Since she is re-impregnated every year, while still lactating from the previous pregnancy, a ‘dairy cow’ will spend six to seven months a year producing milk while she is also pregnant. This is true on organic and free-range farms as well. A calf would naturally feed five to six times a day, so that the maximum amount of milk in his mother’s udder would be around two liters at any one time. But on modern dairy farms, a cow is only milked twice a day, allowing milk to accumulate in the udder; thus forcing her to carry around 20 liters of milk or more. This greatly enlarged udder leads to lameness in her hind legs and predisposes her to mastitis (a painful udder infection). Her only rest from this appalling existence is during the last two months of her pregnancy when she is not milked in preparation for giving birth. Then the awful cycle starts again.
Hobbles and shackles are commonly attached to the hind legs of cows who have suffered damage during ‘calving’, and would not be able to stand of their own accord. Injured cows are often forced to continue in pain, for seven to eight months, until their milk yield drops (so the farmer won’t lose a large quantity of milk) and then they are killed. Seeing photos of these shackles online conjures up images of slavery and shines a light on the very real fact that bred and farmed animals ARE slaves; owned by human ‘masters’ and treated as if they were lifeless objects.
The ‘dairy cow’, riddled with painful ailments as a result of her exploitation, and physically ravaged from the sexual abuse she has experienced, is eventually killed to be eaten when she is no longer producing; typically at around five years of her otherwise 20-25 year lifespan.
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