I don’t think people involved in mass-animal killing operations should call themselves farmers. That term should be reserved for growing crops.
Do you realize how bizarre and delusional-sounding it is when you say you love your animals? If you loved them, you wouldn’t kill them as soon as profitable. You wouldn’t deny everybody a chance to nurse with his or her mother. Are you trying to fool yourself or others when you keep saying how much you love the animals you readily kill over and over – all at young ages. It’s the sort of thing a deranged serial killer would say.
I’ve visited dairy operations, and I’ve also volunteered at sanctuaries. The difference is night and day. The dairy operations are concerned with getting stuff out of the animals for profit. If the animal can’t produce enough, she’s killed. It’s like a gulag. The sanctuaries truly love their animals. They go to the ends of the earth to prevent an animal of any age from suffering. They all die of old age, or from illness after the sanctuary has done everything practical to make the animal better; often the illness is a result of being bred to overproduce flesh, milk or eggs. They form lifetime friends. If they arrive pregnant, they usually form lifetime bonds with all their children. You really don’t know cows if your relationship to them is as an exploiter who forcibly breeds them, uses them, and destroys them. You can only know cows if you see them as individuals who want to live and be with their families, and you form a sincere friendship with them.
I know this is harsh. But you’re mass- murdering babies and young adult animals who want to live. You’re breaking up families. You’re forcing mothers to be almost constantly pregnant and lactating their entire abbreviated lives. You may be a nice person but you’re doing terrible things, and there’s no way to sugar-coat that. Some dairy “farmers” see the light and give it up because when they’re really honest with themselves, they admit it’s violent exploitation. Here are some who left the violent business; perhaps they’ll be an inspiration:
Bottom line: I get no joy from doing this. I’d rather be gardening or playing music. But we have a moral obligation to speak out for innocent victims. I pray you’ll understand that and stop inflicting needless suffering and brutal early death on innocents.
Author: Gary L. (farm sanctuary volunteer & rabbit rescuer)
Last Saturday as a calf took its first breath there were cheers and big smiles among a small crowd welcoming her to the world. A couple of women driving by had seen our heifer calving and stopped along the road to watch. After a little while (the heifer had been pushing for about an hour), we decided to assist the birth, and at that time, the women watching pulled into our driveway, stopped and walked down along the fence to observe a little closer. I told them I didn’t mind at all, said a silent prayer that all would go well (especially given the audience), and started pulling. After she arrived, I informed our guests that the new calf was a girl. They watched for a few more moments as the new mama started to clean her calf off, and then thanked us and went on their way. We share our story on social media, but words and pictures do not make an experience – we got to show these two passersby more of the real story – the way we interact with our cattle, the way they interact with us, and the miracle of a new life, in this case a future milk cow.
In stark contrast, this Saturday I posted a photo on my Instagram account of two of our “getter-outer” cows standing by the gate by our milk barn. I noted that these two didn’t like where we put our fences, but they still wanted to be milked (I opened the gate, and they walked right in – no persuasion required). Without thinking I used a hashtag (#milktruth) that was apparently being monitored by a rather angry set of vegans. I almost immediately started receiving comments about stealing babies and milk and being “fake” for claiming to care about our cattle. When I took the photo, I was standing in the rain doing exactly what these cows wanted me to do, so forgive me for my confusion. One user was so amped up over my post that she posted disrespectful and insulting (and untrue) comments on several of my other pictures before I was felt it was necessary to block her.I’m not opposed to a difference of opinion, and I strive to allow productive discussion on all of my social media sites. After all, I don’t think I’m doing a very good job as a farmer or a writer if my opinions and practices cannot stand up to challenges; however, I will not approve comments that are disrespectful, slanderous or vulgar, and I will not hesitate to block someone who is clearly on the attack. There’s nothing productive about that situation. They don’t care what I have to say, and at that point, I don’t much care for their input either.So what’s the difference? When a person witnesses our work face to face, they are polite and respectful. No question is off-limits, and we give the best honest answers we can. When a person (albeit one with a pre-conceived agenda to attack what we do) sees us posting about our work on the internet, though, they are rude and often vulgar. I often wonder, have they forgotten that on the other side of another screen is a person? Would the discussion go differently face to face? Maybe not, but perhaps the anonymity of the internet allows them to ignore the humanity of the people on the other side.Most farms are family owned, and they’re managed by the same people out there busting their backs every day. In case you didn’t know this, farmers are people. I didn’t realize it had to be said, but apparently it does. We’re people (even those of us who use social media), just like you. We work, we play, we win, we lose, we laugh, we cry, we struggle, but we try. Every single day we try to do our best – at home, in the barn, and in between. We try to make a living. We try to build a legacy. We try to care for our land and our animals in the best way possible. We try to do all things in a way that lets us sleep well at night. We are not perfect, but we are people.