Hi! Not trying to sound rude, just curious! Why don't vegans drink milk or eat eggs? I get that it comes from animals, but I've heard that a cows milk starts to hurt it if it isn't milked. Is it the fact that we're taking from the animal, or is it more focused on the cruel factory farming of the animals? Also! What's your take on organic milk? Thank you!
Hi daninsnotonfire ! Both of your examples are valid reasons for a vegan to avoid dairy and eggs; if you ask me, dairy is crueler than meat in all levels. Here are some facts about both industries:
All animal farming exploits motherhood, but there is perhaps no more egregious violation of motherhood than dairy farming, in which females of another species are forced to become pregnant and carry their babies for nine months, only to have them ripped away at birth in order for humans to steal the milk intended for them. Cows’ milk is for baby cows. Human breast milk is for young developing humans. We have no more need to drink the breast milk of a cow than we do the breast milk of a cat.
In order to keep a steady supply of milk, the cows are repeatedly impregnated. Several times a day, dairy cows are hooked by their udders to electronic milking machines that can cause the cows to suffer electrical shocks, painful lesions, and mastitis.
Some spend their entire lives standing on concrete floors; others are crammed into massive mud lots.
Cows have a natural lifespan of about 25 years and can produce milk for eight or nine years, but the stress caused by factory farm conditions leads to disease, lameness, and reproductive problems that render cows worthless to the dairy industry by the time they are four or five years old, at which time they are sent to the slaughterhouse.
Investigations into dairy, veal, and calf factory farms have uncovered shocking cruelty to animals. Click the below links to watch hidden camera video, exposing the true cost of dairy products:
- Conklin Dairy Farm Undercover Investigation - Ohio
- Willet Dairy Farm Undercover Investigation - New York
- E6 Cattle Co Undercover Investigation - Texas
- Buckeye Veal Farm Undercover Investigation - Ohio
At the hatcheries that supply female chicks to factory egg farms, small farms, and backyard egg enthusiasts alike, male chicks are killed shortly after birth by being ground up alive in giant macerators, gassed, electrocuted, or left to suffocate in garbage bags and dumpsters. Because male chicks will never lay eggs and are not the breed sold for meat (meat chicken breeds have been genetically manipulated to grow much more breast muscle and flesh), they are considered worthless to the egg industry, and so are disposed of as trash. Destroying male chicks is standard practice worldwide. Every year, global hatcheries combined kill approximately 6 billion newborn chicks.
Even the most rigorous humane labeling certification programs in the U.S., Certified Humane, American Humane Certified, and Animal Welfare Approved, permit the killing of male chicks at the hatcheries which supply their egg farms with laying hens. Laying hens themselves spend 2 miserable years crammed into cages so small they cannot even spread their wings, churning out an unnaturally high rate of hundreds of eggs each year without ever getting the chance to hatch or mother a single chick.
Check out this article for every detail about eggs. And nope, if you do your research and you make sure you eat plenty of different foods your growth won’t stunt!
Besides the ethical factor here are some that are worth to take into consideration too:
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than all transportation combined. [x]
- Livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. [x]
- Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2. [x]
- Methane has a global warming power 86 times that of CO2. [x]
- Livestock is responsible for 65% of all emissions of nitrous oxide a greenhouse gas 296x more destructive than carbon dioxide and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years. [x]
- Animal agriculture use ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons of water annually. [x]
- Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption. [x]
- 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1 pound of eggs; 900 gallons of water are needed for cheese. [x]
- 1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk. [x]
- A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. [x]
Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US. This doesn’t include the animals raised outside of USDA jurisdiction or in backyards, or the billions of fish raised in aquaculture settings in the US. [x]
Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. [x]