Yesterday I was driving through Dallas, TX and noticed a billboard stating "Shakes Not Steaks" advertising a popular chicken fast food restaurant - Chick fil a. I'm not use to seeing these cute little cows advertising the death of chickens while trying to save their own hides except for on the few commercials I've seen in the past as we do not have one of these in my little town. Really who can resit these beautiful Holstein's begging for you to spare their lives and eat their little barnyard birdie buddies instead??
However ... This ad made me laugh out loud at the stupidity of this whole campaign. I'm pretty sure that these adorable Holstein cows took a break from pedalling the suffering of chickens so that they could promote the suffering of their children as well as themselves. I kinda wonder if whoever thought up this ad really and truthfully knows where milk (the main ingredient in the Milkshakes) comes from or the suffering that is associated with the dairy industry. Of course these companies do know but they just don't care - profit being a universal blinder.
In truth it's the consumers (one of which I use to be) who truly support ad's like these by continuing to purchase from these companies who's only goal is to profit from sales and not to care about the welfare or the sentience of the animals they are exploiting.
The dairy industry is a case of consumerism at it's worst. Dairy cow's lead a very short life of around three to four years (average lifespan for a cow is around twenty five years) and are artificially impregnated every year of their lives in order to produce milk. A cow's gestation period is 9 months long - just like a humans - and once the calf is born it is immediately taken away from it's mother. Then the mother is artificially re-impregnated so that she will produce milk for 7 of the 9 months that she is pregnant. It is common for modern dairy cows to produce 100 pounds of milk a day — ten times more than they would produce naturally.
Of course it isn't just the dairy cows that suffer. Female calves are most of the time raised to take the place of their mom's when mommy's milk production declines and she is shipped off to become ground beef and the males calves are either raised to be slaughtered for beef or close to one million of them a year are used for veal.
The veal industry is a by-product of the dairy industry. Veal calves commonly live for only eighteen to twenty weeks and are usually housed in wooden crates that are so small that they cannot turn around, stretch their legs, or even lie down comfortably. The calves are then fed a liquid milk substitute, almost entirely lacking in the needed iron and fiber, which is designed to make the animals anemic, which results in the calves having light-colored flesh that is prized as veal. A portion of the veil calves are killed at just a few days old to be sold as low-grade 'bob' veal for frozen TV dinners.
So just remember the next time you decide to have a shake that you are actually getting a free side of baby veal calf and mommy ground beef as well or maybe you will ignore the profit junkies behind these campaigns and hear in your heart what a real Holstein cow would tell you if they could.... don't take our milk away from our babies - it's for them and not for you.