Of all farmed animals on today's factory farms, dairy cows receive some of the worst treatment. They are repeatedly impregnated so that they constantly produce milk, have their newborn calves taken away from them shorty after giving birth, and have to stand in filthy stalls where they can barely move--all so that farmers can collect their milk. Once a cow's milk production declines (usually after four years), she is rewarded with a trip to the slaughterhouse where she will most likely become hamburger.
When people think of dairy cows, they think of milk. Most assume that all this intensive and cruel farming is for those cartons of cow's milk you see at the grocery store. But the USDA's numbers tell a different story. The truth is that cheese production today puts more demand on cows than any other dairy product.
Since 1970, fluid milk consumption has been on the decline. On average, people are drinking 30 percent less milk than they did 40 years ago. But cheese consumption has soared by over 170 percent. It doesn't help matters that the USDA has been working behind the scenes not only devising ways of adding more cheese to products, but actually funding cheese marketing campaigns.
But here's the worst of it: While fluid milk production is pretty straightforward--every pound of milk from a cow's udders can be sold as a pound of milk in the grocery store--cheese production requires an average of nine pounds of fluid milk for every pound of cheese. This means that cows have to work much harder to produce cheese than milk.
Just check out our recent undercover investigation at Bettencourt Dairies, a Burger King cheese supplier, to see what life is like for a dairy cow:
With all the amazing and compassionate dairy alternatives, specifically vegan cheeses such as Daiya, Follow Your Heart, Dr. Cow, and Treeline Cheese, not to mention cookbooks such as The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and Artisan Vegan Cheese, there's absolutely no reason to put cows through such lives of misery and despair. For even more dairy-free inspiration, visit ChooseVeg.com for recipes.
More Cows Tortured for Cheese than Milk
by - February 19, 2013