Posts Tagged ‘milk’

Mercy For Animals Investigation Into a Texan Calf Farm

The latest Mercy For Animals investigation has been into the E6 Cattle Company’s farm in Hart, Texas. The farm raises calves for use in dairy production, confining them to tiny spaces which, as shown in the video, do not even provide room for the animals to stand. These small spaces are thick with faeces build-up, so these calves are left to literally sit in their own waste. Any calves which become ill from these terrible conditions are just left to die. Others suffer horrific afflictions, including open wounds and severed hooves. As one of the farmers on the video says “we don’t treat those cows. We don’t put much attention on them. No medicine, no nothing.”

The video also briefly covers the process of dehorning, which is already notorious for its routine existence in the animal industry. The process is done for a variety of reasons, yet is rarely done with anesthetic. This investigation shows the company dehorning the cattle by burning their horns out of their skull.

The most shocking aspect of the investigation shows the cruel deaths of the unwanted calves. This is clearly the only aspect of fun in the workers’ lives. They’ll drag a calf out from its pen by its head, forcing it to fall to the floor. At this point they’ll begin kicking it, standing on it, and finally beating it to death (hopefully) with either a hammer or a pickaxe. I say hopefully because not all die from this. The bodies, including those that are still conscious, are piled onto a truck and driven away for disposal.

This may just be one dairy farm in Texas, but this kind of disgusting practice can be found all around the world, and I have no doubt that this isn’t by any means the worst.

*WARNING* – The scenes in this video are brutal and horrific, as you can see from the content described above.

If you drink milk, you owe it to yourself to watch this video. If you are vegan already then the next time someone says ‘I understand vegetarianism, but not veganism’ (or some similar statement) then direct them towards this video, and ask them if this is something that they want to support.

Go vegan.

As a side note, don’t forget that we could be seeing enlightening investigations and footage like this being banned in the US – read more here.

Vegetarian Couple refused the right to adopt child

This is an odd one, which stinks of the usual backward anti-vegetarian discourse that claims that no one can be healthy without meat and dairy. In Crete, Greece, a couple has been refused adoption of a child based on the fact that they eat a vegetarian diet. Now I may be able to accept that if the reasoning had been along the lines of “well the child must eat souvlaki, otherwise he/she is not a real Greek,” but sadly it comes from the usual tired vegetarians-are-unhealthy rhetoric that’s so abundant in seemingly everyone. Whilst I don’t mind my friends bullying me over living a vegan diet, and they can call me unhealthy all they wish, it’s a whole different issue when it’s Crete’s welfare services and Crete University’s medical school who are backing such statements, and when the effect is as drastic as disallowing a couple to adopt.

I think the statement that got to me more than any other from the article I read on the issue was from Antonis Kafatos. He said “A child needs to eat fish, seafood and dairy products among other things, without meat being essential.” Now, this guy is allegedly a paediatrician and a nutrition researcher, but that statement makes me wonder what the hell he has been researching for the past however many years. Here’s the thing, there’s certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that a child, and indeed any human body needs to survive and function properly. Yes, these requirements can be found in meat and milk, but they’re among many other things (most of which contain far less cholestrol, bad fats, and are generally better for the human body to digest than the animal products). To say a child needs meat and milk is ignorant logic.

Not only that, but who says that a meat and dairy-based diet is inherently healthy? I’ve seen some unhealthy vegetarians, but go and look in your local KFC and you’ll see several teen mums shovelling fried chicken and chips into their 3 year olds’ mouths. I know this situation is in Greece, but I’ve been to Greece several times and seen my fair share of obese Greek people, so I’m able to say I don’t think their diet is by any means the healthiest. The olive oil plays a hugely positive role in staying healthy, as does the sunlight, but the Greek diet is not necessarily a healthy one.

Pretty sure Stavros could lose some of that gut on a veggie diet

For more info on ridiculous anti-vegan arguments check wrosie’s post here. This decision is in the process of being examined, so hopefully it will be over-turned. In the meantime, perhaps Greece’s nutritionists should actually do some work?

Vegan for Lent – the Impact

If you’re remotely interested in the Vegan for Lent Challenge, here’s an added incentive courtesy of The Informed Vegan. He has compiled the effects of going vegan for Lent on the Earth, and although there will obviously be variation due to diet this is an excellent list and a great incentive to get you thinking seriously about the challenge.

The effects of going vegan for Lent if you are on the average American diet could be

Save the lives of 40 animals.

Leave the cheese for the mice for the next 40 days

Save 70 pounds of grain.

Save 9,375 gallons of water.

Avoid 4 pounds of artery clogging cheese.

Avoid guzzling 2 gallons of fatty milk.

Do head over to The Informed Vegan blog and have a browse, it’s full of interesting info, and also think seriously about the Vegan for Lent Challenge, it’s definitely a worthwhile sacrifice.


*UPDATE* If you have decided to take up the challenge please do check out this website here for a free e-book download that has ALL the information on going Vegan for lent!!

Save the lives of 40 animals.

Save 70 pounds of grain.

Save 9,375 gallons of water.

Avoid 4 pounds of artery clogging cheese.

Avoid guzzling 2 gallons of fatty milk.

What does “may contain milk” mean?

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As a vegan, I regularly pick up a product which is not clearly labelled, scan the ingredients and find that it is vegan, yet also notice that the product states that it ‘may contain milk’. This is a confusing term, as if a product has no apparent traces of milk in its ingredients then how come it ‘may contain’ it? This particularly confused me when I first went vegan, and tried to avoid all these products. Fear not, for generally when a product says this it’s merely to cover the manufacturers back, and the product itself is very very unlikely to contain any milk at all.

Generally, what this means is that the product has been created on an assembly line alongside other products which do contain milk, or perhaps created using the same machinery. This machinery is usually thoroughly washed before using it to create vegan products. This tends to be for the case of lactose intolerance – severe lactose intolerance may be triggered by the slightest trace of milk in a product, and the reaction could be fatal. As a result, you can be pretty confident that any product you buy which ‘may contain milk’ will rarely contain a trace of the stuff, and this is definitely good news for vegans. The manufacturer is merely stating that in case of an allergic reaction.

Nevertheless, some manufacturers choose not to label products which may contain milk as vegan. A key example which springs to mind is the Co-Op, and their own brand products. Co-Op clearly state which of their products are vegan, and there are many. However, there are actually a huge range of products (such as some cereals) which do not state that they are vegan, but upon inspection actually are. They just contain the usual ‘may contain milk’ statement near the ingredients. I suppose that I should be thanking the Co-Op for making it clear which of their products are vegan, and being so careful about it. After all, if a product contains even a trace of milk then it’s not technically vegan, and they’re steering me away from these products.

However, I am an ethical vegan. I am not lactose intolerant. Would it annoy me if I accidentally ate something with milk traces in it? Yes, it would. But, honestly, what annoys me more is that the Co-Op have gone to so much effort to label their vegan foods and yet I still have to suffer the boredom of scanning ingredients on those products which I’m confident will be vegan in order to be sure. If a product is 99.9% likely to be vegan, then I would call it a vegan product. As an ethical vegan, what’s important to me is where I place my money. I make every effort to avoid buying non-vegan products as I do not want to support the meat and dairy industries. By buying a vegan product which accidentally has the slightest trace of milk in it I do not believe I am supporting a negative industry. In fact, I am showing support for a vegan product. As Vegan Action puts it “Our motivation is working to end cruelty to animals and we don’t feel that avoiding trace amounts of animal products in vegan foods helps end animal suffering” ( So, in my opinion, don’t take any notice when a product says ‘may contain milk’.

Perhaps you disagree though, in which case please do comment to let me know your feelings!

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