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Thread: Dairy farming - are there any ethical options for us??

  1. #1

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    Angry Dairy farming - are there any ethical options for us??

    Hi

    I've just read a horrible article about the terrible truth of dairy farming. I guess I have always wondered what went on, how cows kept producing milk, what happened to their calves etc but I never really questioned it too much. I think I chose not to question it earlier because I knew the truth would upset me... well now it has



    So what can I do?? I've tried to find information on ethical dairy farming but can't seem to find much at all and I'm wondering if anyone knows of any small dairys that may have a more ethcial approach to dairy 'farming'. It's becoming much easier for people to access free range meat & eggs but what about cows milk and cheese products?

    I wont lie.... I love milk!!! So it will be hard for me to give up which is why I'm wondering if there are any more ethcial options.

    I hope someone can help me!

    Thanks,
    Fi

  2. #2

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    Perhaps organic and biodynamic dairy products are an option?

  3. #3

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    Im in SA and always try to buy this brand, it can be hard to get, http://www.bdfarmpariscreek.com.au/organic.html
    I found this site, http://www.ethical.org.au/company/?company=77, might help?

  4. #4

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    Can you tell me what is unethical about dairy farming?

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the suggestions Maylna and Starrysky, I will look into those!

    Artechim, have a read of the article I have attached it gives a good overview of the industry.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/an...128-1a7tb.html

  6. #6

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    You could try dairy alternatives like soy milk and rice milk.
    It is not necessary to consume dairy to obtain calcium. Other sources of calcium include almonds, legumes, leafy greens and tahini. Most soy and rice milks are calcium fortified.

    BTW that is a great article in SMH. Have you seen the video on YouTube? It's very distressing. I don't know how the industry can argue that it is ethical for a newborn calf to be denied food for 30 hours, let alone be taken from their mother shortly after birth.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Ash* View Post
    I don't know how the industry can argue that it is ethical for a newborn calf to be denied food for 30 hours, let alone be taken from their mother shortly after birth.
    Organic and biodynamic dairy doesn't stop those ^^ practices from happening. Organic/biodynamic means it's better for the land, but doesn't take into consideration the treatment of the animal.

    Giving it up isn't that hard. Once you get past the first six weeks, it gets easier and easier.

  8. #8

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    Audax - indeed organic/biodyanmic is better for the land and yes there are alternatives but you also have to consider the ethical implications of the alternatives.

    I'd be concered about genetically modified grains.

    I guess it depends how you want to look at ethical. Rice farming in Australia is unsustainable (we don't have the water), so buying Australian grown rice milk (or rice) is supporting an unsustainable industry), but the rice milk will save a calf from being killed.

    I guess you end up growing your own vegetables, using organic/biodynamic principals and only wearing thrift shop clothes - but then that raises a whole different load of life cycle questions.

  9. #9

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    we have friends up in Atherton that run a biodynamic milk farm and they slaughter the calves on the farm. So, i guess as awful as it is to think of it happening i feel calmer that at least it is done quickly and without them being put on trucks etc and being denied food for so long. (basically they are killed within a day or 2 of birth..hard stuff though...

  10. #10

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    Any other dairy milk brands that are considered ethical? Paris Creek's milk is unhomogonised (ie: the cream isn't blended in with the milk) and I prefer homogonised.

    It can be hard to get brands consistently if they are from small dairies. I wish Devondale did fresh milk

  11. #11

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    I saw the thing about the calves on the 7pm project the other night - and I was wondering (probably a really unintelligent question) but why can't the cows just sorta.. like.. tandem feed? Why can't they feed their calf and pump milk for human consumption as well? Surely if humans can tandem feed, cows can too

  12. #12

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    So much to think about.... it seems almost everything is unethical to a certain degree! From unsustainable industries to GM foods, animal cruelty, then the exploitation of farmers/labour etc if we source things from O/S... I guess everything comes down to $$$ these days, the cheaper things can be done the better and we've lost the ability to consider the impact of our actions

    Well I have tried soy milk - non GM, Australian soy and it tastes quite nice!!! I even made DH a coffee with it and he hardly noticed the difference. I'm not sure if this is really a more ethical option?? I don't know much about soy but I do feel as though it is a much better option for me and my values, concerns, ethical principals etc.

    It's interesting to get people's thoughts and viewpoints on this. I mentioned my concerns to a few friends and they just looked at me as if I was momentarily deranged!! They are lovely, decent people but just never even considered such issues before. I guess that's how the majority of society is which is why these practices go on and nothing is done about them. What a strange world we live in...

  13. #13

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    If we're talking ethics, I hope as well that you're not consuming veal. It always amazes me that veal is "premium" if it's "milk-fed" - after all, isn't milk the primary food of calves? At least though, it's now illegal? outside standard? for veal to come from calf fetus.

    Fi - If you can, have a read of Peter Singer's book "The Ethics of what we Eat" - it is a real eye-opener. Everything is pretty much evil.

  14. #14

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    Thanks Kazbah I will try and get hold of that book. And no - I have never eaten veal!

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