I cannot believe that people are being asked to buy more milk, and pay more for it, because dairy farmers might go broke.

According to this logic, we should all smoke more cigarettes, to support the poor, struggling tobacco farmers.

I grew up on a dairy farm and learned that, like humans, cows gestate for nine months, but calves are normally ripped from their distraught mothers a few hours after they are born.

I remember lying in bed at night on the farm, hearing the mother cows bellowing sorrowfully, often for days.

Anyone who has witnessed a cow returning again and again to the place her missing baby was born, and often refusing to eat, will never again doubt that these animals suffer and feel grief as we do.

The male or “bobby” calves are usually sent for slaughter at five days old, terrified, cold and hungry, and can legally be transported for up to 30 hours, without food, to their grisly fate.

The heifers are fed watered-down milk until they can enter the same cycle of constant pregnancy and milking.

When their bodies wear out and their milk production wanes, they are slaughtered as “spent” at the age of five to seven years old, less than a quarter of their potential age.

Humans don’t need to drink cows’ milk, and we’re healthier if we don’t.

Let the invisible hand of themarket do its work, and then the farmers can move (like the tobacco farmers did) into more ethicalproducts that cause less suffering, less human disease, and lesspollution.

Desmond Bellamy

Special ProjectsCo-ordinator

PETA Australia

Byron Bay

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