Friday, May 28, 2010

Dairy Cows Deserve Outstanding Care

Our cows enjoy a meal in this cool, comfortable barn
Animal care is a hot button issue. Today’s consumer wants to know how their food is produced, how animals are being cared for and if farmers are following regulations. It seems everyone has an opinion about which livestock management practices are best.

At our dairy, as on most dairies across the nation, everything we do every day is done with our cows in mind - they deserve and receive outstanding care. From comfortable housing to quality feed to the availability of fresh water and so on. The comfort and well-being of our animals is our #1 priority.

There are groups that spend millions each year trying to persuade the public that animal agriculture is evil. These groups, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Mercy for Animals have a shared goal - promoting a vegan lifestyle. They find isolated cases of animal abuse and attempt to convince consumers these awful acts are common on livestock farms. They want you to believe their intention is improving farm animal care but in reality their goal is to make it difficult for animal agriculture to exist with the ultimate goal of ending the production and consumption of meat, milk and eggs.

This week, Mercy for Animals held a press conference in Ohio to release a video showing an employee abusing animals on an Ohio dairy farm. The video depicted awful treatment of cattle and was upsetting to watch. I find it equally disturbing this video was shot over a four week period. Why didn’t the person doing the undercover filming immediately report the abuse to the farm owner or law enforcement? I guess making a big splash with a press conference is better than speaking up immediately to protect the animals in harm’s way.

This display of animal abuse was horrible and justice must be served. The day the video was released; the employee was terminated and later arrested and charged with 12 counts of cruelty to animals. In Ohio it’s illegal to “unnecessarily or cruelly beat livestock or domestic animals”. The employee in this video should be prosecuted and the person who videotaped it should be punished for not reporting it immediately.

I hope people realize the mistreatment of animals is not normal and not tolerated in the dairy industry. Dairy farmers work seven days a week caring for their cows. Excellent care results in a content animal that produces a quality product. To learn more about how dairy farmers care for their cows go to http://www.ohiodairyfarmers.com/ and http://www.dairyfarmingtoday.org.

4 comments:

  1. It was a terrible video. I think most farmers take wonderful care of their animals. I am not sure about that dairy, but cannot understand how this could happen. Hope that employee stays in jail for a good long stint. The people shooting the video- well, they should have stopped after the first week and blown the whistle. To video for 4 weeks is simply sick.

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  2. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than just five minutes of footage to actually get anyone to pay attention to this kind of thing. I'm sure it took everything the investigator had not to report the abuses immediately, but by filming what happens over a month's time, he was able to prove that this was business as usual at Conklin - no one can defend these people by saying that these were isolated incidents. It's sick to blame the person videotaping for the heinous treatment of those animals.

    And, as a mother, I can't believe that you think you "have the cows in mind" when you repeatedly impregnate them only to take their infants away so you can have their milk. Can you imagine giving birth only to have your baby taken from your arms immediately afterwards? I shudder at the thought, but you make a living out of the practice.

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  3. Mercy for animals didn't just happen on a random case of abuse, they're formed of activists that witness cases like these all the time. This type of investigative reporting is the only way to expose what goes on in the industry. The livestock industry takes good care of protecting itself from the public eye. Conklin himself is caught in his own lies about condemning abuse-- He was there in the same footage of abuse!
    I'm not condemning every dairy farmer, but the simple truth behind demand for product-which you constantly push-you can't supply it all from the small,caring, family farms as you protray.
    If you have nothing to hide, and want compassionate care for animals, why do the farm and dairy folk constantly villianize vegans? If you are to keep a ratio low to have proper care and attention to your cows, you shouldn't so shamelessly promote more consumtion. Where does that come from if not factory farms?
    I'm also curious about your stand on Ohioans for Humane Farms ballot initiative.
    Thank you.

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  4. Dairy farmers, why don't you talk about how you supply the torturous, abusive veal industry? Why don't you talk to the public about the horrible, abnormal life these cows are forced to live? Why don't you talk about how their bodies are kept in an almost constant state of pregnancy through artificial insemination? Why don't you talk about the painful foot infections, the mastitis and the shortened life spans these cows suffer from? ALL FOR WHAT? Products that are not needed for healthy living! You people do not fool educated members of society! Dairy farmers, you better hope the huddled masses stay as uneducated as they are, because otherwise you all will go out of business!

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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