Should diary cows have less animal rights than other animals?

by Heena Modi on May 29, 2008

I’ve written a couple of blogs now about dairy cows regarding how they’re treated and how they’ve been forced to become cannibals. This article summarises their ordeal in bullet points.

Investigation of Dairy Industry Finds Abused Calves, Filth and Flies

PETA News Conference Set to Reveal That the ‘White Stuff’ (Milk, Curd, Paneer) has a Dark Side

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has just completed a 20-page report detailing the filthy conditions and daily abuse of cows and their calves documented during a recent undercover investigation of India’s dairy industry. PETA’s investigators witnessed cows and buffaloes who were routinely struck and kicked, buffaloes who bled but received no attention, unsanitary conditions in the tabelas and other examples of abuse and filth. PETA will present video footage and other documented findings from the investigation at a news conference in Mumbai on Thursday. The report will be released by prominent Jain guru Gurudev Sri Chitrabhanuji, who is vegan and a strict adherent to his religion’s prime tenet of ahimsa –

Date: Thursday, 21 February
Time: 1.00 P.M Sharp
Place: Cricket Club of India, Dinshaw Vaccha Road Churchgate,Mumbai

The following are just some of the horrors that PETA investigators observed:

· A newborn calf was found tied tightly – nearly immobilised – to a stump
· A worker struck a cow’s face as the animal tried to eat
· Workers kicked buffaloes in order to make them stand up
· Cows who had difficulty walking were hit with sticks or had their tails pulled
· Animals were covered in their own faeces
· Children defecated near milking sheds
· Cats and dogs roamed freely in the tabelas, posing a possible health hazard
· Buffaloes who were bleeding from their vaginas received no care
· Milk containers were kept near open drains and garbage was strewn about near the tabelas, posing possible health hazards
· Flies swarmed the tabelas and on milk containers and buckets

Most cows raised for the dairy industry are confined in filthy, crowded sheds, denying them everything that is natural and important to them. They are often chained by their necks in narrow stalls and given hormones that cause them to produce more milk.

One such drug, Oxytocin – which causes the animals severe stomach cramps and quickly wears out their bodies – is rampant even though its use in the dairy industry is illegal.

Male calves, who are of no commercial value to the dairy industry, are tied up with ropes so short that the animals cannot even lift their heads. They often strangle themselves in a frantic attempt to reach their mother. Many are killed for their skin, while others are simply abandoned in the streets. Female calves replace their mothers on dairy farms and the vicious cycle of pain and suffering is repeated.

Under natural conditions, a cow can live up to 18 years, but cows raised for milk are only about 6 or 7 years old when they are sent to the slaughterhouse to be killed for their meat and skin. The animals are often killed in full view of each other, and instead of the required “quick slice” across the throat with a sharp knife, they are generally killed through hacking and sawing with a dull blade.

PETA’s investigator observed “barefoot healers” who inserted artificial-insemination guns into one cow after another without sterilising the device and shoved their soapy hands into the animals’ uteruses, causing the cows immense pain and exposing them to potential infections. In order to keep the cows from moving, the barefoot healers roughly held the cows and even struck them.

Cows are transported to states where they can legally be killed. Forced to walk through the heat and dust for days without food or water, many of the animals collapse. Handlers pull the cattle by ropes through their noses and twist their necks, horns and tails or rub chilli peppers in their eyes to keep them moving. They force the cattle in and out of trucks without ramps, causing injuries such as broken pelvises, legs, ribs and horns. As many as half of the animals will already be dead by the time they arrive at the abattoir.

The dairy industry also causes human suffering. Besides causing constipation, phlegm and the painful consequences of lactose intolerance, dairy products have also been conclusively linked to allergies, obesity, heart disease, some cancers and even osteoporosis – the very condition that the dairy industry likes to claim that dairy products prevent.

“Dairy-industry sales pitches are a whitewash, because milk and other dairy products are linked to serious health problems for humans and a sad life for today’s factory-farmed cows and their calves”, says PETA’s Vegan Campaign Coordinator Nikunj Sharma. “We urge everyone to do these animals and themselves a big favour and leave cow’s milk to be consumed by those for whom it was intended – baby cows.”

For more information [and to view the video], please visit

Information about PETA: –

PETA India, based in Mumbai, was launched in January 2000. PETA India operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on or use for entertainment, while educating policymakers and the public about animal abuse and promoting an understanding of the right of all animals to be treated with respect.

PETA India focuses primarily on the areas in which the greatest numbers of animals suffer the most: in the food and leather industries, laboratories and the entertainment industry. PETA India’s investigative work, public education efforts, research, animal rescues, legislative work, special events, celebrity involvement and national media coverage have resulted in countless improvements to the quality of life for animals and have saved countless animals’ lives.

For more information, Please contact:

Nikunj Sharma
campaign coordinator – PETA INDIA
Mobile: 9967766220

You can also visit for more information.

Dairy cows

Click here to read another blog post that I’ve written about what happens for us to get out dairy milk, cheese and so on.

View a video about the horrific treatment of cows in India. It’s this video that made me re-think what I consume. I couldn’t have dairy products after seeing it! 🙁

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