Last year we told you about Liberation B.C.’s Cow Ribbon campaign, a project that uses a small cow-print ribbon to act as a stark reminder that baby calves born on dairy farms are immediately ripped from their mothers. After their babies are stolen from them, the mothers have been known to bellow for days.
That tearing away of mother and offspring is, of course, one of the many inherent cruelties of the dairy industry. Veal is a direct byproduct, since the boy calves — having no economic value to the dairy industry — need to go somewhere. Some of these veal calves are slaughtered at just a few days old (to create inexpensive “bob veal”), while others are fed an iron-deficient diet, kept tethered inside tiny crates, made anemic (since anemic white flesh equals top-quality veal), and killed at 4-6 months of age. Other boy cows are raised for beef — another horrific fate.
Meanwhile, the female cows from the dairy industry are forcibly inseminated — or, raped. In fact, “rape rack” is a term created by the ag industry, referring to the device that dairy cows are strapped onto as they are inseminated — the ultimate exploitation of their reproductive organs. Since cows, like us humans, are mammals, they need to be pregnant or have just given birth in order to produce milk. So the milk that greedy humans drink was really meant for the mama’s calves. When the still young mothers are no longer able to produce enough milk (“spent”), they are killed for low-grade beef. Happy Mothers Day to them.
Sorry to be depressing, but I tell it like it is.
I’m constantly perplexed by people who vehemently proclaim that they would “never eat veal — my god!” yet they are happy to order a cruel milkshake. The dairy industry enables the veal industry enables the dairy industry enables the… you get the picture. And chances are you already know this anyway, because you’re a savvy Our Hen House reader. But just in case, I figured I’d go there, before telling you more about this brilliant, productive, I’m-not-gonna-take-this-anymore awareness-raising campaign that Liberation B.C. has created…
And yes, I get it. I realize that many of those dairy-guzzling folks are just not-yet-informed about the egregious cruelties inherent in the dairy industry (not to mention the legal amount of pus and blood allowed in milk). Hey, I was there. You probably were (are?) too. But lucky for me, someone showed me the light. And there was no turning back.
So why not be the one to shed the light? This Mother’s Day, which, oh look, is in two days (shit, I have to go shopping immediately), send an e-card, courtesy of the Cow Ribbon campaign, to all of the mothers in your life. Hell, send it to the fathers too, and to the sons and daughters. Since we all have or had parents — making us all sons and daughters — that should cover everyone. So I guess you can just bust out with your full address book, and be festive.
The well-designed cards that you can choose from are all very cheerful and pretty. But then, wham, the footer says this:
In order to produce milk, cows must give birth every year. Each one of their calves is taken away from them right after they are born.
Mother’s Day is a time for honoring mothers everywhere. You can honor the mothers of animal agriculture by wearing your ribbon on Mother’s Day and doing what you can to help them with every meal you eat.
Every mother deserves to know and love her children.
Get your own ribbon and learn more about this campaign at cowribbon.com.
Smart, yes? Oh yes.
You can also purchase a cow ribbon for $5. They ship worldwide, and though our friends over at Liberation B.C. tie this campaign to Mother’s Day, it’s obviously a nifty idea to wear these ribbons every day.
And I’ll bet there’s a perfect square inch available on your backpack for that ribbon, right next to your “I LOVE TOFU” button.
Photo at top of blog: Rescued farm animals at Farm Sanctuary. Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary and taken by Derek Goodman. Pictured in the photo: Alby, Maya, and Travolta.