Veganism is all about living your life in a way which causes the least amount of harm to the animals we share this planet with. It’s mainly focused on farmed animals but extends to things like horse riding. So can vegans drink milk from their own cow if the animal is treated well and looked after properly? As always, it’s not that simple.
Can Vegans Drink Milk From Their Own Cow?No, vegans can’t drink milk from their own cow because animal exploitation and abuse come with the deal. You will have to consider the procreation and the progeny! Unless you’re able to set up your own little vegan farm utopia complete with a bull or two on-site then you’re not going to be able to be vegan.
Watch: Heartbreaking footage of a new-born calf being taken from Mum
( this is not graphic footage but should invoke raw emotion in any parent )
Why Vegans Don’t Drink Milk
Humans got a taste for the white stuff between 6000 and 9000 years ago. Various studies have shown this sort of timescale to be likely.
In fact, it seems we were drinking cow’s milk before we had evolved the genetic mutation to actually digest it properly. Neolithic human existence must’ve been pretty desperate.
Back then it would have been a much more holistic process than the large-scale methods we employ today. I’m pretty sure they didn’t use a ‘rape rack’ in ancient Africa.
Yes, it is a thing … you can look it up.
Fast forward to the present day and our love of bovine lactations has only grown more prevalent. We have industrialised the process to the nth degree as a result.
Unfortunately the welfare of the animals has played second fiddle to the drive for ever increasing rates of profit.
Capitalism doesn’t care about animal rights!
Vegans object strongly to the way animals are treated in modern dairy farms. The forced impregnation, the removal of calf from Mum, the milking of the cow to exhaustion and the unceremonious removal of the animal from the herd when she can stand no more (literally).
The footage is all out there for anyone who’s interested to see the truth.
It is this truth which drives vegans to reject the industry entirely and that is manifested by not paying for the abuse. We don’t buy the products in order to avoid driving the demand.
Economics 101 – this is why vegans don’t drink milk.
Surely Milk From Your Own Cow Is OK?
You could argue that if a vegan kept a cow or two in the back paddock and treated them with respect, giving them a good life, only taking some of the milk and leaving the rest for the calves then that’s acceptable … yes?
Well, no. It’s not that simple.
For a cow to produce milk, she has to give birth. In the wild this would happen at around 36 months via good old fashioned intercourse with a bull. She would continue to produce offspring at a rate of one calf a year, on average, until she reaches around 10 years old.
This wise old lady could then live for another 10 years without giving birth at all – so no milk!
In commercial systems it’s a very different story, although that’s not what this piece is about.
If you’re interested in the reality behind your pint of milk, have a quick read of our article: “Why are vegans against milk?” … but be warned, the video on that page contains some very graphic footage.
Anyway … back to our happy little vegan cow 🙂
Can You Afford To Look After Your Small Herd?
My first question is what are you going to do with those calves? Because if you want to drink the milk, there’s going to be calves … and vegans don’t want to cause harm to animals.
If you have enough space and resources then you could keep them to be 100% sure they’re not going to be exploited. Otherwise, do you take them to market?
Yeah … not very vegan is it?
Then, what about when it comes to creating that little calf? When it’s time to get the bull in with the cow and let them do the wild thing? A haphazard process at best.
Let’s think about it the other way around. How would you like to be that bull? Carted around all season having to get amorous with an endless stream of heifers. Again, animal exploitation … in no uncertain terms.
So you’d need to look after your own bull as well to be 100% sure the animal is not being exploited. It’s starting to sound like a small herd now!
You could get the local neighbourhood cow rapist to perform a little AI for your girl (Artificial Insemination). But then you definitely don’t get to call yourself a vegan.
So many questions. I could go on … and often do!
It’s Much Easier To Drink Plant Milk
So, faced with the significant logistical challenges of running your own vegan farm, even if you’re in the somewhat rare position of actually being able to do it … it’s still a hell of a lot of work and you’ll need some grit to make it happen.
Not that I wouldn’t love to have some land and probably do animal rescue / refuge along with some veganic gardening. That would be my utopia.
Until then it’s oat milk in my coffee (yum!) and soya milk in my tea.
A small price to pay for the grounding knowledge that my hard earned funds are not supporting the large-scale abuse, suffering and untimely slaughter of 80 billion land animals …
… every single year.
If you’ve been thinking about going vegan, now has never been a better time and I urge you to make that compassionate step. For the animals. For yourself.
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