Again and again one hears as Veganer the argument "for milk no animals die". But is that true at all? Everyone knows that we can't eat meat from animals without a living creature having to give up its life. But since milk only comes from the teats of sheep, goats, buffaloes or cows and is not an integral part of the animal, it should work without death. But if that were so: then why do vegans no longer drink milk? Questions about questions.
In this post, I'd like to answer your question about whether animals die for milk - and whether the argument makes sense as a justification for drinking milk. Let's go!
Do animals have to die for milk?
Dairy cows today, for example, have to give an average of about 26 liters of milk a day₁. They do this for a maximum of 6 years₂, eventually losing their value for the industry. However, the milk yield of a mother cow can also drop much earlier - for example, when the animals collapse from exhaustion. Either way, they are then subsequently killed and processed into meat, even though they could well live well over 20 years under natural circumstances.₃
But why do cows give milk in the first place? At least not just for fun. They do it so that their offspring can drink it and grow through the nutrients. So that we humans can drink cow's milk, cows are artificially inseminated by a spirited grab into the exit opening of the intestinal tract and leaving bull semen in the animal's vagina. To prevent the calf from then slurping its mother's precious milk, the offspring is snatched from its mother with great fanfare on the second day at the latest. Since they do not give milk and are too skinny to be fattened, young, male calves are largely worthless for the industry. They are considered like an unwanted waste product and therefore often killed illegally. Many of them also perish under pure neglect.
So not only the dairy cows themselves have to die for milk, but also their offspring, without which the mother cow would not give any milk at all. But assuming that animals don't have to die for milk: why are you still drinking the breast milk of another species, which isn't even meant for you, but for a little calf?
Tip: In the article about the Reasons for veganism I have explained many more motifs. Look gladly times purely.
The dairy industry lives through exploitation and death of animals
From the point of view of the brutal dairy industry dairy cows are not emotional creatures, but nothing more than high-performance machines. They are exploited and their performance is constantly optimized. Our consumption of milk is responsible for the fact that ultimately not only the dairy cows themselves, but also their calves have to die. By buying animal dairy products, you are helping to keep it that way.
Every day, you too have the chance to end this mistreatment of animals. Just reach a few inches further in the supermarket and grab the delicious and animal cruelty-free oat, almond, rice or soy milk. There really is no shortage of alternatives today!
Have you ever used the argument "Animals don't die for milk" yourself or heard it from someone else? Feel free to write me your experiences under this article.
PS.: If you want to know more about the dairy industry, I can recommend the film "The Milk System". One of many vegan documentariesthat will increase your motivation to live a plant-based lifestyle immeasurably.
₁ A. Deter: How much milk does a cow give (as of 07/29/2019), available at https://www.topagrar.com/mediathek/fotos/rind/wieviel-milch-gibt-eine-kuh-11667503.html. [07.05.2020].
₂ F. Enzenhofer: Let the hens have their eggs!, available at https://www.veganblatt.com/huehner-eier. [07.05.2020].
₃ FOUR PAWS - Foundation for Animal Welfare: Life expectancy of cattle (as of 19.10.2017), available at https://t1p.de/ncnm. [18.06.2020].