Anti-milk bashers to blame for rickets? I recognize my views will not be popular to the readers of Farm and Dairy. However, I believe this theory presented in the March 7 guest commentary of Denny Banister is ridiculous propaganda based on fear and not fact. The propaganda is fueled by the giant milk marketing machine that spends millions of dollars to create the perception that we must drink cows milk to stay healthy.
Well guess what? Cows’ milk is for cows, not humans. I find it ironic that you state you think it is safe in saying no soybean or rice farmer would want to profit by gambling with the health of children, but I cannot state that I think it is safe in saying no dairy farmer would want to profit from the suffering of cows.
Cows and other farm animals are sentient beings, no different from humans in their needs for comfort, companionship, food, water, and shelter. Yet, in this country farm animals are treated horribly. They are kept in tiny cages or crates their whole lives, unable to walk, stretch their limbs, or even turn around. They are denied wholesome food and the most basic association with other members of their species. In fact, agribusiness treats these animals merely as tools of production.
If you don’t believe me, have your readers answer these questions for themselves. Is it true in order to produce veal, young calves are taken from their mothers at birth and chained by the neck in crates the size of a coffin? Is it true a mother cow will cry for days when her calf is forcibly taken from her?
I must be some crazy animal rights extremist to feel this way. No. I am simply a person that believes it is time to stop exploiting animals and instead time for all farm animals to be recognized as sentient beings capable of awareness, feeling and suffering that deserve to live a life with basic humane protection.
Steven J. Barr