I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Factory Farming: Dairy

This post is long overdue and I started it with the intention of writing about both dairy cows and those raised for slaughter, but it took me longer than I thought it would to gather the information, and I was concerned about the length.  This is my third post with regards to Factory Farming, the other two being Factory Farming: Chickens and  Factory Farming: Environmental Impact.

As I mentioned in a previous post my interest in factory farming came about because of a book entitled Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food (The image on the right is a link to Amazon if you are interested in checking it out).  It was an eye-opening read and while I cannot claim to have become a vegan, or even a vegetarian, I will say that I am much more conscious of my choices.  My family has cut back the amount of meat we eat per week, we are more pro-active in trying new vegetarian recipes, and we also make a much greater effort to purchase organic.  I see this as a way to reduce our impact on the planet, improve our general health and, hopefully, to put my food dollars towards more responsible farming practices.

As in the chickens post I will start by outlining some of the examples of poor treatment as mentioned by Farm Sanctuary, a United States based organization advocating for better treatment of farm animals, and chooseveg.ca, a Canadian website that encourages vegetarian and vegan living.  According to these sources here are some of the negatives of milk produced in a factory farm setting: