop. The suckling reflex in calves and oxytocin, which is secreted by mothers during feeding, help build a bond between them.