It seems to me that you have confused the author of this article with someone on one of those Industrial Farms we all despise. Factory farms as they are called are nasty, unkind to animals, detestable places that feed cows on corn, stale bubblegum still in the wrapper, and other unhealthy things while they pump them full of growth hormones, and antibiotics to keep them alive for a few years on their poor diet and mistreatment. No one that I know disagrees that those places need to cease to exist, and one way to stop them is to stop eating/drinking their product. On that point we clearly agree
Meanwhile, the farm described here is much like the one I and many others grew up on. The animals are treated well and watched over. I personally have carried several new born calves through the rain and snow from the freezing creek to the warm barn to save them and the cow. The cows on these farms are treated well and have a long happy life. As you read in the article many of them have personalities that make them stand out from the others and the farmer that fails to adjust to their personalities does so at his or her own peril. Why does the farmer do this, because it is true that contented cows give more and better milk.
As to the environmental problem, you should take a look at some of the research in Acres USA and elsewhere. The air pollution and water pollution problem so often quoted by environmentalist is a direct result of the Factory Farming operation. Cows raised on grass do not have the problem and in fact they can be a boon to the environment as exemplified by the Salatin's that run PolyFace Farms (PollyFaceFarms.COM)
Finally, I am glad that we live in a free country so that people like you can enjoy being a vegan if that pleases them. I can think of no better way to celebrate freedom than allowing you to eat as you please.
Personally, as a farmer, I had to come to an understanding about the food I eat many years ago starting with the fish I caught and had to clean as a child. It was hard to slice the first one open. As was the first rabbit, but had I not, then there would have been little on the table that evening. Then I began to appreciate the fish and the rabbit for what they were. I thanked each for providing me with needed nourishment and I vowed to waste none of its life.
Since that time I have learned to treat animals nice, to appreciate their life and to thank them for the nourishment they bring to my body. I do the same for plants, trees, fish and birds. They are all welcome in my life and on my plate - complete with my personal thanks. There is no malice and very little waste as wasting a life would be a terrible thing.
So if you have not come to peace with all your possible food, then by all means, eat only that with which you have come to terms. To do otherwise would be hypocrisy.
Jerry, thank you for that answer. You covered it very well.
We do not treat our cows in a cruel and unnatural manner. Cows give birth once a year naturally and we simply use that fact to keep our herd healthy and in milk. Our cows live on a grass diet, with a very small amount of corn, soy bean and minerals to keep their body condition and energy levels up, just as you no doubt take vitamins and mineral supplements. Our hay is harvested early and often to keep the lignins low, the cause of cow 'burping' and therefore keep our environmental impact low. We were awarded with the county environmental conservation award for 2006 and continue to advance our efforts.
I really enjoyed this article. My grandpa and grandma had a Holstein dairy in NE nebraska and I loved going there. I loved milking time in the barn - it smelled sweet from the hay stored in the upper part and from the cows themselves. It was a wonderful memory. I know that some cows were cantankerous, but since I was a kid, I didn't have to deal with that aspect.
I'm glad I can drink milk without any regrets. Let's not pass a bill outlawing either milk or vegetables.
Starbird--have you ever been around cows? How about a bull? A bull simply doesn't care about a cow's feelings--she's gonna be pregnant whether she wants to or not. A cow having a calf a year is very natural, and it would happen in a wild cow herd, too.
Thanks, GardenRiot. Some people just want all cattle farmers all to be evil. Interesting that handling cows in a negative manner does nothing but kill production, not the definition of a good business plan aside from being morally abhorrent.
The goal of any living thing is to reproduce its self to continue the species. You choose which to nourish your being with.
After a tomato is produced it would re-seed its self, but they plow up tomato fields after the harvest, do you think the tomatoes are real happy about that?
Don't just pick on cattle.