By Published On: 8 March 2012306 words1.6 min read

Photo Credit: Tony Northrup

From Even Dairy Farming Has a 1 Percent:

When Bob was a kid, during the Depression, he and his 10 siblings milked the family’s 15 cows by hand and produced 350 pounds’ worth of milk per day. By the time Robert was a teenager, in the 1970s, the farm had grown to 90 cows — all of which were milked automatically through vacuum technology — and sold around 4,000 pounds of milk per day. Now the Fulpers own 135 cows, which produce more than 8,000 pounds of milk.

So the farm should be more lucrative, right? Robert showed me exactly how much money he and his brother made last year, an unusually profitable one for the dairy industry. He asked me not to reveal the number, but let’s put it this way: Robert and Fred start work at 4:30 a.m., finish at 7 p.m. and trade Sundays off. If you divide their 2011 profit by their weekly hours, they earn considerably less than minimum wage.

Which is still considerably better than the 135 mothers that are continually impregnated (because without babies, cows don’t produce milk), only to have their children taken from them, until they no longer can and then- well, you know…

Bob…told me a number of hysterical, unprintable farm jokes during my visit, but he turned pensive when it came to his farm’s future…“You just stay in the cowshed longer, work harder,” he says.

Right.  You just work (the cows- the mothers) harder.

[Fact:  Cows have been known to walk for miles to find their calves.  They call loudly for days (sometimes weeks) after their calves have been taken away from them.  Cows prefer to sleep close to their families- sleeping arrangements are determined by their position in the social hierarchy.  They are able to recognize faces as well as understand cause and effect.]

It’s a two page article in the that talks about dairy farming without mentioning the the most important part: the life that was denied to these cows.

Note. Before you tell me that the original article was not intended to be a discussion on ethics, rather it was meant as a discussion on our economy- thank you, I know.  That is precisely my point.  

By Published On: 8 March 2012306 words1.6 min read

Photo Credit: Tony Northrup

From Even Dairy Farming Has a 1 Percent:

When Bob was a kid, during the Depression, he and his 10 siblings milked the family’s 15 cows by hand and produced 350 pounds’ worth of milk per day. By the time Robert was a teenager, in the 1970s, the farm had grown to 90 cows — all of which were milked automatically through vacuum technology — and sold around 4,000 pounds of milk per day. Now the Fulpers own 135 cows, which produce more than 8,000 pounds of milk.

So the farm should be more lucrative, right? Robert showed me exactly how much money he and his brother made last year, an unusually profitable one for the dairy industry. He asked me not to reveal the number, but let’s put it this way: Robert and Fred start work at 4:30 a.m., finish at 7 p.m. and trade Sundays off. If you divide their 2011 profit by their weekly hours, they earn considerably less than minimum wage.

Which is still considerably better than the 135 mothers that are continually impregnated (because without babies, cows don’t produce milk), only to have their children taken from them, until they no longer can and then- well, you know…

Bob…told me a number of hysterical, unprintable farm jokes during my visit, but he turned pensive when it came to his farm’s future…“You just stay in the cowshed longer, work harder,” he says.

Right.  You just work (the cows- the mothers) harder.

[Fact:  Cows have been known to walk for miles to find their calves.  They call loudly for days (sometimes weeks) after their calves have been taken away from them.  Cows prefer to sleep close to their families- sleeping arrangements are determined by their position in the social hierarchy.  They are able to recognize faces as well as understand cause and effect.]

It’s a two page article in the that talks about dairy farming without mentioning the the most important part: the life that was denied to these cows.

Note. Before you tell me that the original article was not intended to be a discussion on ethics, rather it was meant as a discussion on our economy- thank you, I know.  That is precisely my point.  

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  1. justray March 8, 2012 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Everything I want to compare this story to seems to be a bit harsh. 1. because this type of farming is cruel and unusual and these sentient beings/mamals have committed no crimes. and 2 I just want one cow to learn to speak English and slap the crap out of one of these farmers and say “look jerk” we are sentient beings and we love our children and you are torturing us.

    I weep for these men who can’t realize that what they do is vile. How can we find better ways for farmers to re-outfit their farms to produce cruelty free items for the world.. If their eyes could be opened to the injustice the deliver, My hope would be they would explore alternatives.