Remember when I posted last week that it doesn’t take long for animal abuse to be revealed when people go undercover at slaughterhouses and dairy farms? A followup email came to my inbox today from Mercy for Animals, the organization who took the footage. Some of you may have received it too if you signed the petition and requested a follow-up email on the story.
Even though I’ve also been following the story in the news, this email was written by the investigator who took the undercover footage. The email, which was signed “Doug”, revealed that he worked at Chilliwack Cattle Company for one month in May.
That’s all it took for him to witness and film those eight workers severely injuring and tormenting those cows as part of their routine day at a dairy farm.
Here is a portion of that mass email:
“Day in and day out I witnessed these gentle creatures anguishing in pain and fear. Management looked the other way as workers brutalized the cows and ignored their cries.
One cow in particular stands out in my mind. To the dairy farm, she was just a milk machine. But I named her Sophie because she reminded me of my dog.
My heart broke one day as Sophie was ripped off the ground by a chain around her neck. Her eyes went wide with shock while her abusers laughed. That moment of horror will always haunt me. She was helpless – an innocent victim of the dairy industry.”
Having watched the footage, I pictured “Sophie” immediately and I can’t help but wonder if she still languishes there today. And if she doesn’t, you can bet one of the 3,500 animals that are kept at Chillwack Cattle Company still do.
Let’s say for argument’s sake that this is a one-off and an isolated incident, as Saputo, Chilliwack and the PR machine would have us believe (it isn’t). Let’s say for argument’s sake that dairy cows are treated with care and dignity, allowed to roam freely outside eating grass (they aren’t). It doesn’t change the fact that milk is made by keeping female cows perpetually pregnant by artificial insemination so they continually produce milk for human consumption. It doesn’t change the fact that every time they give birth, their calf is dragged away from them mere hours after, many still wet from the womb, never to see their mother again. And it most certainly doesn’t change the fact that because of the endless back-to-back pregnancies and the toll it takes on the cows’ systems, their bodies essentially collapse around the age of five – as opposed to their natural life span which is between 20-25 years. They are then sent to die a horrible death at a slaughterhouse for low-grade hamburger, luncheon meat or pet food.
So, regardless of what people want to believe about that video, it still doesn’t change these two realities: one, the public’s demand for milk products can only be met through factory farming and two, factory farming can only be achieved if we treat animals as though they were good for nothing except what we want them for, discarding them when we are done.