Everyone knows that in order to make milk, cows have to be impregnated, like any other mammal. This creates the veal industry – and just four days ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture shut down a veal slaughter facility in Vermont.
When Shakespeare wrote down the phase “Milk of human kindness” in Macbeth, he was unaware of the irony this phrase would have almost 400 years later. The care and compassion for others he speaks of does not extend to dairy cows or their calves, who are the subjects of the latest undercover investigation from the HSUS, who continue to open our eyes to the atrocities committed out-of-sight for something as simple as a glass of milk.
Videotape from the investigation reveals that veal calves only a few days old—many with their umbilical cords still hanging from their bodies—were unable to stand or walk on their own. The tape shows that the animals were kicked, slapped and repeatedly shocked with electric prods and subjected to other mistreatment.
The worst part is, this is not uncommon. Approximately 700,000 veal calves are slaughtered in the US annually. The even worse part? We’re not baby cows – and we don’t need to drink cows’ milk any more than we need to drink giraffes’ milk. There are other things to put in our coffee and cereal, and every time we take a sip of milk or a bite of cheese – as the late Gretchyn Wyler once said, “We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.”