Despite what Mercy For Animals wants you to think, we don’t abuse our cows. #RealWiDairy

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November 12, 2014 by dairycarrie

Yesterday I was minding my own business when a stranger suddenly punched me in the guts. At least that’s what it felt like when I opened my email to find that Mercy For Animals had released a video showing cows being abused on a Wisconsin dairy farm. While I will not link to the video and give it more views, I will say that video does show things that should have never happened. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it, no one wants animal abusers out of business more than farmers.

Bad apples happen in any industry, yes a few of the 49,000 dairy farms in our country are not taking care of their cows the way they should. While the news headlines about parents abusing their children vastly outnumber stories of abuse on dairy farms, people know and understand that not all parents are horrible people. Mercy For Animals knows that they can get people to believe that dairy farmers abuse their cows because they know that most people don’t have someone they know that they can ask directly. Unlike 30 years ago, today the average person is 3 generations removed from the farm, Mercy For Animals exploits the disconnect between people like me on the farm and people like you, our customer. Mercy For Animals doesn’t just want abusers to be caught, they want you to stop eating and using animal products. Their goal is for you to become vegan and for all farms that raise animals to be out of business.

With posts like this on Facebook, Mercy For Animals cant deny that they want you to stop eating animal products.

With posts like this on Facebook, Mercy For Animals can’t deny that they want you to stop eating animal products.

The day to day tasks on a dairy farm are not the kind of thing that often makes the news, so when something like this video comes out, it’s often what reminds people that we exist. In the past farmers have not done a very good job talking about what we do with our customers. As a dairy farmer I want everyone who buys dairy products to feel connected to the people who raise the animals that made the milk. I know that the only way to stop groups like Mercy For Animals from painting all farmers with the same brush is to make sure that people can find a farmer to ask their questions to.

Take a moment and get the rest of the story straight from the farmers mouth. Check out #RealWiDairy.

Take a moment and get the rest of the story straight from the farmers mouth. Check out #RealWiDairy.

This afternoon I sent out a message to all my dairy farming friends in Wisconsin (and beyond!) and asked them to get on social media and start using the #RealWiDairy tag in their posts. They have already started to share photos and posts from their farms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They want to connect with you. They want to answer your questions. Please take a minute and get the story from the farmers instead of groups like Mercy For Animals.

To make it even easier for you to get connect back to where your dairy products start here are some links for you. Just click on the photo to be taken to the list of posts using #RealWiDairy on these platforms. Find a farmer, ask your questions, know that we care about not just our cows and our farm but our customers.

Click here to see #RealWIDairy posts on facebook and connect with the farmers who grow your food.

Click here to see #RealWIDairy posts on facebook and connect with the farmers who grow your food. You can also enter #RealWiDairy in the search bar in facebook to see the posts. 

Twitter logo

Click here to connect with farmers on twitter and see posts using the #RealWIDairy tag.

Click here to be taken to a feed of all posts on Instagram using #RealWiDairy or search #RealWIDairy on the Instagram App.

Click here to be taken to a feed of all posts on Instagram using #RealWiDairy or search #RealWIDairy on the Instagram App.

202 thoughts on “Despite what Mercy For Animals wants you to think, we don’t abuse our cows. #RealWiDairy

  1. Christy Looney says:

    I think Mercy for Animals are uninformed asshats!

    • katesnyder13 says:

      Well their video proof of these things happening makes them pretty informed and not asshats. But yes the writer of this article is right. It really does put a bad name on all farms, I find myself finding it hard to not become infuriated when I see those videos. I wish it didn’t happen at all!

    • Jessa says:

      What is wrong with you Christy Looney.. Your that if you obviously don’t see it. First of all these animals should be treated as the animal beings they are but instead you morons abuse them like there worthless pieces of trash. How would you feel being locked up and beaten to death? To only breathe fresh air right before being transported to the slaughter house? Don’t even give me that crap about saying “Its how life is” or whatever. It is not natural or how it is at all. There are only so many animals out there because us trashy humans drug them to death and make them breed. If we stopped drugging them and all that, we would have a lot less barn animals. They are abused because of us. My own father says that “It’s apart of life. It’s the food chain, We’re at the top” Well how would you feel if there was something above us in the food chain? That they took there power and used it for evil? Just because we are above them doesn’t mean we should be abusing these poor animals. We are PEOPLE. We are human beings yet we use that against what should be our friends. We are evil. Do you think God honestly looks at what these people are doing and is okay with it? NO. He wants people to stand against it! The only reason more people want this to keep happening is because only good people or innocent kids are the ones that think its wrong. You are a horrible person and I honestly feel bad for you. I am only 12 yet I see the difference. I am NOT letting my life and the future ruin what I believe unlike you did. I am strong enough to fight for what I believe in. I will NEVER change into something like you. You need to look back to when you were a kid and you actually were the least bit smart. I understand that life can damage what you think but don’t let it damage how you feel. I know somewhere in that disgusting meat eating heart there is some part that really feels for these animals. Just give these animals a chance. Let them breathe and live life the way they were born to. Look at us? We get to use technology, breathe fresh air every day, have a family that we don’t suffer with, we fight and stand for each other with, we have so much of an advantage its not fair. They cant help they they are animals. Let them be free and happy. That’s what god put them here for. A lot of people think only for food, but they are wrong. He put them here to test us and see what we would put our powers to. He wants us to help them, not ruin there chance of living. Everything and Everyone deserves a chance. We just have to let them have it.

    • Sharon says:

      A primary goal of Mercy for Animals is to pass legislation so that animals are treated consistently. Obviously, if this farm takes issue — as “we don’t abuse our cows” — then they are in agreement with Mercy for Animals. That abuse should not be tolerated. How else can this be managed except through legislation? It’s like saying we don’t need laws against theft or murder — because most citizens are upstanding.

      • dairycarrie says:

        A primary goal of MFA, as stated on their own website is to Reduce, Refine and Replace animal agriculture. That goal is incompatible with what I do each day. So no, I am not in agreement with Mercy For Animals.

        • Sharon says:

          It’s sad that you don’t see the alignment. They clearly express under what they do: Investigations, Education, Legal Advocacy, and Corporate Outreach. They’re not an extreme organization. Animal abuse is extreme. And it seems like you are (thankfully) sensitive to that. Why not tackle farming practice that doesn’t match your standards? It would be great if your pro-animal voice were better directed toward real culprits.

        • Diane Eliott says:

          I have been amazed and rendered dumb with the lack of knowledge regarding farming on MFA. I have urged people to talk to their local dairy farmers and cattle farmers and understand how it all works. The videos they put up recently have been of little use. I saw a man incorrectly tube a calf. (they used on a voice over force feeding) I have put up a you tube (english site) to show how it should be done and thus the people who comment and want to write to the company ((Daisy Brand Dairy) they have proof it was not done the right way. I lost patience when the voice over said “no pain killers administered when they ear tagged” I will be following you on face book, when I can. Good to read articles from a working farmer. Diane

        • angie says:

          Diarycarrie, I appreciate you caring for animals and trying to convey a somewhat well thought out message, but I must be missing your point. First I’d like to correct you in stating no where on Mercy For Animals website does it state what you had inferred. They are committed to “speak up against cruelty and for compassion.” If you have a clean conscience by the way you raise animals as commodities then why are you fighting so hard to attack organizations that promote animal welfare? In fact right on Mercy For Animals’ website they claim that they are “fighting to protect farmed animals…From factory farms”. It is my opinion that animals raised in factory farms are viewed as machines. They are not given any dignified or humane quality of life. For instance, a calf born male (a bull) is of no use to the dairy industry and is separated from his mother moments after birth, 97% of all calves are butchered as veal. I have also read accounts from dairy farmers that mother cows will cry over the loss of their babies. This is a cruel practice so humans can steal milk that is intended for a mother’s baby. If it can be done “humanely” I’d like to know how. Also heifers are impregnated at early ages and are forced to be in a continuous state of pregnancy so they lactate and produce milk. This is taxing on their bodies which results in mastitis or metritis and weakens them to the point where they can no longer walk or stand. By the time they reach a quarter of their natural life span they are sent to slaughter (usually around 5 years old) because they are either too weak to sustain another pregnancy or their milk production declines. As a woman to think of being forcefully impregnated over and over and having my babies taken from me every time is unconscionable. You might laugh this off by thinking they’re a cow they don’t know any better. But any one who has ever seen the bond between a mother and child knows it transcends species. I am not personally attacking you and wish to engage further.

        • dairycarrie says:

          Hi Angie,
          Let’s go over this point by point.
          1. As a matter of fact, MFA says exactly that on their website, you can read it for yourself here- http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/eating/?referrer=https://www.google.com/
          2. The lazy answer to humane animal care is to rail against large farms. People want to make it easy to define what is a good farm and what is a “bad” farm and instead of accepting that people determine how animals are cared for, not farm size, we have broad accusations against large farms. HAving spent time on some of the largest dairy farms in the country, I can tell you that farm size is not the deciding factor in humane care.
          3. You should probably check your stats on veal calves because they are wrong. In the US, veal is not a very popular meat, there is simply no way that 97% of all bull calves born on dairy farms could be raised for veal, there simply isn’t a market for that amount of veal meat. I live in an area that used to be one of the top veal production areas in the country, now there is only one small farm raising veal left. I’ve read estimates that 10-15% of dairy calves are raised for veal. So where do bull calves go? The overwhelming majority of dairy bull calves are raised as beef steers. Now I understand that ultimately, you’re not ok with an animal being slaughtered, and a beef steer still ends up on our plates, but the facts are very different from what you’ve been led to believe.
          4.Do some cows show distress when their calves are removed? Yes. I won’t lie, a few of our girls do bellow for their calves. However the majority do not. Many of our cows won’t even lick their calves off. Why is that? Because for thousands of years humans have been selecting dairy cows that are easy to work around. A cow who has tries to take out a farmer for touching her calf, isn’t a cow that would stay around long. Unlike a beef cow, who should have good maternal instinct, that instinct isn’t as strong in dairy animals. There are a handful of dairy farms out there that cow share, and allow calves to nurse for part of the day and then milk them for the excess. Yes, a dairy cow has been bred to produce more milk than what her calf alone can consume.
          5. Heifers impregnated at early ages…. Farmers generally don’t breed heifers until they are 12-14 months old. A heifer calf will start showing heat and cycling as young as 4 months old. “In the wild” a heifer would be bred by a bull much younger than what age a farmer breeds a heifer. Further, after a cow calves, farmers generally wait 45-70 days to breed her again. You guessed it, a bull in “the wild” would not wait to breed her.
          6. Metritis- A cow has a calf once a year on a dairy farm just as nature designed her to do, even without human intervention. Further, dairy farmers tend to select “calving ease” bulls for heifers and cows, making the labor process easier on our cows. This lowers the incidence of metritis. I’m not sure how you’ve come to decide that having a calf yearly, as she would in nature would increase cases of metritis.
          7. Mastitis- Ask a handful of breastfeeding mothers if they have had mastitis and someone will tell you their story of having it. Mastitis happens in all mammals, farmed or not.
          8. The idea that cows live to be 20 years old is again way out there. Yes, a few have lived that long but there are also a few people who live to extreme ages. A few cows living into their late teens or early twenties doesn’t mean that they would all live that long. There are many reasons a cow would be sent to slaughter, Low milk production and problems getting pregnant are most often genetic, not because they are over taxed.
          9. A cow is not forcibly impregnated, nor is she raped. This is the most heinous and insulting line that animal rights activists like to use. A cow comes into heat every 21 days until she is pregnant. While she is in heat she is bred. Some farms use artificial insemination, some farms have bulls. When a cow is in heat, either the bull breeds her or she is inseminated. Cows don’t have recreational sex, farmers don’t breed cows unless they are in heat. Do you know how a farmer knows if his cow is in heat? Because the other cows, will jump on the cow and ride her like a bull would. It’s called standing heat, she stands still and allows the other cow to jump her because that’s what nature tells her to do. There is no forcing a cow to become pregnant.
          The bottom line is that we don’t agree. While I have taken a lot of time to understand the point of view of vegans, I am continually gobsmacked that many seem to learn about dairy farming from memes and anti-animal ag websites rather than learning from farmers themselves. Frankly, the lack of common sense on your side of the argument is appalling. I’m cool if you want to be vegan, I understand that your core values directly conflict with mine on this topic, but do your side a favor and stop repeating crap that simply isn’t true.

        • Sadie McAdam says:

          not surprised she doesn’t get the connection… vegan or not, MFA rocks. what are your credentials? WATCH THE VIDEOS OR DON”T. If you can’t handle the truth, it says a lot about you. Don’t watch the videos if you can’t handle it. You can’t deny the truth. You can refuse to watch or not, but your article sucks and bitching and moaning about MFA? MFA is pro-vegan. So what’s your problem with that? Your little farm, or MANY LITTLE FARMS will go under? PLAN AHEAD. duh.

  2. Mitch says:

    If you are against animal abuse and treat your own animals well shouldn’t you welcome any investigation that exposes farms with abusive conditions? People I worked with in the lab animal business always claimed that they were grateful to the animal rights movement for pushing for better treatment of the animals because when animals were treated better researchers got better results. Doesn’t exposing and weeding out abusive farmers help the dairy industry? Do you want to have farmers who allow their workers to abuse animals as peers?

    • dairycarrie says:

      Mitch, I’m not against abusers being exposed. If MFA went onto this farm and found abuse and reported it and got it stopped that would be one thing. But they don’t do these videos to stop abuse, they do videos so that they can use them to try and convince people that all farmers are like this. MFA doesn’t do this to help animals, they do it to help their agenda. Further, why is it ok for a group with such an obvious bias to be considered investigators? What is fair and just about sending someone into a farm that wants to film abuse so that they can make a video? Activists are not investigators.

      • Rick Smith says:

        AS usual Carrie your right on the mark. However there are now only approx. 45000 Dairy farms in existence in the US. In 1980 WI had that many!!! There are now approx. 1100 dairy farms left in WI and that will likely be cut in 1/2 before 2020 unfortunately and next year could be brutal year if forecast prices come to pass. I agree ask a farmer and better yet also ask those you know who have had relatives or friends in the field. Also reading “Creating Dairyland” should be a must read for all fourth graders and above. And especially those who have lost track of their historical AND contemporary inheritance. Easy and Fun to read both for the beginner and the expert IMHO.

      • Mitch says:

        These particular activists are acting as investigative journalists. Without them no one would be aware of the abuse on that farm. It is completely fair to document what happens at one’s place of employment.

        Are you confident that similar abuse does not occur on your farm, and if so, why do you believe that it does not?

        • dairycarrie says:

          Acting as investigative journalists? Are you kidding me!?!? There is no journalism going on. They are agenda driven, pure and simple. Is it completely fair to obtain a job with the sole purpose of trying to uncover abuse?

          As to our farm, yes I am 110% sure that abuse like this doesn’t happen on our farm. I know it doesn’t because my husband and I and my inlaws are always around. We’re the only full time workers on our farm. Our other milkers are people we have known since they were kids. The first rule I have for hiring anyone is that they must love animals. It’s served us well.

        • Mitch says:

          If you are aware of what happens on your farm then it’s reasonable to expect the owners of the farms where abuse has been filmed to know what happens on their farms as well. In such cases it would be futile to expect to stop abuse by reporting it to the farmer himself.

          Without hidden camera footage Billy Joe Gregg would still be beating cows for fun and it would still be business as usual on the farms exposed by Mercy for Animals.

          If I did not live downtown with no way to get to a farm early in the morning I would get myself a camera and apply for farm work myself.

        • dairycarrie says:

          So you think the only people who can report abuse are activists? If a worker sees abuse what is stopping them from going to the police and allowing the real investigators to do the investigating?
          Yes, my husband and I are very hands on, we stay at the size we are so that we can work with our cows rather than having to manage people. This has rewards and drawbacks. I certainly don’t knock people for choosing to go bigger and have more employees. That being said, more employees means more chance of hiring bad people. I think it’s crap that this guy didn’t know what was going on and I won’t defend that for a second. But that doesn’t mean that I think it’s ok for MFA to use the abuse on this farm for their own financial gain.

        • bovidiva says:

          I was discussing this issue in a forum in WI today. I can honestly say I’ve never seen abuse on a dairy farm (though I’m not denying that bad apples exist), but I wonder how these “investigative journalists” (activists) choose the farms where they apply for work. Is it really coincidental (I suspect not) or do they make a point of trying to promote abuse so that they can film it? That is akin to entrapment than investigative journalism.

        • Beth DeRoos says:

          It’s my view that the dairies who have been shown abusing their cows are HUGE non family dairies being run by hired hands who are probably making low wages.

          Should be assume that every business is somehow bad because some businesses are bad? I hope not.

        • Erica Windram says:

          In order to get milk the cow has to be pregnant for 9 months just like us. It has to be forcibly impregnated which is rape. Do you think the cow gave consent? Don’t think so. Calves have to be taken from mothers in order for us to drink their milk. If they are males born into this industry they are viewed as useless unless they can be sold for veal. Who would take a new born or 3 day old baby from their mother? I can tell you who..a bitch named Dairy Carrie.

        • dairycarrie says:

          You realize that a cow comes into heat every 21 days until she is pregnant right? A cow in heat will stand for other female cows to jump and ride her. Do you believe that a cow bred by a bull gives different signs of being ready to breed that somehow gives the bull consent to breed her?
          This comment is incredibly insulting to any woman who has been the victim of rape. The only reason I am approving it is because it’s so absurd!
          You should also know that the vast majority of bull calves are raised as steers not veal. They are far from useless and there is no “if” to being able to sell them. Currently week old Holstein bull calves are selling for $400-475. If they were useless why would they have a market price that high?
          If caring for my cows and animals makes me a bitch, I’ll wear that title with pride.
          You don’t have to agree with dairy but you should probably learn enough about it to keep yourself from looking like a moron.

        • farmergirl says:

          Erica,

          To be clear – no well thought out, logical argument ever ends with calling someone a bitch. There are plenty of words in the English language you can use to formulate an argument – profanity and name calling never help someone make their point.

          And to be clear – male dairy calves are often not sold for veal. There are plenty of uses for them outside the dairy world – many beef cattle producers will raise them as steers and others use them as graft calves in times of high calving loses (weather or disease related). At least that’s what they do with them in Montana – we’ve bought young dairy steer calves before.

          The rest of your arguments I’m not even going to address – largely because I do not really feel you’re here to learn anything about farming or ranching. Carrie does an outstanding job of advocating for our industry and I learn an incredible amount about the dairy industry from her. My area of expertise is in the wheat industry – not dairy.

          I would recommend however that you consider visiting working farms, ranches, and/or dairies – you may learn something – and maybe just maybe change your misguided views on the lives of cattle. Along with altering your views of the people that spend their lives struggling to make a living so individuals like yourself can eat – or live on a daily basis. (And you can say you do not eat dairy – or meat – but too many products are created from the industry … you cannot live without us.)

          People like Carrie that advocate for the industry can however live without being called names unnecessarily ….

      • JackieLyn Vanden Heuvel says:

        I am not a vegan, I do believe this group has intentions to stop any and all animal cruelty… not just too try to make people vegans. Although that may be a goal. The video is real, yes cropped and edited because they are not going to show 3 months worth of video footage on the evening news. Sorry if you feel this is affecting you if you treat your animals well, please keep doing so, but there are many who do not and who are very brutal.
        We consumers have the right to know what happens to our food prior to the grocery store shelves.

        Sincerely,
        JackieLyn Vanden Heuvel
        WI resident
        Meat eater
        Animal protector

        • dairycarrie says:

          I fully agree that you have the right to know what we do on our farms which is why I ask you in this post to go out and find farmers to connect to. That’s why I created the hashtag idea and started asking all the farmers I could think of the start using it. Above all else, my commitment to showing everyone what we do on our farms is why I write this blog.

        • Totally agree with you Jackielyn! I too eat meat, and totally disagree on the fact that Mercy for Animals is out to make us all vegans!! I make decisions on what meat I buy, who I buy it from, and where my dairy products originate from. I am not a pork fan because of the industry. I want my chickens local and free-range, Cheese? Well I sure won’t be buying any cheese that gets made from THAT farms milk! I live in Northern WI, home of not too many farms, but that doesn’t make me a ‘disconnected consumer’. My dollar will always go towards operations that treat animals humanely, so if a farm can show that, they get my hard-earned dollar. Just saying!

    • amy says:

      I like the way you think.
      Animals like people act with there surroundings. If they are treated well, they are more calm and comfortable, but if pushed to places they can’t “feel it” understand is safe or feels correct. They like any animal ( we, humans are animals) won’t preform it calmly or preform at all.
      Its common sense. Be kind and calm and healthy you will get kind, calm,and healthy. In people, plants, and animals!

  3. Beth DeRoos says:

    Any group or business has an agenda. If Mercy For Animals wants to drive every dairy out of business they will never succeed.

    We pay $15 a gallon for raw organic milk from Organic Pastures from Fresno CA, who have been in business for decades. And I will not stop buying two gallons per week from them.

  4. Julia says:

    Animal products should be banned. It is cruel to exploit animals for any reason. It’s 2014. all the worlds problems could be fixed if we banned slaughter houses. There will never be peace while houses of slaughter are allowed to exsist and while a group is allowed to exploit another. We could feed the world on plants, but choose to filter them inefficiently through animals. Animal farming is inherently cruel. You cannot kindly take away a baby, you cannot kindly slaughter. Live and let live. thank you MFA for exposing animal agriculture. I don’t know how many more of these investigations will be necessary to show people these are not uncommon incidents. Go vegan.

    • dairycarrie says:

      And thank you for being the glaring example of exactly what I was talking about above.

      • bovidiva says:

        “Live and let live” doesn’t concur with the suggestion that we should all go vegan. Whatever happened to acceptance of other people’s views and diets? I have no issue with you choosing a vegan diet – that’s absolutely your prerogative. Why should the same courtesy not be afforded to me as an omnivore? Furthermore, “all the world’s problems could be fixed if we banned slaughterhouses”? So let’s see: ebola, lung cancer, HIV, sudden infant death syndrome, the millions of death from flu each year, lack of food infrastructure in third-world countries, equine herpes virus, the entitlement attitude of the millenial generation…nope, not seeing the slaughterhouse relationship in any of these examples.

        • Layla says:

          You’re diet isnt acceptable as long as it has victims. You can eat junk (personal choice) you can eat healthily (personal choice), but as long as your eating another’s dead body and bodily fluids your inflicting indirect/direct pain on another being, where it is not necessary. Personal choice does not include a victim. And yes many of the world problems can be fixed if we turn to sustainable resources especially with food. We need to get rid of Animal agriculture which is a huge burden on water suplies, food sources and pollutes the earth (you should read up on that). While we can easily feed a lot more people plant based, while indirectly promoting good health! Many illnesses and cancers are avoidable with diet, type 2 diabetes is extremely preventable, obesity and more, yet they are so prevalent in this day and time. Not sure plant based can cure ebola, but thats a pretty ridiculous demand. You’re welcome to research up on the environmental destruction of animal agriculture, and animal protein effects on human health, it is out there for anyone who wishes to learn. As well as the elephant in the room, referring to ethics, place yourself in the animals position, i don’t see how anyone can condone the ruthless exploitment and suffering humans place on animals when its far from necessary ~but in the name of pleasure and convenience.-Pure selfishness. If the film Earthlings doesn’t make you question humanitys treatment of those at our mercy, then not a lot will. “If we can live healthy without hurting others, why wouldn’t we?”

        • bovidiva says:

          Layla- Ah yes, so banning slaughterhouses can “solve all the world’s problems” is a completely logical statement, yet expecting it to cure ebola (not a world problem?) is ridiculous? Dairy Carrie, could we please get a reality check in the comments section?
          It’s very kind of you to suggest that we all read up on environmental impact Layla. Given your in-depth research I’m sure you’re aware that the US dairy industry uses 90% less land, 65% less water and has a carbon footprint 63% lower per gallon of milk than it did 70 years ago. No? Perhaps it’s time to look at peer-reviewed research rather than the “Big PETA Book of Animal Rights Factoids”.
          If being vegan is simply the logical choice, why all the emotive terms? Bodily fluids? Victim? Is it because saying “meat” just doesn’t have that queasy undertone that the activist handbook demands?
          Finally, to the earlier commentator who talked about rape. I sincerely hope you never undergo this terrifying, humiliating and devastating experience. Compare that to the reaction of a cow in heat to a clean-up bull – absolutely no contest. Rather than spouting emotive nonsense, try actually working with cows and observing their behavior. It’s easy to pontificate when you’re ignorant.

        • Julia says:

          Well HIV and ebola originated in animals. How did they get passed to humans? By someone having sex with or eating the animal.. Cancer may largely be linked to animal protein. SIDS isnt well understood, nor is it as common… Many people are resistant to antibiotics b/c of animal ag.. lack of food could be solved by a plant-based diet (this has been shown over and over again) because it is inefficient to feed a majority of the worlds grains to animals and then eat the animals..

          What having slaugher houses does is perpetuate the idea that some matter less. As the German, Jewish Philosopher Adorno said “Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”

          The problem with dairy is inherently the treatment of animals. Of course you can have a dairy farm and never hit, kick, punch, stab the animals. But you will always being exploiting animals for profit and sending them to be killed.

          http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-ethics/former-meat-dairy-farmers-became-vegan-activists/

    • Beth DeRoos says:

      Julia, Actually there is no way we could feed the world on plants alone.

      How would people in northern Alaska, Siberia, northern Sweden, Norway, Finland as examples be able to feed themselves on plants alone come winter months (October-April)? Or desert people? Or even island people? Mankind has eaten meat and consumed animal milk since the dawn of civilization.

      And no I do not support factory farms where meat animals or egg layers are crammed into small areas. And its rare I even eat meat, unless its a fresh caught trout etc. But I am a vegetarian.

      • Julia says:

        A vegetarian would not consume meat EVER. You are not a vegetarian. You are happy to have animals live a nice “life” and then be brutally killed so you can consume them. It is totally possible to feed the world on plants. Dont kid yourself and act like people in those countries ONLY eat animal products and that we cannot transport food products.

        • wagonramblins says:

          You know there are several different types of vegetarian diets right? Lacto, Ovo, Lacto-Ovo, Pollotarian, Pescatarian etc…Google it.

        • Julia says:

          And none of those include meat.. except Pescatarian which is not vegetarian..

        • wagonramblins says:

          But they do eat animal products…right?????? The other two are also forms of vegetarian diets as well.

      • Beth DeRoos says:

        Doctor no dairy rather than hurl immature juvenile comments or Ad hominem attacks try and talk like an educated adult if you are indeed an adult. You also make comments like ‘stop being so stupid’, ‘stop being so ignorant’. Unless you do not want to be told some of your comments are ‘stupid’ or ‘ignorant’.

        While some south Asian countries have not had diets with much dairy in them the fact is, the Asian people of eastern Mongolia, parts of India, do consume milk from different animals and the Asian people who do not consume much if any dairy like the Japanese do eat a lot of fish. As do the native people of Alaska.

        As for your comment ‘The caribou up north seem to be doing well. Aren’t there grocery stores up there? Some people pickle their fruits and vegetables over winter’, you do know that to pickle most vegetables one needs either a lot of salt or vinegar? We do a lot of fermented foods. Oh and caribou live on willow leaves, moss and other lichens. And why humans make medicines from the willow leaves/bark an even lichens, one could not survive on them.

        And as someone who eat a fresh caught trout once a year and does not eat fish/meat the res of the year YES one can call themselves a vegetarian, which I have done for forty years. We also live in a 400 sq ft home, produce NO garbage,rarely drive, have no tv and live a very very very green lifestyle.

        • dairycarrie says:

          Beth, he can no longer comment here.

        • Jess McKay says:

          Beth, if you eat any meat you can’t call yourself a vegetarian. Or you can, but you are misusing the word. Veggies being killed? What do you think farm animals eat? Many more plants are killed to feed farm animals than would be necessary if people just ate the plants directly.

        • Beth DeRoos says:

          One damn trout a year when backpacking doesn’t make me NOT a vegetarian. Its the other 364 day a year vs 1 day a year that counts!!

        • Jess McKay says:

          You obviously don’t know the definition of vegeterian. It’s like saying “I’m not a murderer, I just murder one person a year! It’s the other 364 days that count!”

        • Colleen says:

          Really? That is a horrible example, you don’t have to be so mean to make your point, I bet you can think of a better way to say that and I bet you would get a better response if you did or you can just agree to not agree with Beth.

        • Beth DeRoos says:

          First off your attitude isn’t very encouraging for someone like me who is surrounded by meat eaters who tease me for being vegetarian. The fact I eat one trout a year was applauded by the vegetarians and vegans who are my friends because they know the environment I grew up in and live in now!!

          In fact your comments are an excellent example of why so many non vegans non vegetarians dislike vegans and vegetarians, because they assume ALL are like YOU!!

          I have been a vegetarian for 40 years!! How long have you been vegan? Or vegetarian? Walk a mile in my shoes before you mock me!! .

        • Lizbeth says:

          Jess McKay-Why on earth would you attack someone who is otherwise vegetarian for eating one fish? Your behavior undermines your cause.

    • kidznhorses says:

      If you ban all slaughter of all animals everywhere then there will be NO animals any where. Is that what you want? To never see a cow, goat, horse, pig any where? Oh, that’s right, only rich people would have them and they would be “rescued” and kept on farms hidden from everyone else to live a life of no purpose.
      Read Joel Salatin’s book ” This Ain’t Normal Folks ” to open your mind to a way to live along side animals sustainably.

      • Julia says:

        Yes I would prefer there be no animals.. Then billions of animals suffering.. I would prefer to see NO ANIMALS SUFFERING. Joel Salatin is a hack. Animal agriculture can NEVER be sustainable and Salatin does not LOVE his animals.. He profits off their exploitation and slaughter.

    • Jennifer says:

      I have to point out here that even the Dalai Lama eats meat. I’m pretty sure he is a good candidate for ideas on how to fix the worlds problems.

      http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1204/25/pmt.01.html

      DALAI LAMA: So I really making sort of — making effort to promote vegetarianism, but I myself remain non-vegetarian.

    • Destiny says:

      Oh my you’re dumb aren’t you? We have been hunting, slaughtering and eating animals and drinking their milk since the beginning of time. I’ll tell you now, EVERY DAMN THING IS MADE OF AN ANIMAL SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE! And actually Vegans and vegetarians are damaging the environment just as much. What the hell are we supposed to eat if killing animals is banned? Eating off plants, we’d all be a walking skeleton, and the earth would be barren in a matter of 2 years. AND how do you think those plants are grown? USING FERTILIZER! Which can come from the rear end of a cow or horse! That’s an animal product. I’ll never stop eating meat. NEVER. I’ll never stop drinking milk. If we were to stop killing animals, they would eventually over populate and there’d be too many of them. And then we and the earth would suffer. Its just like with people. We are over populating, but it’s illegal to kill a person. It would be the same if we made killing of all animals illegal. If animals over populate, there goes all the stupid vegan and vegetarians breakfast, lunch and dinner!

    • Robert says:

      Really you are special! Plants are a living thing, so you can go ahead and kill a plant and it’s alright but not an animal. That would be like saying that it’s okay to go to war with one County but not another. You probably have leather seats in your car and a few wood sweaters. If you really wanted to save the animals that stop eating all together because you are taking away from their food! I get a laugh out of your kind of person. The best part of you ran down the crack of your mom’s ass.

  5. Zoe says:

    What happens to your cows after they no longer produce milk, and what happens to all the babies? can you answer this or will this just make you look like an animal abuser that you say you’re not?

    • Zoe says:

      *the cows which utters you drink from (to be exact)

      • dairycarrie says:

        To be exact a cow has an udder not an utter. The dangling things are called teats.

      • Julia says:

        Of course she didnt answer.. Because what happens is the go to the slaughter house after they have given their bodies to Carrie and she has milked all the profit out of them

        • dairycarrie says:

          Sorry, not hiding anything you just have to do a little work before you start assuming.
          Scroll down and you’ll see that yes I did answer her questions.

        • jodi818 says:

          Julia, Carrie has answered many of these questions in her blog posts. So Zoe just has to do some searching on this blog and her questions will be answered. Apparently, this is too much work for Zoe. And like Carrie said, it’s nobody is hiding the fact that unproductive cows go to the slaughterhouse for beef.
          And profit? Try looking at 2008 and 2009 milk prices. It was all that anybody could do to stay in business those years. Prices were lower than what my folks had ever seen even in the 70’s. Prices are higher now because of, wait for it…. demand for milk products! Americans maybe drinking less fluid milk, but cheese and butter prices are through the roof! China’s demand is just starting slacken because other dairy producing nations are ramping up their production thus world dairy price futures will decrease later this winter and into next spring. So as far as profits… there isn’t always a profit to be made in any type of farming.

    • dairycarrie says:

      Thanks for coming over from the Veganism is the Future page! I’m sure you’re here to learn and you have an open mind about all things dairy.
      Yes, it’s true, when a cow is no longer doing a good job as a milk cow she will be sold as beef. Normal people don’t consider that fact animal abuse.
      As far as our calves go, we raise our heifers and sell our bull calves to another local farmer who raises them as steers. Again, this is not earth shattering news to anybody with common sense.

      • Lana says:

        The whole industry is cruel and full of animal abuse, that fact that you are very aware the reward after these cows break their back (so you can drink their secretions) and end up in the slaughterhouse shows ugly character. You speak of common sense, wheres yours? Or compassion. Im pretty sure that ‘when a cow is no longer doing a good job as a milk cow she will be sold as beef, normal people don’t consider that fact animal abuse’ is considered animal abuse, lady you need to rethink that. If that were to be performed on a domesticated dog that would be considered a animal welfare crime, and to a woman? Public outcry. And all for what, that you can get sick and fat off food meant for a damn calf.

        • dairycarrie says:

          Another fine example of someone so far on the fringe that they can’t see that their point of view is making them look crazy.

        • Julia says:

          In what world is killing not abuse?????

        • kidznhorses says:

          Lana, what are they suppose to do with their cows? create a sanctuary for old cows to live out their lives?
          Maybe, not such a bad idea. How about that Dairy Carrie? Just up the price of milk and milk products by..say a few hundred dollars maybe and put all old cows in retirement homes.
          And calfs? oh, guess we’ll never see one again if we don’t eat meat and don’t drink dairy. No animals anywhere.. that’s what they really want.

      • Kelley Wardell says:

        “Normal people” are lacking in empathy. Breeding living, feeling beings into existence for the sole purpose of using their bodies and when they’re too old and worn out to produce anymore just kill them for meat…that’s not compassionate or humane, no matter how you want to try to justify it. If a human was treated this way, it would be considered exploitation and abuse. Why do we consider it “normal” to exploit animals and ignore their desire to live? Could it be because we’re taught from childhood that animals are here for us?

        • dairycarrie says:

          That’s your beliefs and your opinion based on those beliefs. Most people agree that a humane life for our animals before they are slaughtered is the goal.

        • jodi818 says:

          Animals aren’t humans. End of story. Let me put this in terms you might understand. You’re comparing apples to oranges. Similar but different.

    • Unapologetic Omnivore says:

      I have cats. I’m thankful to the farmers who slaughter their cull cows so my pets have something to eat.

      • Julia says:

        Thats sick. let your cats hunt if you want something natural

        • Unapologetic Omnivore says:

          I never said I wanted something “natural.” Interesting idea, though. Speaking of natural, you know what’s natural? Humans consuming meat. Evolution put us at the top of the food chain. Our teeth are designed to eat meat, and our bodies are designed to digest it and absorb its nutrients. You know what else is natural? Liking milk from other species. You should offer it to a cat, dog, or a pig. They LOVE it. I’m serious.

        • Julia says:

          Canine teeth? are you kidding? have you seen the teeth on a hippo? monkey?

          http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/faqs/#.VGU75PnF9t0

        • Beth DeRoos says:

          Various scientific publications we subscribe to note clearly that during the Paleolithic age humans consumed meat, and animal bones from what they ate have been found in archeology digs. And lets not forget our nearest ‘relative’ in the primate family, still eat meat (other animals).

  6. Reanna says:

    Well if there weren’t abusers, there wouldn’t be footage of abuse. If you don’t like being painted with the same brush, contact your dairy friends and urge them to stop abusing, instead of desperately trying to save face in what is clearly a publicity stunt. #getreal

  7. Robert says:

    I have not consumed any dairy in 8 years and have zero plans to ever do so again. My children won’t either and I’ve talked a good number of friends and family members into giving it up as well. I’ve read that nearly 50% of people are lactose intolerant. I know I am. If one really sits down to think about it, it’s completely unnatural for humans to consume the milk meant for the offspring of another species. If aliens came to visit they’d likely think we’re nuts. And yes, let’s not even bring up the cruelty and abuse that may occur in the process of taking of breast milk from another being. Anyway, I unfortunately see the dairy business like newspapers, vhs, and other industries that will in time go the way of the Dodo. I feel for your loss, but I’ll continue voting you out of business with every purchase I make.

    • dairycarrie says:

      Great! More for me and the rest of the dairy lovers! Cheese consumption is up, are you sure you’re not sneaking cheese? I can’t blame you if you are, it is delicious!

    • bovidiva says:

      If we think about it, it’s also completely unnatural to set fire to food in order to eat it; to move around in metal containers that burn fossil fuels; to fly above the clouds in big metal cans that vaguely resemble birds; to wear clothes; to live in centrally-heated or air-conditioned houses; to process soy into tofu… Lots of things would seem crazy to aliens if they landed (listening to Carrie Underwood songs, watching reality TV, believing in existence of said aliens…) but that doesn’t make milk consumption wrong or any more weird than any other single thing that we do as modern humans. What it weird (in my opinion) is trying to persuade others not to drink or eat a beverage/food that has an almost perfect mixture of amino acids, is highly digestible by the majority of people in nations that have historically consumed dairy products; and that provides an affordable source of protein, vitamins and minerals. We all have the right to choose our foods – why try and persuade others not to drink something that you have issues with?

      • Jess McKay says:

        Because drinking milk isn’t a personal choice. It involves taking something that is not freely given. The cow is not a willing participant. There are alternatives to milk, so by drinking milk you are causing unnecessary harm.

        • dairycarrie says:

          Jess, your beliefs that cows are equal to humans is your personal choice. It isn’t a belief held by the majority.
          You’re saying a cow that walks into our milking parlor and starts leaking milk because her body knows that she is about to be milked and releases the hormone oxytocin to allow her to let down her milk, is not a willing participant?

        • Sarah Ellen says:

          Actually when a cow is not milked it becomes rather uncomfortable for the animal. In my experience many cows wait outside the barn for evening chores so that they can be milked even when they have acess to their calves during the day.

      • Julia says:

        Obviously because its causing great harm to public health, animals and the environment…

    • Rick Smith says:

      You don’t have to worry about putting Dairys out of business. Read some History the Federal Government has been doing that and worse since 1972. They have made it so the so-called factory farms are the only real way to Dairy in addition to sucking up our precious tax dollars in the process while also decreasing the tax base. Independent Scientific enquiry and scholarly treatise have diminished along with the small farms and the increase of Influence of BIG government and BIG business which has always been the hallmark of Democrats. IM an Independent and always have been. I trust nothing BIG.

      Darrie Carry is one of the few remaining Dairy farms that is able to survive the old school way thanks to people like you that voted to destroy the small farm which is our legacy our inheritance.

      For Example in 1980 there were 45000 dairy farms in WI alone and now only 10100. And only 45000 in the whole Country and dropping precipitously every year w/o your effort counting one wit except to muddy the waters. But Producing more milk with 1/2 the cows. Think about it. Your part of the problem not the solution of a degenerating America.

      IF you all are so GD worried get out here and farm. Not hide in your cities mouthing nonsense which is the REAL problem and has been for centuries. Look at what the Democrats did to the small farmer and small towns when we settled this land in cahoots with the Big Railroads and Big Banking as early as 1850 in WIs case. Earlier back East.

      Read the book “Creating DairyLand” Its Easy and Fun ALONG WIth being informative. Then come back AND Talk with me. IF you get the book tomorrow I expect you to get back to me within two days easily and with little effort except to open your eyes to the truth.

      Im so sorry, Carrie, you have to take this uncalled for abuse. My heart and soul is with you and your precious cows and chosen occupation. I just went to bed a few hours ago or I would have been here sooner.

  8. Heather says:

    Give the people a video of your institution and practices and let them decide for themselves when/if they see the difference.

    • dairycarrie says:

      What do you want to see? I have a YouTube channel. I’m happy to upload video there.

      • Heather says:

        Well, all the videos I’ve seen of farms and CAFOs are brutal and dirty places with blood and nastiness and suffering everywhere. If there are farms that are nicer than that it would be good to have those videos out there too.

        • dairycarrie says:

          There are over 10,000 dairy farms in Wisconsin alone. There are now 2 videos showing abuse. Why would you assume that all farms are like the small handful of videos you’ve seen.
          There are tons of videos on YouTube showing farms but you have to take the initiative to look at more than what pages like Veganism is the Future shows! What pages do you follow that would share a video of a regular, normal dairy farm?

        • Beth DeRoos says:

          Heather, Organic Pastures in the Fresno CA will welcome you if you ever want to visit. They have visitors daily. And their cows eat and graze on certified organic green pasture, daily, and the babies are not taken from the mothers. And they only do natural bull breeding. They have a lot of YouTube videos.

        • Julia says:

          A video of your cows being loaded to ship off to slaugher… UTTER betrayal…

        • kidznhorses says:

          GET out of your chair and off your ass and go visit a dairy farm. I have visited many.. was totally shocked at a local large Jersy dairy farm near me..How they took care of their cows, milking, feed, calfs and employees. Blew my theories of abuse right out the door.

        • Julia says:

          Even if there is no actual abuse on the farm.. Cows are separated from calves and cry for their babies. How about a video of this? Cows are also sent to slaughter. How about a video of this? You don’t love something and then send it to have its throat cut.. Its wrong. Its unnecessary. There are alternatives… Soy/almond/hemp/rice/hazelnut milk products… Meat consumption is down. Vegetarianism is up. its not long before not the demand for not just fluid milk products decline, but all animal products.

          I want you to post a video of you loading your girls on a truck for slaughter. Then unloading them at the slaughter house and them in the stun box.. Since apparently this is all fine and just part of the life for these happy girls!

        • wagonramblins says:

          Julia,

          I’m so confused by the train of thought here – you would rather drink soy/almond/rice etc. milk than cow’s milk….

          How is soy milk even made? I don’t know….do you? Is it a wholesome alternative or product? No idea – that’s why I’m asking…

          I certainly understand how cow’s milk is made via mother nature!!

          Go visit a FARM!!! Do some critical thinking. Take a biology class…

          Geeze!

        • Beth DeRoos says:

          wagonramblins you asked some good questions.

          Q:I’m so confused by the train of thought here – you would rather drink soy/almond/rice etc. milk than cow’s milk….
          A. Some people cannot tolerate dairy so nut, rice milks are good choices.

          Q: How is soy milk even made? I don’t know….do you? Is it a wholesome alternative or product? No idea – that’s why I’m asking…
          A. Have made soy, nut and coconut milk and its very easy and they are indeed healthy milk substitutes. YouTube has many videos on how to make these at home.

        • Julia says:

          Wagon how are you confused? its morally wrong to kill when it is not necessary..

        • wagonramblins says:

          Last time I checked milking a cow doesn’t = death…

          Sorry – if my comment confused anyone… I understand people need to have alternatives for milk if they cannot tolerate it in their diet.

          All I’m trying to say is there are a lot of resources needed to plant that a field of soybeans, and think of the fuel to bring that coconut to the grocery store. So if the question is sustainability even the “non-dairy” alternatives have issues….

        • Julia says:

          All dairy operations send their cows and the offspring of their cows to slaughter at some point. So yes, it does result in death.

          It isnt necessary to substitute milk in ones diet. Many people choose not to. Others choose to and there are plenty of options. Soy milk is MUCH more sustainable than cows milk and of course not inherently cruel.

          More info on soy milk here: http://silk.com/products/learn-more/about-soymilk

        • Beth DeRoos says:

          Julia November 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm It isnt necessary to substitute milk in ones diet. Many people choose not to. Others choose to and there are plenty of options. Soy milk is MUCH more sustainable.::::::

          Yes that is true. Have met very few vegans who do not use some type of nut milk substitute simply because so many western cultures have favorite recipes that call for some type of milk. As for soy, I only buy non GMO soybeans. Not all soy is non GMO. And even soy takes a lot of water which like water hungry crops including nut trees in drought hit California is a touchy topic.

      • farmergirl says:

        What does it prove for her to upload a video like that? It happens – everyday … and I don’t know about Carrie’s farm but typically there’s a middle man – ranchers do not unload them at slaughter houses. They’re unloaded in auction yards.

        But what does it prove? They’re not treated inhumanely – most would argue it’s more humane than letting them slowly die in pastures. I much rather sell them and end their lives than watch them struggle to live in old age.

        I enjoy the videos she posts on Instagram and YouTube — you’ve made it clear you don’t actually care about seeing the videos she has to offer. You care about furthering your claim that the cattle industry as a whole is abusive. You’ve obviously never been on a farm, weren’t raised on a farm, and have no experience in the agricultural industry. You should consider actually visiting it as opposed to surfing YouTube and blog posts complaining about the hard working individuals that make your life possible – provide you with all the low cost, high quality products generated throughout the industry.

        • Julia says:

          I actually watched all the videos. Yes slaughtering animals is abusive. Should we kill elderly people too? Instead of letting them “suffer” in their old age? Stop breeding animals to exploit and profit off.

  9. Lee Ann says:

    I used to milk in a parlor, milking 700 cows in an 8 hour shift. I once asked my vet if I needed to immunize my goats, like the owners of the dairy gave shots to their calves. And the vet said, “well, now you know how NOT to raise animals. Animals on clean ground with good nutrition shouldn’t need all those shots.” I have seen men kick at cows. If they don’t let down their milk, they just gave them a shot. And they had an electrified wire behind the cows. and if they didn’t hurry up, they’d pull up the fence wire, shocking the ones in back into forcing the others to move up.

    I didn’t do any of these things. If they didn’t let their milk down, I’d bump their udder a few times with my hand, then hook them up. They always let down that way. Instead of using the electric wire behind them, I’d just say, “okay, come on girls,” because some cows insisted on being on certain sides in the parlor. They’d come up just fine for me. I never had a cow kick (although they had shown me how to hook up the kicking bar so they cannot kick). And every day that I worked, the milk overflowed the 10,000 gallon tank. they would ask me how I did it. I just relaxed and treated them with good humor. So I proved to them that calmness works a lot better than argument and yelling and kicking. But of course it was a business to these guys, not a way of life. I only worked there for about 3 months, because I don’t like to see the men kicking at the cows in the face, etc. I went home and raised goats. and made goats milk cheese. So I know there are bad people out there. But one just has to look at the news to see how people hurt dogs, horses, cows, kids, etc. There are some really bad people out there with no empathy or care for anybody.

    My next door neighbor had a dairy too. We would go to his barn after making arrangements, put the dollar on the tank and get us a gallon of milk. It was wonderful. I miss it.

    • jodi818 says:

      Some people should NOT be milkers. A relaxed atmosphere will usually calm most cows. Someone that is anxious and afraid of their job should not be milking. Or those that are just there for the paycheck.
      I’ve milked cows since I was 12. It took me a while to figure out that you need to read a cow and how she’ll react. I still get kicked regardless, but it’s usually the new heifers that are scared and not used to the routine or it’s the couple of cranky cows that are good producers but complete bitches. I have some choice words for the cranky cows and I will use the kicker bar to protect myself from getting broken arms. But generally, most cows are great when you are calm.

      • dairycarrie says:

        I agree Jodi. On all farms, it all comes down to who you have doing the work.

        • Susan Harding says:

          DairyCarrie, you don’t seem to be very relaxed…I feel you are worried that people are realizing how horrible your industry really is. My family went vegan and it is spreading here in Colorado #WeLoveLife

        • dairycarrie says:

          Susan, you don’t seem to be very accepting. I feel you are worried that people have different beliefs than you and that somehow makes your own beliefs not as strong. My family is not Vegan and that started spreading about the time man first figured out that other animals are tasty, worldwide. #ILoveMyLife

  10. Jess McKay says:

    How would you feel if someone forcibly impregnated and milked you? And then killed your baby. And then did it again next year so you keep giving milk? I know this seems confrontational, but I’m honestly asking.

    • dairycarrie says:

      Jess, a question for you, if a dairy farm has a bull on the farm to breed their cows instead of using artificial insemination, is that bull forcibly impregnating the cows?
      I ask because artificial insemination doesn’t change the biological process of estrus. A cow still has to be in heat for her to be bred.

      • Jess McKay says:

        You didn’t answer my question. How would you feel?. If a human farm had a “stud” would you be ok with him impregnating you? My guess is you wouldn’t feel ok about ANY of these things happening to you.

        • Unapologetic Omnivore says:

          This might sound brutal Jess, but humans are at the top of the food chain. Sorry to break it to you. Obviously, I would be devastated if a dingo stole my baby. I really would. But you know what? That’s nature. You can’t keep an entire species that craves meat from eating it. I eat meat because my body evolved to do it. And I feel 0% guilty about it. I feel as guilty as a bear, wolf, shark, or bald eagle when I eat my prey. I am a predator, and I fully embrace where nature put me. Sure, I enjoy lettuce and apples, but I also enjoy ham and turkey. That’s the way it goes when your body is designed to chew, digest, and utilize nutrients from a variety of food sources.

        • farmergirl says:

          Human to animal comparisons are essentially the same as comparing apples and oranges.

          However if you’d like to try I’d look at AIing cattle along the lines of InVitro.

          As far as I’m concerned AIing is far better than having a several thousand pound bull ride you. And have you ever seen other animals mate in nature? None of it looks enjoyable – especially the ones that bite the back of the females neck (cats and chickens come to mind).

          If an animal is in heat they’re ready to be bred, it’s the same in nature as it is with AIing. If you didn’t AI and let them out with a bull they’d be bred. Or you can deny them any chance of getting pregnant by keeping them away from the bulls and watch the cows mount each other when they’re in heat — just no one gets pregnant and the cycle of nature is broken …

        • Julia says:

          Humans are definitely not the top of the food chain. Face a lion with your hands.. or a stick.. or rock even… see who wins.

        • dairycarrie says:

          We don’t have to face a lion with a rock or a stick because our higher functioning brains allowed us to shoot the lion with a gun, that we invented! It’s not our teeth that put us at the top of the food chain, it’s our brains!

        • delbounce says:

          Jess, does it really matter how you would feel about it? Why is it about you? I thought we were worried about the cows? I currently have all of one dairy cow. We walked her down the road like a puppy from the time she was smaller than me to when her back was at my shoulders. She WANTS to be bred when we breed her. There is absolutely NO force involved. Have you ever had a cow in heat decide that jumping you is a good idea? She will! (Not sure what that says about my appearance… 😉 ) And since I won’t stand still for her, she finds another cow to jump and continues to do so until that part of her heat cycle is done or until she’s bred. Sex doesn’t seem to be an emotional thing for cows like it is for us, it is a very basic, biological, exceedingly hormone driven, imperative. We humans can ‘not feel like it’ when the ‘timing is at its best’ because {list a bajillion reasons including ‘not the right guy’, ‘headache’, ‘bad day’} but I’ve never seen a cow in heat want anything more than intercourse no matter who the intercourse-ee is or isn’t. That is just one of many differences between cows and humans. In any event, at that very telltale sign, we will AI or not as life allows. When we do AI, she does NOT ‘object’ to it in any way. As for her babies being ripped away, admittedly, my cow is a bit ‘odd’ in this area, but she brings her calves (or has brought her first two) to me going “um… what am I supposed to do with this?” And is perfectly happy being across the fence from them as long as she knows they exist. If I turn them in with her when they are still demanding little suckers, she actually gets very irritated. However, she is currently in a pen with last baby (he was born in July) and though she has no intention of letting him nurse, she will lick and play with him as part of her herd. Again, that not wanting to nurse your own calf is an oddity to my knowledge. We’ve had cows that were the exact opposite and hated being separated from their calves even for even a vet check, though I’ve noticed that it’s the calf’s grumping that gets mom riled up more than their absence, per se. Then again, we house adult mini-donks here that are straight up pets and can get upset when one is pulled for hoof triming, so that would be a “herd animal” thing not so much a ‘torment mom’ thing which, again, we as people are less likely to be ‘herd bound’ in that same way which is why we read “my baby! The bad person has my baby!” into it even on the occasions when it isn’t. But I digress. That poor neglected (huge!) calf we were talking about? He drinks warm milk immediately after I’m done with milking (I get the leftovers, he couldn’t POSSIBLY drink that all 3-4 gallons a day and not scour – get sick). They are both calm, happy, healthy animals. Despite our forcible rape and evil separation practices, they seem to be pretty normal, non traumatized cattle. They even take a break from their ‘people are mean’ support groups (nope they don’t have those either, they like me) to play with each other and those mean humans on the property. Now, like I said, our current cow is a bit ‘odd’ and some cows (we had one) have the parenting gene turned to the full-on position and they will bawl not because they are separated by evil people but because instinct drives them to find that calf. Her bawling upsets the calf (or vice versa), that calf upsets the other calves… sounds like a bad morning at daycare or first day of school, right? And those mornings can happen even to those who try to make that first day happy for both parent and child, but I don’t see anyone picketing those evil human mother-child separation institutions. Even though comparatively, the human children we’re often sending to daycare are similar in age to these bovine counterparts comparatively! Those evil human institutions will even take kids who aren’t crawling yet, let alone walking and some of them can’t even feed themselves. How awful! All our calves here are walking and can at least eat on their own when food is placed in front of them by the time we cruelly separate them. (Since humans and cows are exactly alike in every way, I can compare calves to children based on their abilities and still remain logical, right?)

      • Jess McKay says:

        You still haven’t answered my question. Would you be ok with someone doing to you what you do to cows? I’m not saying cows and humans are equal- just a simple question- how would you feel if someone did to you what you do to cows? Would you be ok with that?

        • dairycarrie says:

          Jess, humans and cows are not the same. What part of that don’t you understand? Cows don’t have sex for fun or pleasure like humans, the do it because biology tells them to. If you can’t grasp that, there is no point in trying to reason with you. Between this and your assertion that cows eat veggies, I’m fairly certain that you are completely out of touch with reality.

        • Jess McKay says:

          You still have not answered my question. Why are you afraid to answer the question?

  11. Cindy Princi says:

    Grow vegetables, stop slaughtering animals. Animal consumption causes death in humans. Get with the program, sistah. Get out of the Murder Inc business.

  12. George says:

    How many vegans are currently running successful vegetable only farms as their sole income? How many vegans will get out of bed every day for a 12+ hour work day, 365 days a year? Ya’ll claim that plants will feed the world, then prove it. Get out there and start farming and you’ll see how hard it is. I’ve known more than my fair share of newly christened young vegans who eschew dairy, meat, etc on principle, but are unwilling to do the work necessary to support their chosen diets. They start as woofers, work traders.. rarely show up on time, rarely put in a hard days work (usually come for 1-4 hours then leave, and not show the next day). It is one thing to claim a lifestyle choice, another to actually put it into real world practice. You eat vegan, buying all the processed “vegetarian” foods at the supermarket, or “organic only” foods at the farmers market… and then claim that is the ONLY way to live. Put up, or shut up is what I have to say to that.

    • Jess McKay says:

      What do your cows eat? Veggies. The vegetables are already being produced, and fed to livestock. Also, ~90% of energy is lost between each tropic level in the food chain, so eating animal products is objectively wasteful.

      • dairycarrie says:

        Um no, cows don’t eat veggies. They eat alfalfa and corn silage and things that are not digestible for humans.

        • jodi818 says:

          Not to mention they can eat cottonseed meal, spent distillers grains, sugar beet pulp, and whole host of by products from other processes that would end up in a land fill. How is that wasteful?

  13. Jess McKay says:

    Why did toy censor my posts? Do you not have an answer to my question that allows you to continue to feel good about what you’re doing? I’ll ask again- how would you feel if you were forcibly impregnated, separated from your baby (who would soon be killed), and then someone milks you every day? I’m sure you would not be ok with that. Then why subject another being to this, when other healthy options are readily available?

    • dairycarrie says:

      Jess, sorry to disappoint you. You’re not getting special sensoring. Comments from people who are new here or haven’t commented in a long period of time have to be approved before they show up. Which is pretty standard for any WordPress based blog.

  14. Betsy says:

    Dairy Carrie,

    Thank you for all you do. Several of my college students read your blog, and it has produced several enlightening discussions in our classes. Though they are studying agriculture and animal science, and have at least a basic understanding of livestock care and well-being, between your insights on the dairy industry (which is miniscule in our state) and the discussion threads in the comments, they are gaining new perspectives. Several of your posts have been eye opening to them regarding how people outside of animal agriculture perceive or assume what farmers, ranchers, and caretakers do on a day to day basis. Keep up the good fight. I’ll work on training the reinforcements. 🙂

  15. Chris Georges says:

    I’m sorry there are uneducated people in this world who have no clue what reality is. Our forefathers fought for our freedom of speech and that has evolved into abuse of that privilege. If more people would open their minds BEFORE opening their mouths, this world would be a much better place. God bless all Farmers in all areas of agriculture!

  16. Susan says:

    Come and spend a week in my muck boots please, while I start warm and dry in my easy chair surfing the web and drinking coffee. Thanks.

  17. lynn says:

    I’m Just wondering, if all slaughter houses are banned and we are supposed to live a “vegan lifestyle” what about the animals that are already here? What are farmers supposed to do let them all loose and free to scavenge for their own food, shelter, and aloud to inbreed as they choose? How is that not cruel to the animals? If they are not controlled then the population will grow and eventually over run the earth(not to mention cause disease in those animals which could spread though all other species) then where do you plan to grow you plants to keep them out of the reach of starving livestock. I have yet to find a gate of fence strong enough to keep a cow (or pig for that matter) in if she doesn’t want to be. So what exactly makes you think they can be kept out of you garden? I do agree there are people out there that have no business farming, just as some people should ever be aloud to be parents, but these things happen. People being cruel to both animals and children should be held responsible. Why do you assume all farmers are bad, do you assume all parents are bad?

    • Julia says:

      Or you could just stop breeding animals.. If we did there would be no more livestock in about 5 years.. when the last of the dairy cows are “spent” and slaughtered… So lets all go vegan in 5 years. Problem solved…

      • jodi818 says:

        Bull crap, Julia, What about wildlife? Those populations can explode and cause consequences in the rest of the food chain. I’ve seen deer dying of starvation is that fun or humane? No, I put the poor deer out of it’s misery by shooting it. IT had no hope of survival. Not one.
        Do you think if we stop breeding animals that animals won’t take it upon themselves to breed. How asinine are you? Get a grip on reality and actually spend some time outdoors and understand what you think you know. Because, girl you don’t know jack.

      • lynn says:

        Okay let’s say for argument sake we stop breeding animals. They will still have a cycle and come in heat about every 21 days. what do you say to the bull that jumps the fence to breed that cow. Or what do you say to that cow that is in heat and jumps the fence herself and get in with the bull and gets bred. Do you suggest that we slaughter all male animals to prevent breeding? There are not many people that breed deer and there is still a huge amount of them and how often are they considered a pest when they get into peoples flowers and gardens?

    • Rosie says:

      …and this my friends is an educated person, who knows what she’s talking about.

  18. Lordy to day Carrie. Bless you and keep drinking the RumChata. I was giving a presentation the other day and was talking about how you are a warrior for the dairy industry. As a dairy farm wife myself I completely am indebted to you for showing people, whether they are genuinely inquisitive or not, that dairying is not bad.

  19. Julia says:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – See more at: http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-ethics/former-meat-dairy-farmers-became-vegan-activists/#sthash.KPvMSUQK.dpuf

  20. Jeff says:

    So let me try to understand, cows are estrual and thus are receptive to the male during this time (in heat). So if the farmer inseminates her then he is merely serving in a surrogate role because if the cow were in the “wild” the bull would breed her and she would stand for it since her hormones are telling her to do so.

    I am amazed at how people insist applying human traits and emotions to animals. I have seen a cow that has no calved yet adopt a calf from a new “mother”, does that make her a kidnapper? Is there an amber alert in the barn?

    I am of course being facetious. Animals are not humans and most humans are not animals. Keep telling the true story Carrie!

  21. Gods, where to start? Haven’t you vegans ever seen “The Lion King?” In any ecosystem you’d care to name, higher orders of life feed on lower orders of life. Cows eat plants, wolves eat cows, I don’t hear you arguing that wolves should give up their carnivorous ways and start reaching under the sneeze guard for the iceberg lettuce.

    By any objective measure, plants are aware: they respond to sunshine, to rain, to insect activity, there are electro-chemical changes in them when other plants nearby are under threat. Does that not make eating plants cruel? Are vegans not participating in the slaughter by their dietary choices? No? Why not? Is it perhaps because they don’t have eyes and can’t be anthropomorphized?

    The only difference between the wolf and the human is the human can choose not to kill other animals for food, but that doesn’t mean we should. It doesn’t make us cruel, it is not a moral choice. We eat. Our bodies are evolved to be omnivorous. There is nothing moral or immoral about it: any argument otherwise is fallacy.

    Carrie, keep up the good work.

    • dave says:

      Wolves and Cats kill for necessity, and can’t understand a moral system anyway. Do you think modern humans should pattern our behavior after wild carnivores? Think about that fallacy. Also plants may react to outside physical forces but are clearly not sentient. But if you really want to protect them, stop feeding them to cows in return for a paltry 1 tenth of their original food value.

  22. Roxanne says:

    Better tell those felines to not eat meat either. I mean, they are causing abuse too killing and eating their herbivore “friends.” lol.

  23. Beth DeRoos says:

    Am often vegan, but mostly vegetarian which means I eat dairy as well as eggs from my own free range hens. I do however only buy raw organic dairy products from Organic Pastures here in California, south west of me in the Sierras.

    Many if not most vegans I know fall into two main groups. Young people under the age of 30 and folks who make a healthy living. Oh most live in cities. If you are well off you can afford to eat $30 worth of vegan choices a day. Would simply suggest that most Americans could afford to be more vegetarian and vegan at least a few days per week.

    If you are making a living wage and have a child the ability to either have access to the vast variety of vegan choices or money to buy food is often a real problem. Just ask families in urban or very rural areas.

    And as I have often noted there is no way every one on earth could be vegan. If you live in cold climates like Alaska, the Dakotas, upper areas of Scandinavian countries, Russia, and Asia the ability to grow much less buy the vast amount of vegetables, fruits, grains to supply you with all the calories you need in a cold climate, is just not there. Even people on island nations in the Pacific do not have access to the vast amount of vegan foods needed.

    It saddens me that those who insist on pushing their vegan views in a mean or nasty way, often turn more people off of their view than on. If someone is in your face and yelling at you, do you want to listen or get away from them as fast as possible?

    Now, Carrie I am sure expects critical feedback whenever she posts comments because that’s just how things happen online when one puts themselves out there.

  24. Sarah says:

    Your explanations and examples are on point. I use the child abuse example with my more urban friends who ask me about abuse on farms. There is so much more child abuse out there than there is farm animal abuse, but you don’t see anyone trying to ban everyone from having kids. Then usually make the point that I love my cows, they make the most milk when they are happy and healthy and that’s how all the farmers I know try to keep them. It really hits home for most people, they understand that one bad example does not mean everyone does it and will listen to what I have to say. Some people however, are irrational you simply cannot reason with that.

    Thank you Carrie for everything that you do!

  25. Heidi says:

    I believe that everyone today has an agenda, but just because I don’t agree with that agenda doesn’t negate everything that person or group does. Mercy for Animals supports a vegan lifestyle, and I think that’s great. I’m not vegan (or vegetarian for that matter) and will never be, but I appreciate the abuse being uncovered. Maybe it would have been better if a different person or group got the video coverage, but no one else did. I also don’t see Mercy for Animals pushing their agenda through the video release. I haven’t watched it (don’t care to) but the articles I have read about it (and I follow some pretty liberal new sources) never mention that what happened on this farm or farms happens anywhere else. In fact, they all mention that the tail abuse is considered cruel and outdated by others in the industry. This makes the reader believe that the abuse is unique to the farm and not a common practice in the industry. I see this video as exposing the farm or farms involved in animal abuse and nothing more. I see it as a positive that the consumer be aware that there are some bad apples in every industry. It emphasizes the importance of educating yourself about your food sources. If more people support family-owned farms in WI because of this video, that’s a good thing.

    • dairycarrie says:

      Heidi,
      They launched an entire website to promote this video and called it gotmisery.com this is different from the other website they launched called sliceofmisery.com that they used to promote their other videos. Take a minute to go check those sites out and then come back and let me know if you feel the same.

      • Heidi says:

        If it’s all the same, I would prefer to not check out those sites. I believe you when you tell me about their agenda and I can already imagine what is on their site. However, I do still feel the same way. I heard about this controversy through Facebook – it was a trending topic and since I used to live in WI, I clicked on it. I was directed to many articles and news stories, but never to the sites you mentioned above. I believe that most Americans have heard about the story in the same way. It’s about the abuse, not the group. The first time I heard of their websites was from you, so from an unbiased observer’s point of view, you are doing more to further their agenda than Mercy for Animals has done.

        • dairycarrie says:

          I understand not wanting to look at the sites. A large percentage of people get their news from social media sites. The MFA site has almost a million followers and the post there was shared and duplicated across millions of people’s timelines. That’s just one site. What about twitter and Instagram?

          The point of this post was to ask our customers to come to us and to give them a heads up about who is behind the video. I also used it to reach out to other dairy farmers to use the #RealWIDairy tag on their SM posts so that if customers wanted to connect with a farmer that could easily find them. While not all people are going to think that all dairy farmers are bad, videos like this erode at the trust people have in dairy. If this is all they see about what goes on, on farms that doesn’t help us. Since the boring day to day stuff that dairy farmers do doesn’t make the news, this is what is forced onto our customers. If MFA was simply about catching abusers and stopping animal abuse I’d give them money, but that’s not what they are about.

          A few months ago PETA, which has the same agenda as MFA released a video from a dairy farm in North Carolina. I watched it and wrote a blog post about the video not adding up. PETA sent me a cease and desist. But guess what? The real investigators realized that while there was a problem with manure storage on the farm, what the video showed was not what was happening on the farm. Even after the video was proven false,the company that the farmer shipped his milk to dropped him and he had to sell his cows. A group like PETA or MFA goes onto farms with the sole intention of finding abuse so that they can film it and use that film to promote their agenda. These people are NOT investigators, they are activists.

          Here’s a link to the blog post, http://dairycarrie.com/2014/08/12/peta-dairy-farm-video/

  26. Doctor no dairy says:

    So how do these kind dairy farmers breed the cows? Don’t most if not all farmers rape their cows and artificially inseminate them? And what happens to the majority of the male calves? Are they allowed to drink their mothers milk to their fullest content? Or are they ripped away from their mothers and kept in tiny gestation crates, fed nothing but an anemia inducing diet and then slaughtered for veal? Or do you just murder them right away and discard them in the trash?

    • dairycarrie says:

      Do I need to type all my answers to your questions again or do you think you can do the work to read the answers to the exact same questions that your fellow vegans asked?
      It’s like a broken record around here!

      • Doctor no dairy says:

        Why didn’t you explain your process in your article? All you do is put Mercy for animals down but didnt show proof of your holier than thou ways.

        • dairycarrie says:

          Because the point of this one post has nothing to do with your questions. This is a single blog post not the working manual of dairy farming.

    • kcoxy9 says:

      wow you are clueless. do your research. PETA is not a valid source.

    • lynn says:

      It really bothers me how some people refer to breeding cows as “rape” if a cow is in heat she will stand to be bred. I know guys that breed cows for a living and they will just walk behind the cows while they are standing in free stall (meaning the cows have full mobility to walk away kick or whatever they chose) and breed them there just as a bull would. If a cow is in heat she will stand to be bred. Oh and cows are not kept in gestation crates. I also don’t know of any dairy that discard the bull calves as trash. They are either kept on that farm and raised up as steers or they are sold and taken to a feed lot. Some dairies also will sell bull calves to others in the community for them to raise up and have their own beef to butcher once they are old enough.

    • Lauren Schlothauer says:

      Sorry, had to butt in here. A heifer being artificially inseminated is certainly not traumatic and is not rape. Male calves in the dairy industry are raised as steers predominantly for beef production. They are allowed to drink their mother’s milk to get the nutrients they need to establish an immune system within the first day or so and this is done primarily with bottle feeding on most dairy’s because the mothers udder is not as sterile as it could be for a newborn to suckle on, she could step on her calf, and because it’s important for the calf to be in an environment that is isolated from other animals in calf hutches (with plenty of room and a great environment for newborns) to help them remain healthy and prevent the potential spread of disease. In 2012 60 percent of calves used for veal were in group housing systems and veal producers announced that they will be phased out by 2017. Dairy producers love their animals and when any animals in the agriculture industry are slaughtered, not only is it done in a humane way but nearly every product/byproduct is used. Also, I love that you chose to have your name appear as “Doctor no dairy” because commenting with your name listed requires you to actually be held accountable for the atrocities you’re spewing. Do some reading, there are many resources available to those with an open mind about how the dairy industry works.

  27. Doctor no dairy says:

    Mercy for Animals promotes a vegan lifestyle for many reasons. But the main reason is because they know it is the only way to ensure animals are not abused or murdered. You dairy farmers may be stupid enough to think it’s acceptable for cows to be raped, tortured, enslaved and murdered for our pleasure, but there are people out there that grew a brain and a conscience and actually realized that this is not right. You say you love your cows? Replace them with people and see how wrong it is to do these things to them! You think animals were put here on this earth for us to use and abuse just because your imaginary god told you in a bible that a HUMAN wrote because the imaginary god could not do it himself because he is IMAGINARY is a good enough reason to justify your actions?
    Look what the meat industry is doing to the world! You are the #1 reason for climate change and pollution. Do some research and see that the world around you is decaying from your unethical lifestyles. You say you love cheese? I can see why you are overweight. Dairy is extremely unhealthy for you. Do some research on that as well and you will see the truth.

    • Beth DeRoos says:

      Lets see Doctor no dairy now has insulted those who are religious, those who are not thin. One can only wonder what racist comment they would have made were Carrie black or Hispanic. Sadly yes even some vegans can be racist, bigots.

      Then Doctor no dairy said its people who consume animal products who are responsible for climate change. Yet even those of us who believe in climate change know that the main issue if energy production, like coal (look at China) that is causing climate change.

      Will have to scan the Internet to see if Doctor no dairy, is posting on sites denouncing China and its huge role in meat production, coal energy production. By the way meat consumption is down here in the states according to the beef, pork, chicken producers.

  28. Marsha says:

    To all the lovely vegans and animal rights activists who have attacked Carrie today, I have one question, why do all your organizations actively oppose animal welfare legislation? There have been multiple bills proposed to require any animal abuse be reported to legal authorities within 24 hours. Dairy associations, beef associations, swine associations, poultry associations, and veterinarians all support this legislation. Mercy for Animals and the Humane Society of the United States actively oppose this legislation. Why? Because if the abuse has to be reported, the farm owner (who may not be aware of it) can correct the issue faster than MFA and HSUS can get their info to news agencies. The abuse would be old news, no longer happening, and MFA and HSUS couldn’t use it for fundraising. Animal abuse is sickening to the majority of us in the industry that respect the animals we raise. Painting us all abusers because we raise animals is like painting every parent a molester just because they have kids. You can’t raise animals without a deep appreciation for the value of life, and a respect that each and every animal serves a purpose. Calling us rapists for artificially inseminating an animal diminishes the crime of rape and devalues the victims. Your calling AI rape shows that you equate an animal life with a human life. While all life is to be respected, the two are not equal, and your preaching that they are is how atrocities against humans are justified. I will not spend my time monitoring this for your degrading comments because arguing with a fool makes it two fools arguing.

  29. Henry12 says:

    Hi Carrie,
    I want to offer a very sincere thank you for all that you do to tell the truth about agriculture.
    Too many in the world seem to have gotten to the point where logic and honesty are considered unnecessary.
    I find it more than just a little ironic that some of these AR groups love to use the phrase that we are now in the year 2014 – implying that we are more educated and morally superior than we used to be.
    But how do they go about proving this to us:
    1. By removing themselves as far as possible from animals – and any knowledge pertaining to them.
    2. By relying on online searches and celebrities. I always had the impression that a vet, farmer, or other knowledgeable owner might be a good source of information when it comes to animals – but apparently they are to be completely ignored.
    3. They tell us that people who make money through the ownership or use of animals are “exploiters”. The fact that the activist groups rake in oodles of money through lies and misinformation about animal owners is apparently completely different.
    4. By telling us that we should always be kind. Well, unless it is animal owners that you’re talking about – then it’s more than acceptable to: call them names like “abuser”, “murderer”, “rapist”, etc.; tell lies and spread misinformation; and bully people into silence.
    5. They are more than welcoming of your viewpoint – as long as you limit yourself to their vocabulary and don’t see any value in actually knowing something about animals, or being able to think for yourself.

    Thanks again Carrie, you do a phenomenal job.
    I know that there are countless people who appreciate your efforts in trying to discuss things in a logical and knowledgeable way – despite the fact that there are people who have no interest whatsoever in hearing another viewpoint or being informed on the topic of discussion.
    After all, “This is 2014” and “We’re better than that now”.

  30. Julie B says:

    Why in the world is everyone spending time on “Julia” and her twisted logic? She does not care about people or the planet, unless something said meets her emotion driven agenda. You can’t give alternate information to have an logical discussion with someone who refuses to actually look at data sources for her arguments. She made an emotional decision and now has to beat others up to support it. I guess that makes her a people abuser. So sad.

  31. While Carrie’s shoulders are certainly strong enough to hold up most of Jefferson County, Wisconsin, nonetheless thought I’d throw you some support here today…

    I’m a joyful consumer of dairy products on a daily basis. I make my own yogurt, frozen custard and cream cheese, and I’m learning how to make ricotta and other simple cheeses. I buy dairy and meat from my local meat market. I grow a garden every year and dry herbs, and can and freeze a variety of foods and raw ingredients. We have a tiny flock of quail who give us a few eggs a day, and lots of entertainment with their dust baths and mealworm consumption.

    What’s my point? I became vegetarian when I was 16, and stayed vegetarian for 18 years; 2 of those years I was vegan. I had a lot of reasons for these choices, some of which are still important to me.

    However, I also kept an open mind about what I read and heard, and after a number of years working with large-scale cropping properties (food crops), I learned that the idea of “feed everyone with plants because animals just waste most of it” is mostly hooey. Large scale cropping efforts have as many – or more – problems than raising animals, including erosion and chemical use.

    Along the same lines, after working in the U.S. and Australia with beef, sheep and dairy farmers on land management, I learned about the commitment and devotion most have to the animals for whom they are responsible. This wasn’t surprising to me; I grew up in Tennessee hill country on a subsistence farm.

    I also realized that my own ability to stay healthy as a vegetarian or vegan was seriously compromised by the limitations I had placed on my diet. I’m sure other people eating a plant-based diet don’t have the same problems; but I did.

    At age 34, I started eating meat again, beginning with venison. I am healthy and happy with my life and my choices, and see no need to berate others for how they choose to live their own lives. We all decide where we draw lines in the sand, and we all have that right.

    As someone who works in animal care 80 hours a week, I spend a lot of time helping people build relationships with the animals in their lives. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who loves animals spent our time building those relationships, rather than tearing other people down?

    Thanks, Carrie, for your work and your voice.

    • dairycarrie says:

      Thank you very much Mittsy. I read this out loud to Hubs and it brought a smile to both of our faces.
      I appreciate your openness and your commitment to animals, especially evil red dogs. 🙂

  32. Jess McKay says:

    Please answer this simple question Carrie, it is yes or no and your continued refusal to answer the question baffles me: would you be ok with someone doing to you exactly what you do to cows?

    • Jess – IF humans had a “heat cycle” such as animals do (cats, dogs, cows, ferrets), where they will stand for any sort of mating/penetration because that is what their bodies and minds are telling them to do. Then YES – I’m sure that human females would be breaking down the gate to get at the resident stud male (whoever he may be). But the fact is- HUMANS DON”T HAVE A HEAT CYCLE. And that lets us choose who we mate with and when. Plus I’m sure it would be very interesting to see a (lets say) successful lawyer or a school teacher hit her heat cycle on her lunch break, drop to all fours and “present” to any male walking by. HUMANS and ANIMALS are DIFFERENT.

    • And Jess – think on this one. I’m a gestational surrogate. I spent the last year trying to get pregnant so another couple can have a family. I also work on a dairy farm and compared what the cows go through to my 4 rounds of IVF. And guess what? There was a lot more crap and hormones that I had to go through vs the cows. And I never got any “foreplay” before the IVF procedures, only asked if I had a full bladder. In a few months I will give birth to a baby who I will not raise. I will pump and donate my milk to a baby who needs it (I did this while nursing my other children). And I may do it again in the future. Now tell me – how is that any different than a dairy cow?

  33. amy says:

    I read this posting. I’m glad you feel safe and wholesome, working “your” farm.
    But unfortunately there are many farms and farmers around you, this state, and other states that aren’t so safe & wholesome. There needs to be an improvement in the “quality checking” of farm standards and practices. I(we) know budgets on and in every business and government department have been cut, but with this and these videos and people commenting on the videos about the owners having knowledge of the cruel acts. They themselves performing acts if cruelty on cows & calves. The public is getting the truth from the years of cover up. This and these acts you (we) know are not preformed on or at every farm, dairy or not, BUT it does exist “behind the scene” at farms.
    Even at one farm is one farm too many.
    So, reading your post, trying to find the farmers that are humane is a good thing for the public to see and seek out, but we also need to not hide the farm and farmers that are not humane. They need to be exposed and brought to justice!
    Every farm should have a written handbook of their rules and regulations, just like any factory, store, restaurant, or any and all business does. If employees can’t follow the rules and regulations for GMP (good manufacturing practices) then they need to be relieved of their jobs and given bad refences for future farm jobs. Also, farmers need a some kind if “farmers link”, some website that can help them seek out good employees from bad. And learn good farming practices.
    Other industries have these practices in place. I know a lot of farms aren’t ” state if the art”, they are still basically mom ad pop farms past down from generations, but like all business, if they want to stay in business and keep up with the market prices, something’s have to advance for the grown world. Farms, even mom and pop farms need to step by step join this generation in electronic media, in learning about how other farms step by step grow into the “next” generation.
    Good luck on your safe and wholesome farm and farm life.
    Work on getting framing in Wisconsin healthy and safe.
    Help teach other farmers “cheap” labor is not always ” good or safe” labor!

    • dairycarrie says:

      Amy,
      First of all, I’m not exactly holed up on an island. I’ve been on hundreds of farms and have met and talked with thousands of farmers. Just like any industry, we talk to each other about best practices and what’s going on. I’m in conversations in three different Facebook groups about tail docking on farms right now. Farmers talk to each other.
      Your post makes it seem like you believe there are more farms that are bad than good and that’s simply not true.
      My wanting to connect farmers and customers isn’t about this video, it’s about people having knowledgeable sources to get information from. There is no “trying to find the farmers who are humane” to it.
      As far as quality checking farms, our industry has created the FARM program that is designed to do just that. It’s a program that our industry created to address the issues and make sure best practices are being followed on all farms. The FARM program has the farms have the written handbooks or SOP’s as part of the certification. Just last month our national industry organizations voted to make changes that will have participation in the program mandatory for thousands of farms rather than voluntary as it had been before.
      As far as the education part, there are opportunities in spades for farmers to learn and improve and they are well attended. I know PDPW is also offering their courses in Spanish for Hispanic workers and I’m sure they are other organizations doing the same.
      To sum this all up, you have a picture of what farms are that seems to be outdated and a little distorted. I hope you’ll take the time to talk to more farmers and find out what farming is like today. There are a few bad apples but it is NOT the norm.

  34. kidznhorses says:

    What I am most baffled about on this interesting discussion is whether vegans have ever owned livestock because they seem to have no clue about the needs of livestock being sustantially different than the needs of humans.
    Those of us working with livestock every day, all day, understand that. We love the personalities of our cows, horses, goats and sheep but we know their needs are different than ours.
    Take this cold weather for example. My horses Love this weather.. people always ask me in a sad voice why I don’t put blankets on them and put them in heated barns. Unlike humans, their bodies crave the cold and create wonderful hair to accomodate snow and cold. Putting them in a heated barn would make them sick.
    Our ancesters understood animals.. they were around them 24 hours a day using them for milk, transportation and food. There was a respect for the circle of life. I’m very sad that we have lost that understanding and will continue to do so as long as animals are not welcomed into our every day life and children aren’t explosed. The continuous loss of family dairy makes me very sad. It was the foundation of our state. About 70 percent of the class I graduated with 45 years ago grew up on dairy farms, now it’s closer to 5 percent. With that loss, goes the true understanding of animals.

  35. Colleen says:

    I think we all know that there is bad in every group, that said, when these “bad apples” are found why not call them what they are? A small percentage of a larger group, that is, for the most part, doing the right thing. Making the best effort to be good to their animals? We all have pride, and to get up every day, for weeks, months, years, and do the best one can do, only to have someone find abuse and label all of the group the same, is hurtful, insulting and unfair. It is not a true picture.

    I feel like if someone would like to be a vegan then it is their lifestyle choice, good for them, but we do not all have to make that same choice. They do not have search for ways to change all of us to want the same things they do by hurting good hard working people. I didn’t feel like they were trying to prevent abuse, it felt like their end goal was to make everyone a vegan.

    In reading through this I feel like some people have too much time on their hands but not enough to actually find out what they are talking about before commenting. This past year I have learned a lot about Dairy Farming just by reading Carrie’s blog. I suggest reading and learning as much as you can. Fight against the bad and support the good, but most of all know what you are talking about before you go after good hard working people.

  36. Hey Jess – After mocking everyone else here and complaining that Dairy Carrie is not responding to your questions. I see that you don’t have a response to my post answering you. Why is that?

  37. Lizbeth says:

    Carrie, I have been reading your blog and facebook page for a while because I am interested in learning more about the dairy industry from a farmer’s perspective. I do have a few questions. But first I want to say that not all vegans are unreasonable extremists, just like not all farmers are animal abusers. The vegans that I have met are not rude or judgmental at all. Also, I grew up in farming community and most of the farmers I have met are very kind people, even if I don’t agree with all of their methods. This particular blog post seems to have brought out some extreme views and ignorant comments. I don’t think those are reflective of the majority.

    I’m going to start by only asking one of my questions. Are there any animal farming practices happening today that you feel are inhumane?

    • dairycarrie says:

      Hi Lizbeth,
      Thanks for following along. I totally understand that most Vegans don’t behave like the folks that have been trolling my social media accounts. And for that I am thankful! 😉
      To answer your question, yes there are certainly practices that are not humane. Docking tails like this video shows is unacceptable. While dehorning is a necessity, there are dehorning methods that I think are horrible. The good news is that farmers and our veterinarians are putting a stop to those practices. The farms that are stuck in the past aren’t going to be here for the future, I have no problem with that.
      As a farmer the thing that I see that bothers me isn’t necessarily inhumane practices but farms where the cows are secondary to crops. There are some farmers who simply aren’t cow people, they keep the cows around because they like the steadiness of a milk check. While I think the cows on these farms get adequate care, they don’t get the exemplary care that I feel they should. I suppose that’s a little bit like parenting, some kids have awesome parents and some kids have parents that get the job done.

      • Lizbeth says:

        Thanks for the thoughtful response, Carrie. I had never considered farms where cows are secondary to crops. I’m glad to hear the awful docking and dehorning methods will soon be ending. How do you feel about the large scale dairy farms (I believe they are referred to as industrial or intensive)? Do they provide adequate care to the cows?

        • dairycarrie says:

          When I first started on our farm I was really not a fan of large farms. But I had also never been on a large farm. I felt like there was no way that they could care for their cows the way I care for mine.
          Now that I have been on many large farms my opinion has completely changed. What I’ve learned is that large farms are large farms because they did well as smaller farms. If you suck at milking 100 cows, you’re not going to get loans to build a 1,000 cow dairy. The other thing about large farms is that generally they are newer facilities and as farmers have figured out more about keeping cows comfortable, the buildings have got better for the cows.
          The larger the farm the more employees. On our farm we all have to be able to step into just about any roll even if it’s not something we’re really good at. On a large farm they have the ability to hire someone that is really good of taking care of calves to do just that without needing them to be good at calves and also able to drive tractor. Employees can learn and grow in their area and that makes everyone happy.
          While the cows on large farms might not have names like our girls do, they don’t really care. It’s hard to see this from the cows point of view but they don’t want the same things we think they want. My cows exhibit this in the summer when I let them outside. It can be a beautiful day but after 20 minutes the majority of our cows are back inside where they can eat the food they like and lay in their comfortable sand beds with fans blowing on them.
          I guess if it came down to me having to sell my cows tomorrow and it was a choice between a large farm and a traditional older style small farm, I’d want them to go to the big farm. They might not be called by their names but they would be comfortable and well fed and that’s what they care about.

        • Lizbeth says:

          That surprises me. I have heard so many bad things about the large farms. I can see how they could be run more smoothly and efficiently. I’m not concerned about whether the cows are called by their name, but it seems that with 1,000 or more cows it would be difficult to make sure their individual needs were met. It also seems it would be more difficult to supervise all of the employees and abuse could happen easier.

          I always thought cows liked to be outside grazing. I had never heard that they preferred to be in the barn. Are your cows let out on a grass pasture daily in the warm weather?

        • dairycarrie says:

          People want to make farming black and white, large is bad and small is good. But that’s simply not how it works.
          If you have 1000 cows you have more people working for you than if you have 100. Most large dairies have specific hospital pens for cows who are ill or injured, with people who’s only job is to care for the cows in that pen.
          Yes, hiring more people can lead to getting someone on staff that’s a real asshole but it’s not a rule. At the same time a guy in his 60s who milks 40 cows can’t afford help even if he needs it. After 60 years of 16 hour days dairy farming his body is tired and sore and at the end of the day instead of cleaning a dirty pen, he goes in the house because he is bone tired. The cows spend another day in a dirty pen. The next day 2 of the cows in the pen have mastitis from laying in the dirty bedding. If he milked more cows he would have income to have some help but he doesn’t. He could sell the cows and get out of the only life he’s ever known but he’s not ready to retire and can’t afford to not have a job. Who’s going to hire a 60 year old guy that has never worked for anybody but himself?
          As I said, good and bad situations are not as simple as large vs small.

          As far as cows going outside. First thing to point out is that a cow’s temperature is 101.5, they are already much warmer than we are. They don’t sweat very effectively either. If you were running a fever and were at 101.5 would you want to be outside in the sun on a hot day?
          We do open the gate on our free stall barn that goes out to a couple acre pasture most days in the summer. Like I said, they go out and run a lap or two, grab a couple bites of grass, stand around for a few minutes, realize their hot and they want to lay down. Their beds in the barn are cool and more comfortable and they head back inside. The gate is open but they choose to come in on their own.

        • Lizbeth says:

          I understand what you are saying about the farm size not being black and white. Thanks for taking time to explain your point of view on it. Not coming from a farming background it is extremely difficult for me to wade through all of the information out there.

          I think it’s great that your cows are given the option to go outside or come back in. I don’t have much experience with cows, but I have spent a lot of time around dogs and horses. It sounds like their average temps are similar. I know that my thick coated dog doesn’t want to spend much time outside when it is over 70 degrees but she loves to be out on cooler days. I realize they are totally different animals, but are the cows like that?

  38. Dear Dairy Carrie,
    I’m sorry that you’ve had all of these negative comments. I seriously don’t know how people have the time or an emotional disconnect to say such nasty things. It’s one thing to comment on a blog post with questions and an honest mind willing to do some research and reading, but unfortunately this is not the case that I’ve seen here. I eventually stopped reading them because it became quite clear that the majority of those commenting negatively were nothing more than bullies. I love your #realwidairy campaign and have found many more people on social media to connect with because of it. Keep doing what you’re doing! Love your blog! Don’t let difficult people get you down.

    Lauren

  39. debra says:

    If a video shows animals at this farm being abused, than how can you say it isn’t true? It doesn’t matter if it happens once or a thousand times, abuse is still abuse. Where would these employees get the idea that this is ok, if not approved by the farm? Where would they learn to do these things, if not instructed by the farm? My employees understand what they can and cannot do starting from the interview to the actual first day of their job and they understand the consequences if not properly followed. I understand you want to keep your farm in a ‘positive light,’ however, there is obviously an evil cruelty being put upon these animals that should not have occurred in the first place.

    Thankfully, after reading about such horrors on farms, including yours, I am quickly removing dairy and meat from my food source.

    • jodi818 says:

      Debra, Carrie doesn’t abuse her cows ,nor do her employees. Where did you think she was condoning that? Most farms don’t either. She pretty much stated that several times. Read the blog not just this post. If you choose not to eat or drink animal products that’s your choice.

  40. Amy says:

    Dairy Carrie- I would like to say thank you. My fiance and I have a herd of 50 holsteins in New Jersey about 1 hour outside of NYC. Your blogs and posts have helped me to become a better advocate for the dairy industry. You do an awesome job explaining our practices and management systems. Thank you for speaking out for the dairy industry, no one does it as well as you do!

  41. flybylove says:

    I understand that you do not abuse your animals on your farm and many others do not also.

    But the question is – how can we actually know for sure the true extent of animal abuse?

    The truth is you cannot say for sure that most large scale production farms do not have this sort of abuse going on at one time or the other… what would be useful would be some sort of nation-wide and worldwide survey…

    What if it was true that this happened on a very large scale? How would we know? We know that Mercy for Animals is pushing an agenda – but still, how do we know it is not widespread?

  42. lux says:

    Hello, Carrie. I suppose what I don’t understand is why you eat animals that are similar to and the same species as the ones you love. So, why do you eat beef? I would also like to know about the age of male calves when they are sent to become steer. How young are they castrated? Also, how common is overlaying? What breed are your cattle? Do you dehorn your cattle or are they naturally hornless? If they are dehorned, do you use anesthesia? Do you think cattle are environmentally sustainable? If so, how can they be?

    Sorry for all the questions. I’m curious about the perspective of a dairy farmer.

  43. Steele says:

    All mercy for animals does is single out all the bad things in the meat industry and give little to no credibility to the parts that are not bad. (as seen in the video) I highly doubt there are alot of workers that actually punch baby cows.

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