Every year, millions of cows are slaughtered to stock our grocery stores
with beef, veal, and even dairy products.
Artificially inseminated cows are pumped full of drugs to increase
As with all mammals, cows produce milk for their babies. To ensure the
highest milk yield possible, U.S. factory farmers artificially inseminate
dairy cows every year and keep them pumped full of steroids and other
After giving birth, the mothers are hooked up to machines two or three
times a day that take the very milk intended for their calves. After two
months, the mothers are once again impregnated and then milked for seven
months of their nine-month pregnancies. The physically taxing cycle of
impregnation, birthing, and mechanized milking forces the average dairy
cow to be “spent” by her fifth birthday. If allowed to live naturally,
cows can live to be 25.
One byproduct of the dairy industry is a calf per year per cow.
A calf’s fate depends on his or her gender: If female, she will likely
join her mother on the dairy line. If male, he will be sold to beef or
veal farmers, often before he is a week old.
Veal calves are constantly confined in small crates that restrict
virtually any movement.
The veal industry is thus a direct byproduct of the dairy industry. Virtually
every calf slaughtered for veal is the child of a cow on the dairy line.
Most of these calves spend their entire lives chained alone inside
wooden crates too small for them to even turn around. To produce the
tenderest meat, the crates are purposefully designed to prevent movement
and cause muscle atrophy. The urine-soaked wood-slat flooring causes many
calves to suffer from chronic pneumonia and other respiratory problems,
so veal farmers dose them with antibiotics. And, while their mothers’
milk is being stolen on dairy farms, these calves are fed an iron-deficient
milk substitute that keeps them anemic and pales the color of their flesh.
After roughly 16 weeks of lonely intensive confinement, without being
nursed by their mothers or feeling grass beneath their feet, the calves
A downed cow is left to suffer and die at a stockyard as her
frightened calf looks on.
Cattle raised for beef sales are also subjected to cruel treatment. Without
painkillers, they have their testicles ripped out, their horns cut off,
and third-degree burns (branding) inflicted on them. For the first six
to ten months of their lives, they are allowed access to the outdoors
before they’re trucked—often over hundreds of miles—to feedlots where
they’ll be fattened on an unnatural diet of grains and “fillers” (including
sawdust and chicken manure). They’ll stay on the feedlot for another six
to ten months until they reach “market weight” of more than 1,000 pounds.
Finally, they’re shipped to slaughter.
Food given to animals the day before and during transport to slaughterhouses
won’t be converted into flesh, so they receive no food or water. Animals
may die on the trucks—frozen to the metal sides, overheated, or dehydrated.
At slaughter, they endure painful deaths like pigs and other farmed animals.
Thankfully, Norman was rescued before being turned into hamburger.
Strikingly handsome, his expressive eyes follow you as you
approach, wondering if you’ll have the apples he loves so