This article originally appeared on The Daily Pitchfork.
Animal advocates have long lamented the popular perception that milk and eggs are, relative to meat, harmless manifestations of the animal-industrial complex. While Gary Francione has frequently noted that there's possibly more suffering in a glass of milk than a steak, consumers have generally remained in the dark about the brutality required to bring eggs, milk, yogurt, and cheese to our plates.
The fact that these products are not the immediate result of slaughter fosters the perception that they come to us without welfare implications. An extensive body of research suggests that nothing could be further from the truth. But big media has done little to correct that perception. Nor does it seem interested in doing so.
It was therefore gratifying to see an article in the Australian media - by ABC Rural - present accurate information that helped clarify this common misconception. The brief piece leads by highlighting a report about to be released by an animal welfare organization called Voiceless. The writer, Anna Vidot, quotes a Voiceless spokesperson detailing some of the problems with dairy:
A lot of people don't realise that a cow must have a calf every 13 months in order to be able to produce a high volume of milk, and our biggest concern is, firstly, the separation of the cow and calf. We've documented scientific evidence how distressing that process is. Then, also, the early slaughter of around 800,000 bobby calves every year – these are calves that are born and slaughtered within five days.
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