Another day, another horrifying example of animal abuse on a dairy farm.
Yesterday, news broke of Mercy for Animals most recent undercover investigation at a West Texas dairy ranch, E6 Cattle Company. I’m not going to post the video here because I can’t even bring myself to watch it – so I’m definitely not going to force it down anyone else’s throat – but here are the highlights:
- Workers bludgeoning calves in their skulls with pickaxes and hammers – often involving 5 to 6 blows, sometimes more – before rendering the animals unconscious
- Beaten calves, still alive and conscious, thrown onto dead piles
- Workers kicking downed calves (those too sick or injured to stand) in the head and standing on their necks and ribs
- Calves confined to squalid hutches, thick with manure and urine buildup and barely large enough for the calves to turn around or fully extend their legs
- Gruesome injuries and afflictions, including open sores, swollen joints and severed hooves
- Ill, injured and dying calves denied medical care
- The budding horns of calves burned out of their skulls without painkillers
I wish I could tell you that this is an isolated example. Though some activists are saying it is easily the worst they’ve seen, it’s not that far off from what Mercy for Animals and other organizations and individuals always find during undercover investigations. Not sometimes. Always.
Think about the statistical probability of this kind of abuse just happening to occur every single time animal activists manage to get inside a factory farm. The likelihood that these are isolated incidents is so small as to be considered virtually impossible.
So often people have a hard time understanding the vegan position on dairy and eggs. After all, you don’t have to take an animal’s life to consume these products. As this video makes clear, there are fates worse than death.
Sure, not every dairy or egg farm is run this way, but there is some inherent disregard for the value of the animals in question that runs through the heart of any business model that depends on an animal product for profit. In many ways, I feel dairy cows and egg-laying hens have it worse than those who are raised for meat. Their lives are much longer, which really only means that they endure far more pain and suffering – at the end of which, they’re sent off to slaughter anyway.
Lucky for us, there are a vast array of dairy alternatives available today that make it easier than ever to give cheese and milk the old heave ho! Here, you’ll find a comprehensive listing of alternative dairy products with accompanying reviews. This gives you a great idea of what’s out there and which brands have become most popular with the dairy-free crowd.
Also, in case you’re interested, here’s a list of my faves. Give one of them a try. You might be pleasantly surprised!
My Favorite Dairy Alternatives
This is a tie between Daiya and Follow Your Heart. I tend to buy Daiya more, but I will confess that is mostly attributable to laziness since Daiya comes in shreds and Follow Your Heart is only available as a block. Both are excellent.
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk. This is my preference, but really, any almond milk will do.
Earth Balance. Earth Balance comes in tubs and sticks and there is zero difference in taste, texture and melting point between it and typical butter or margarine. This is handily the easiest thing to replace in a vegan diet.
I also have a recipe for Ricotta cheese that will knock your socks off. I use it in lasagna.
Recipe Courtesy of Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
14-16 oz extra-firm tofu, crumbled
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
- Blend everything in a food processor
- Use immediately