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Thread: People who grew up on farms.

  1. #1
    nut_cutlet's Avatar
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    Default People who grew up on farms.

    Hey everyone!
    So I had to rant about this as it frustrated me muchly earlier! I went to visit my sister in hospital earlier and one of the ward staff there had spoken to her about my veganism. Having grown up on a farm he said to her that "they don't take calves away from cows to make milk". I was just like, , and asked how did he "know" this, and apparently he had grown up on a farm. That prompted me to go on a full rant about intensive factory farming, insemination and the veal industry and oh yes, PUS. Ahh, I know it's only small but it just riled me up! I will probably bump into this individual next time I visit my sister and I will have to just bite my tongue. But I am a tad fiery. Arrgh. I know I gotta pick my battles etc but this just set a switch off in my head, moreso than some of the other anti-vegan crap I've encountered.
    Hope you all are ok!
    On a happier note - I made a key lime pie with ginger nut base and my mum took it to her workmates to try a slice and they all loved it and couldn't believe it was vegan. Swings and roundabouts!

  2. #2
    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default

    Interesting ..I heard other people saying that..anyone knows how to respond to this?

  3. #3
    treehugga's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    There can be a difference between intensive farming and smaller scale farming. I grew up on a farm with about 25 cows and a bull, goats, chickens etc etc. The cows had calves and would be milked and allowed to keep the calves as well as most had plenty of milk due to good pasture and their breed. This meant that the calves got their milk and we also got ours. You produce milk by the amount you use, so providing they are well fed and unstressed you can get plenty of milk in most cases. I presume this might be what this persons talking about. However, intensive farming is a different thing where cows are milked dry and there is no left over milk for calves so they are removed as newborns and slaughtered. These days I drink home made almond milk and feel much better for it.

  4. #4
    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    Oh yeah I get that - I am sure there are still small farms who are "good" to the animals. And veganism obviously is about not exploiting animals which would still be the case on smaller farms. But someone could still argue that one could still buy milk, eggs and cheese from these farms (if they don't view that as exploitation)....

    The only thing I can think of is what one of my welsh friends told me the other day - she is a shepherdess and says that her sheep have a really good life but their farm doesn't slaughter the animals as they don't have the capacity. So they pass them on to a slaughter house - and once they do, they have no control whatsoever about what is going to happen to the animals. Obviously to us it doesn't really matter how they are being killed but someone else could argue that they have a clean conscience as in places like Wales they are being treated nicely bla bla... However, the point is that they might have a good life but nobody knows what's going on in the slaughterhouse. So I guess your friend's precious cows are probably gonna end up the same..

    Depending on the person, I also bring up the argument that this type of dairy and meat from small farms like that is usually extremely expensive and I can't afford it - which is obviously not the reason why I don't buy it but it makes them shut up and nod understandingly (as money issues are the only thing they can emphasize with) Anyhooo...I am just looking at my cat and wondering how she would feel if I after years of friendship and trust I brought her to a slaughterhouse..wah!! So why on earth would I do that with a sheep or cow, especially when I knew them all my life?? (as in the case of my friend and her sheep..)

  5. #5

    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    My husband worked on a dairy farm many years ago. It was a large farm with over 100 cows but they were still allowed to graze outside during the day in pastures. However, they were milked by machine and were given hormones. How natural can that be? For that matter how natural would it be for a cow to have it's teets squeezed by a human? And while the calves were not separated from their moms immediately (they were eventually though), at least once my husband came to work and witnessed a dead calf in a stall due to malnutrition.

    The cows on small farms, especially the grass fed organic ones (some grassland used for cattle is still treated with toxic fertilizer so take that into consideration), may have a "good life" and are treated decently but they are still confined to an extent and used for our purposes. (imagine if humans were used by another species to benefit them and our benefit was that we were fed well and given a good home but we sacrificed our own freedoms such as choice of mates, when to sleep, where to work etc for this...sound like slavery to you?). And whether they are allowed to live out their full lives or not depends on the economics of the small farm and whether the "owners" can afford to keep them that long or eventually will have to sell them off or butcher them to survive. The cows are still subject to human decision, desire, and will. Not to mention that it is still expensive and requires a lot of land to feed cattle on natural grass fed farms. With the high demand for beef around the world, small organic farms have not been able to survive when factory farms can offer cheaper and massive amounts of beef. Even if they are raising their own cattle for meat they still have to have an income to feed that cattle.

  6. #6
    nut_cutlet's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    Aye!
    What irritated me was his short sightedness to the industry as a whole. Total generalisation because of his experience. It is sad but true to say that a farm where the calves are allowed to stay with the mother and there be a win win situation is very rare. Which is why when I ranted I was careful to make a point about intensive factory farming - which is where most milk comes from to satisfy consumers. The total demand is insane. Absolutely insane. When you actually stop and think about how much milk must be used across just the UK for instance, on a daily basis, in homes, restaurants, supermarkets, newsagents, small shops, EVERYWHERE it actually is enough to make my mind want to explode. Because it will happen tomorrow, and the next day. The demand is neverending and it is naive to think that all this milk is supplied through wholesome cruelty free methods. I wouldn't have reacted so strongly if he had said something like "the farm I grew up on never did that" or something to that effect, you know? But it felt like a total verbal crap on everything I oppose.
    Something about the dairy industry irks me. It just is completely warped. WHEN did someone have the idea to drink the juice from another animal? What inspired someone to do that in the first place? And to market it as this happy cruelty free product where the cows are like HEY drink my milk it's cool! Don't worry about my baby, they're just a by-product.
    Even IF the dairy industry changed so that no calves were taken away, that there was milk for all, as Robinwomb has said it is still slavery and exploitation. I agree with everything you guys have said, it just grates on me that he tried to make everything sound wonderful. And moreso as my sister seemed to listen to even part of what he said!

  7. #7
    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    Oh I fully understand nut_cutlet - I was just trying to get more arguments against people who talk like that You are absolutely right though!

  8. #8
    Johnstuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    A thought that springs to mind is that nobody grows up on a factory farm as these are nasty dirty industrial places where most workers wouldn't take their children to grow up. So of the people who 'grew up on farms' nearly all will be the 'nicer' farms. Then they probably make a big mistake and assume all animal farms are like the 'nice' one ethey grew up on.

  9. #9
    JewelsStrilaiff
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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.



    Alright, so, things are a lot different around the world. Unfortunately the worst of it kinda seems to center around the United States.

    Up here in Canada however, it is illegal to do some of those things. Rules are incredably strict up here. Not perfect, but very strict. For instance, if your dairy cow is producing milk, most farms (particularly farms with head counts under 500) are allowed to feed their calves normally and are basically pumped for their extra. Those calves grow up feeding from their mom and when they're done their natural weaning they go off to do other things (either be milked themselves or butchered for regular beef). Also, when a cow has to have an antibiotic, the milk must be dumped and tested negative for antibiotics before that milk can be sold.

    Fines are insane for those companies who don't comply.

    Sooooo, although I totally agree with you and am vegan myself... you have to know that smaller scale farms don't always do the things the factories do.

    I grew up on a small scale farm. 40 horses, 3 goats for milk (we're all lactose intolerant and back then goats milk was pricey), 40 laying hens, a few roosters, sheep, dogs, cats, pigs, a few bulls... And every year we did meat animals. We did 100 meat chickens, 100 rabbits, 1-2 bulls, a few years we did pigs. I can guarantee that my mom and dad did everything in their power to be as kind to these animals as possible. All of the animals had a ton of space to run around, we had a 13 acre farm and they could all almost go where ever they felt like it. Every night we'd round all the animals up and put them in their pens so they couldn't be eaten by random animals. The day we had set aside to kill the aminals he'd just not let that animal out and bring them, 1 at a time to the other side of the property to kill. Even back then (almost 20 years ago) he said he could taste the difference between a stressed chicken and a relaxed one.

    I am not justifying it...only explaining it. The majority of smaller scale farms try their best. I totally get what you're saying, but not every single farm beats/knocks around their animals and steals their calves from them. Before we found out we were lactose intolerant we had a dairy cow. We only took as much milk as we needed that day so we'd just watch until we could see the calf finish eating then we'd pull her over, throw the bucket under and milk the extra to use. Once our calf was finished weaning themselves (we never forced weaning), we'd sell the calf and keep milking until the milk stopped, when we'd breed again. My mom was incredibly picky about who she sold to, never for meat, only ever for breeding or dairy.

    So, again, I totally get where you're coming from, but not everyone is a horrible farmer.

    Hopefully if you see this person again you will have a more positive encounter

  10. #10
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    Personally, I don't see any difference in factory farms or 'nice' farms..............if animals are kept for humans to use they are being exploited full stop. It might be slightly less 'cruel' on the 'nice' farms but it's still exploitation.
    If you get into conversation again with that person I would ask him why he thinks drinking milk is 'natural' and why it's only humans who still drink milk way past infancy? I'd be interested to hear his opinion.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    I lived in Cornwall most of my life and the farms nearby were all small family farms. I used to hear the cows crying for days when the babies had been taken away and it was horrible.

    My sister is vegetarian, she keeps her horses at a local farm and is always telling me how well they treat their animals. When I saw her a couple of weeks ago she was telling me how she'd turned up when they were castrating one of the bullocks. She said it was absolutely awful. I think it's made her realise no matter how nice they seem there is still cruelty involved.

  12. #12
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    JewelsStrilaiff, unfortunately I have read that there is intensive dairy farming in Canada now, e.g. here http://www.humanefood.ca/pdf%20links/Dairyfacts.pdf

    I think there are important differences between best practice and worst in terms of the quality of life that the animals have, but I agree with Sandra that it's all exploitation.

  13. #13

    Default Re: People who grew up on farms.

    My housemate has been going on about the 'ethically sourced' turkey her family have got in for Christmas. My response was "So they don't torture the animal before they kill it?" If she brings it up again I have a comparison ready between her happy-meat Christmas dinner and the frozen chicken nuggets and supermarket mince she eats the rest of the year.

    I found a corner of the BBC food website (warning - contains pictures of dismembered bodies) the other day singing the praises of a 'new' product - British 'rosť' veal, 'a natural byproduct of the milk industry'! Never mind that white veal is no longer allowed because veal crates have been banned! To me, this illustrates really clearly why welfarism won't work - animals are still property, and foodies treat everything like an 'alternative' and pat themselves on the back for being so humane. Scroll down the page and it mentions that rosť veal is approved by the RSPCA! Good to know, good to know...
    "Eventually, I realised that the reason I was so angry was because I want people in the world to be well." - Ian MacKaye

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