Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man…

You don’t have to do a lot of searching to find a plethora of quotes on animal cruelty.

George Bernard Shaw said

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.”

I have thought long and hard about this very thing. How so many people walk around completely detached from the food on their plate. When people hear you’re vegan, many times they hit you with something along the lines of…”Oh, I love animals, but cheese tastes so good.” or “Oh, don’t tell/show me what they do to them…*whilst covering their ears/eyes*…I can’t bear it”.

So, people know that horrible things happen, but just chose to pretend it doesn’t and carry on eating anything their belly desires?

I cannot understand this mentality. How can we, as sentient beings, walk around contributing to terrible things (and know we are) but convince ourselves that because we don’t actively hear what happens we’re innocent??

I’m finding it hard driving around at the moment – I’m seeing loads of little calves in fields. None of them can be more than a few months old, with not a Mummy in sight. There they are, lying in the warmth of the midday sun. Enjoying life, albeit without their Mum by their side. They have absolutely no idea the horror their life will become…

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I don’t know about you, but for me I hope I’ll live a long, happy life. I hope I’m able to love and be loved. I pray I’m able to be free from pain and suffering…and (because it is inevitable) I really hope, when my time comes, that I have a peaceful and painless death. I don’t want to feel fear or terror when my last moments come. Isn’t that a similar picture to everyone’s?

Sadly, for any animal born into the factory farming business….these very basic wishes will never be met.

Let’s look at cows. They are only bred for one of two purposes – beef or dairy. If you’re lucky enough to come back as a cow…pray you’re born on a sanctuary that’s owned by a hippie vegan. If you’re not lucky enough for that…and let’s face it, you won’t be. Then maybe the life of a bullock would be the best option. Will you be free of suffering? Hell no! Will you live a long happy life? Don’t be daft!!!

A male calf will be removed from his Mum quickly (usually within 12-24 hours). This is VERY distressing to both the baby and the Mum. As you can imagine, she cries for her baby and he very much cries for her. A cow can recognise the unique cry of its calf and vice versa. They’ve been known to call out to each other for days.

Let’s take veal for an example. This little calf is the bi-product of the milk industry. A cow (like her human counterpart) lactate in response to pregnancy and birth…with the sole purpose of feeding her baby. So…she has to birth a baby cow in order to produce milk. Calves from ‘dairy’ cows are less suitable for meat that those born into the beef industry, so these calves are often shot at birth – born to die, unnecessary consequences of milk production. Shockingly, 55’000 calves are shot every year in the UK, immediately after being birthed from a dairy cow.

The remainder of these little guys are destined for the ‘veal pen’, this is where the party really starts. They will be kept in dark pens – so small they cannot turn around, lie down or even have a good stretch. Heaven forbid they get to use any muscles, I mean veal is renound for its anaemic soft flesh. I use the word anaemic on purpose here, as…wait for it…the milk substitute they are given is deliberately lacking in iron and essential nutrients so the calve is anaemic, which gives the pale colour that is considered desirable to the buyer! *vom*

Have I repulsed you yet? Oh, right…you don’t eat veal, so this is all nothing to do with you?

Actually, you drink milk? eat cheese? partake in a yoghurt or two? Then you VERY much do contribute to this little fella’s story.

So, after the very brief time in the veal pen (usually 14-18 weeks) these BABIES are taken to a slaughter house. They’re seeking maternal comfort so much that they’ve been known to suckle on the fingers of the slaughter-men. Human babies suck to self sooth….would it be to abhorrent to imagine that these little things do the same?

What a fucking life, eh? Makes you happy you’re not a cow!

These little beings never see the sun; touch the earth; eat the grass. They’re simply born – and before they have even had the umbilical cord severed from their mother, their fate is sealed. Literally born to die!

If you’re one of the lucky bastards that get to graze – woohoo, your life is relatively limited in terms of torture. You’ve only got to endure castration, without anaesthetic by the way, because pffft….you’re only a cow, you can’t need anaesthetic or analgesia. You’ll have your horns burned off and be branded. Oh, and have your ear pierced and even maybe your nose! The big bonus to this life is…you get to feel the grass…lie on it, taste it, run if you want. Shortly before you’re due to be murdered…I mean, slaughtered humanely for food…you’ll be moved to a ‘fattening shed’, where you’ll be fed loads of grains and high calorie food to ‘fatten you up’. You’re life will be ended around 20-24 months following your birth (sometimes they can even get 5 years). In your prime – but, you should know, you didn’t die in vain…hundreds of people found you delicious in their sandwich!! That gives your life real purpose, right?

Anyway, if all of that hasn’t freaked you out enough, let’s explore, briefly, the life of a female calf.

Now…this story can’t possibly be as tragic? No way, I hear you say. I mean, come on….a cow doesn’t die for its milk. 😩

Sorry pals, that’s totally not true! A female is born into a life with a fate pre-written for her. She will be removed almost immediately from her Mum, which makes perfect sense. Mummy is going to produce tons of milk immediately to feed her baby and we can’t have that baby getting any of the precious milk destined for us! Come on…get a grip!

The baby is removed and placed in a lovely nursery type pen, with grass…lovely comfy hay beds and a foster Mummy, who lovingly fills the hole left by her mother. Only kidding!!! She’s removed and placed into a solitary pen, where she spends the first 8 weeks of her miserable little life. Calves are energetic and need to play, but the stalls don’t allow for that. They are fed on milk replacement from a bucket or bottle.

After 8 weeks of age they are moved into shared accommodation  (or out to pasture if weather permits). Despite in the wild feeding from mum for 9 months, these little ladies will be weaned by a few months old.

By 18 months it’s time to start earning her keep, so to speak. She will be inseminated for the first, but not last time. The poor girl doesn’t even get a hint of enjoyment from that experience…instead the farmer uses artificial insemination. A cow is being milked and pregnant at the same time for 7 months of every year!! This is very painful for her and she is often suffering from mastitis and trauma as a result.

After 9 months she births her beautiful baby….only for it to be taken and the process to be repeated 2-3 months later!

Due to the tremendous strain on a cow, she usually burns out within 4-5 years. So…when she falls down with exhaustion she gets picked up and retired to a lovely field where she lives out her days in cow bliss, right?

Eh, no! 😭

She gets bundled in a van and taken to slaughter…where she gets made into LOW GRADE burgers and dog food!

🤧 Is there anything worse than being a cow???

I think not! ✌

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