ABC Nightly News Airs Horrific Abuse Inflicted on Dairy Cows (- did anyone watch this?)

I still cannot get the horrible images out of my mind. The terrible abuse that humans inflict on the most innocent and vulnerable is incredible. Did anyone see this footage?

*Got Milk? Got Ethics? Animal Rights v. U.S. Dairy Industry
Undercover Videos Show Ugly Realities Behind the Scenes of 'Factory Dairy Farms'
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abcnews.go.com/Blotter/animal-rights-us-dairy-industry/story?id=9658866

*Undercover videos produced by animal rights groups are fueling a debate over the need for new laws to regulate the treatment of American dairy cows.

The graphic videos include one made inside a huge New York dairy operation where cows never go outside, have the ends of their tails cut off in painful procedures without anesthesia, and are seen being abused by one employee who hits a cow over the head with a wrench when it refuses to move.

....*

Hiyas:)

I saw the article last night…but I can’t do utubes. …BUT I didn’t need to see.:mad::mad:

Rent Food Inc. Talk about scary.

They're cows. It doesn't make it right, but they're still only animals.

I'm still waiting for them to show undercover videos of a partial birth abortion, so people can see what really happens there.

Fairly easy fix: buy certified organic milk. Disease spreads like crazy in those giant facilities like that. Antibiotics are what keep those cows alive. Certified organic means no antibiotics, which means MUCH smaller dairies and cows living more cowish lives. Of course, it also usually doubles the price…

Well I can tell that it is very unlikely that any of you are from farming backgrounds, I grew up on a beef cattle farm/grain farm and I am currently studying agricultural business.

Sure not all producers care for their animals properly but the vast majority do.

Oh and organic is actually not your best option, it is an unsustainable food source. If the majority of producers we to organic production food costs would skyrocket and around 3/4 of the worlds population would starve to death with in about 4 months. Organic production does not allow for proper soil maintenance and eventually the soil becomes infertile, nothing significant will grow from it.

Oh and 99% of pesticides found in your food are naturally occurring chemicals in the plant/animal that are there for its natural defense. As well as in order for produce to be sold for human consumption it must have lower than 0.003 ppb in pesticide residues. Eat normal foods and support your local farmers, God knows we need it!

Oh and if you thought this was horrific you ought to go chicken catching, grab old hens by the legs (Usually breaking them) and then throw them into an over-sized meat grinder (while they are alive) and then use the resulting product mixed with chicken feces as manure! Its a lovely cycle.

oh I just had to add, that if you thought that was animal cruelty your off your rocker!!

That was typical cattle farming and its not like that is always the case.

Man I honestly wonder how long it took those animal rights activists to get that footage lol

You aught to see my dad get pissed off at a cow, that cow sure as heck gets hit more than once. I have even seen a few cattle sticks broken over the back of the odd cow (mind you those were extreme circumstances when the cow was in attack mode)

People these days are such wusses, man I long for the days when I could farm how I liked and people would keep to their own business.

[quote="Rob_Brown, post:6, topic:184632"]
Well I can tell that it is very unlikely that any of you are from farming backgrounds, I grew up on a beef cattle farm/grain farm and I am currently studying agricultural business.

Sure not all producers care for their animals properly but the vast majority do. .

[/quote]

I would agree and say that was pretty bad reporting. They showed only the footage of cows being brought in to feed ( large masses of cows) and the cows in the milking restraints.

Why only that footage?

It seems that it was only geared to give implications, such as the cows spent all their time in stocks.

As far as 'manure filled barns" no freaking kidding. Guess what, that what happens when cows are in barns. :rolleyes: as has been for hundreds of years (if not thousands). What? do they think they use latrines?

FYI, I used to spend my summers on my uncle's farm in Ireland. They kept cows ( 10-12)

I'll readily admit to being a suburban kid, but I got a lot of reality checks in school with farm kids at the UW-Madison.

Organic crop rotation and fertilizing practices do not necessarily require the complete abandonment of scientific soil and crop management. But it sure is stinkier and more labor intensive. I'm also not sure organic milk requires all the feed to be organic as well - you sure about that? I thought it was just what meds and chemicals used on the cows.

But I'm sure with you on buying from local farmers in season. If nothing else, it TASTES a lot better than the stuff that comes all the way from Chile.... But precious few of the dairy farm kids I went to school with went back home to take up farming. Most of those 70-100 cow operations are gone now. Too bad, those cows went outside every day - they were FARMS, not biological milk factories.

[quote="Rob_Brown, post:7, topic:184632"]
oh I just had to add, that if you thought that was animal cruelty your off your rocker!!

That was typical cattle farming and its not like that is always the case.

Man I honestly wonder how long it took those animal rights activists to get that footage lol

You aught to see my dad get pissed off at a cow, that cow sure as heck gets hit more than once. I have even seen a few cattle sticks broken over the back of the odd cow (mind you those were extreme circumstances when the cow was in attack mode)

People these days are such wusses, man I long for the days when I could farm how I liked and people would keep to their own business.

[/quote]

I would quibble with you a little, but not much.
As a rancher, I am sure you have seen 1,000+ pound animals butt into each other head-on in their perfectly natural "pecking order" disputes. That guy with the wrench could not possibly come remotely close to the force those animals routinely inflict on each other without visibly seeming to mind too much. And, of course, the guy could not possibly inflict the force of a 2,000 lb horned bull smacking another bull in the gut with his horns. I don't imagine the "investigative reporter" ever saw a bull tear a steel pipe gate to smithereens with his head just to get at cows in the next field.

I don't like striking cattle. But the reality is that the startling effect of a blow is really the thing; not the blow itself. I achieve the same effect, exactly, by cracking a whip in front of a cow's nose or a fraction of an inch from its backside instead of hitting it with a wrench.

I have seen veterinarians (as I am sure you have) remove cancerous eyes from cattle with only the most superficial anaesthetic, or dehorn or castrate using no anaesthetic at all. Sometimes the cattle react. Sometimes they don't. I vaccinate my own cattle, and sometimes one will jump almost out of the chute from a stick that a human child would tolerate, while some don't seem to know I'm doing it at all. With cattle, it's the "something I don't understand going on here" reflex more than it is the pain. Truth is, we really don't know how they experience pain or anything else very much. When you see one bull ram another at full tilt; a blow that would break every bone in a human body, only to see the recipient walk off and munch grass like nothing happened, or perhaps just respond in kind, you quickly learn that you can't project human reactions onto them.

Fences are the same. It's all just "psychological". Cattle will walk right through a five-strand barbed wire fence with the meanest barbs you ever saw, and show no reaction to it at all. They don't do it normally, because when they first investigate it because they're curious, and get a little "stick" to the nose, they just stay away from it thereafter(sometimes). Buffalo, of course, will walk through fence after fence after fence and show no reaction whatever. Try walking into a barbed wire fence just once sometime and you will learn that people and cattle are very, very different.

I didn't see the program, only the clip, and maybe there was something horrific about that farm, but I didn't see it on the clip. I am a little puzzled by a dairy that keeps the cows indoors all the time, and am not sure why they do it. I have seen lots of dairy operations, but I have never seen one of those. Nor have I ever seen a dairyman dock cows' tails. Not sure why they do that. Maybe because they don't go out in the rain and get them clean.

The dumbest complaint, though was that the dairy cows are "kept pregnant all the time". That's also true of cattle in a field if there's a bull in the herd. Cattle become fertile about 30-60 days after giving birth, and get rebred without fail if the cow is healthy. It's true of wild buffalo and elk as well. Most any female animal in the wild is "pregnant all the time". That's how nature keeps their species replenished. Just because Diane Sawyer or somebody doesn't want to be "pregnant all the time", it doesn't mean animals complain about it or even know it. Does she really think cattle want access to Planned Parenthood; maybe with taxpayer supported abortion coverage?

But I suppose they thought it made a good story; something to scare the city folk so they'll drink soy milk, perhaps. (Was the program sponsored by ADM by any chance?) ;)

Those “stocks” are called “stanchions”, and their purposes are to keep the cattle from butting each other away from the food while eating (they’re greedy) and to keep them from trampling on, defecating and urinating on their own food, which they’ll do if not prevented from doing it. They do the same thing in an open field, except there they can walk away from it and eat grass that has not been defecated on or urinated on.

They do drop a lot of manure. In my part of the country, our climate (and their toughness) is such that we never let them in barns. Rain, snow, sleet, they can take it all without seeming uncomfortable as long as they get high-energy food. (Most hay will do for that.) But that film was made in the State of New York, I think, and maybe it gets terribly cold there. Milk cows do, I am told, require more cold protection than do beef cattle. (The big udders, and you DON’T want them dragging in the snow.) But I don’t know that to be a fact.

Not sure about US Legislation, however in Canada for meat to be called organic all feed must be organic in origin as well as zero meds etc.

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:10, topic:184632"]
I would quibble with you a little, but not much.
As a rancher, I am sure you have seen 1,000+ pound animals butt into each other head-on in their perfectly natural "pecking order" disputes. That guy with the wrench could not possibly come remotely close to the force those animals routinely inflict on each other without visibly seeming to mind too much. And, of course, the guy could not possibly inflict the force of a 2,000 lb horned bull smacking another bull in the gut with his horns. I don't imagine the "investigative reporter" ever saw a bull tear a steel pipe gate to smithereens with his head just to get at cows in the next field.

I don't like striking cattle. But the reality is that the startling effect of a blow is really the thing; not the blow itself. I achieve the same effect, exactly, by cracking a whip in front of a cow's nose or a fraction of an inch from its backside instead of hitting it with a wrench.

I have seen veterinarians (as I am sure you have) remove cancerous eyes from cattle with only the most superficial anaesthetic, or dehorn or castrate using no anaesthetic at all. Sometimes the cattle react. Sometimes they don't. I vaccinate my own cattle, and sometimes one will jump almost out of the chute from a stick that a human child would tolerate, while some don't seem to know I'm doing it at all. With cattle, it's the "something I don't understand going on here" reflex more than it is the pain. Truth is, we really don't know how they experience pain or anything else very much. When you see one bull ram another at full tilt; a blow that would break every bone in a human body, only to see the recipient walk off and munch grass like nothing happened, or perhaps just respond in kind, you quickly learn that you can't project human reactions onto them.

Fences are the same. It's all just "psychological". Cattle will walk right through a five-strand barbed wire fence with the meanest barbs you ever saw, and show no reaction to it at all. They don't do it normally, because when they first investigate it because they're curious, and get a little "stick" to the nose, they just stay away from it thereafter(sometimes). Buffalo, of course, will walk through fence after fence after fence and show no reaction whatever. Try walking into a barbed wire fence just once sometime and you will learn that people and cattle are very, very different.

I didn't see the program, only the clip, and maybe there was something horrific about that farm, but I didn't see it on the clip. I am a little puzzled by a dairy that keeps the cows indoors all the time, and am not sure why they do it. I have seen lots of dairy operations, but I have never seen one of those. Nor have I ever seen a dairyman dock cows' tails. Not sure why they do that. Maybe because they don't go out in the rain and get them clean.

The dumbest complaint, though was that the dairy cows are "kept pregnant all the time". That's also true of cattle in a field if there's a bull in the herd. Cattle become fertile about 30-60 days after giving birth, and get rebred without fail if the cow is healthy. It's true of wild buffalo and elk as well. Most any female animal in the wild is "pregnant all the time". That's how nature keeps their species replenished. Just because Diane Sawyer or somebody doesn't want to be "pregnant all the time", it doesn't mean animals complain about it or even know it. Does she really think cattle want access to Planned Parenthood; maybe with taxpayer supported abortion coverage?

But I suppose they thought it made a good story; something to scare the city folk so they'll drink soy milk, perhaps. (Was the program sponsored by ADM by any chance?) ;)

[/quote]

I completely agree with what you have just said! I myself try to use handling practices that are low stress on my herd and I have found that I have had less stress related illness and injury in my animals since. Now this does not mean I still don't use the cane or prod now and then but I prefer to let the dog do most of my work for me. My dad still gets a bit high strung tho and so do I at times when the cattle get stubborn. All in all not much has changed on our farm as far as animal handling in the last 120 years.

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:11, topic:184632"]
Those "stocks" are called "stanchions", and their purposes are to keep the cattle from butting each other away from the food while eating (they're greedy) and to keep them from trampling on, defecating and urinating on their own food, which they'll do if not prevented from doing it. They do the same thing in an open field, except there they can walk away from it and eat grass that has not been defecated on or urinated on.

They do drop a lot of manure. In my part of the country, our climate (and their toughness) is such that we never let them in barns. Rain, snow, sleet, they can take it all without seeming uncomfortable as long as they get high-energy food. (Most hay will do for that.) But that film was made in the State of New York, I think, and maybe it gets terribly cold there. Milk cows do, I am told, require more cold protection than do beef cattle. (The big udders, and you DON'T want them dragging in the snow.) But I don't know that to be a fact.

[/quote]

I farm in Manitoba, we go from 40 Celcious in the summer to as cold as -40 or colder in the winter. All of our animals still remain out doors (Beef). Dairy Cattle especially Holsteins have a lower body temperature as well as a lower critical temp (LTC) this is due to their diet during milking as well their low body fat content ( high body fat = high fat content in the milk). Dairy Cattle are quite lean and do not have a whole lot of protection from extreme cold, this is one reason why they spend more time inside. The tail docking is not a common practice (at least not up here) but if I remember right it is partly to prevent manure from clumping on the tail and causing the tail to get caught and ripped off. (much worse than a docking). Hope the info helps.

It is nice to see another farmer/rancher on-line here!

[quote="Rob_Brown, post:13, topic:184632"]
I completely agree with what you have just said! I myself try to use handling practices that are low stress on my herd and I have found that I have had less stress related illness and injury in my animals since. Now this does not mean I still don't use the cane or prod now and then but I prefer to let the dog do most of my work for me. My dad still gets a bit high strung tho and so do I at times when the cattle get stubborn. All in all not much has changed on our farm as far as animal handling in the last 120 years.

[/quote]

Nothing in this world as valuable as a good cattle dog, and that's for sure!

Also, thanks for the information about dairy cattle. I have never raised them, but I guess I could have suspected at least some of the reasons for low cold tolerance. Holsteins, in particular, are skinny as cattle go.

You might find this mildly interesting. In this area there are a bunch of New Zealander ranchers. They raise beef cattle, but also milk them. Don't get much milk from them, but the butterfat content is really high. They sell that milk to specialty outfits like Ben and Jerry's that make really expensive ice cream and things like that. So, when you eat your Ben and Jerry's or your boutique chocolates, you're maybe eating Hereford or Angus milk.
Also, the Kiwis never feed grain, ever, and rarely feed hay. They graze year round, rotating pastures daily. They do, however, no-till beets into the cool-season pastures for summer grazing. The beet tops apparently are extremely nutritious for the lactating cows. The dry cows follow on and pull up the beets and eat them; something they learn to do. Interesting approaches. The Kiwis will only buy land in a fairly narrow climatic zone; where fescue stays at least somewhat green in the winter but where Bermuda and Caucasian bluestem will flourish in the summer. That's why they can pasture year-round.

Robert Kenner, Food, Inc. producer contacted 50 of the largest food producers in America, including Tyson, Monsanto, and Smithfield Farms. None agreed to be interviewed, and none would allow cameras anywhere near their production facilities. Food, Inc. took six years to make, and a large percent of Kenner's production costs went toward legal protection from the aforementioned companies. What do these companies have to hide?

Here’s just a taste(no pun intended) of what I learned from the documentary Food, Inc.

The majority of mass-produced chickens are raised in the dark. Their breasts are so large, via growth hormones, that they're unable to walk. But that's okay, because they're not allowed to. The antibiotics they are fed to keep them breathing in such conditions end up right in your sandwich.

The USDA is allowed to regulate what constitutes organic food and when your milk is past due, but it does not have the authority to shut down a meat plant if they are selling tainted meat. If the USDA can't stop this, who does? No one! Yikes!

The average hamburger contains meat from nearly 100 cattle. It gets better. Mass production cows are often raised knee-deep in their own manure. They're butchered so fast that there often isn't enough time to clean them. The end result? Cow poop in your cheeseburger.

We've all heard why grass-fed beef is better. But do you really know why it's better? Cows are not designed to digest corn, and when they do, their stomachs become breeding grounds for E.coli bacteria. Five days of feeding grass to Bessie would kill nearly all of this bacterium, but apparently that's too much of a hassle. Instead, meat plants are "washing" ground beef in ammonia and chlorine before packaging it to sell to grocery stores. Yummy.

[quote="poombot, post:16, topic:184632"]
Robert Kenner, Food, Inc. producer contacted 50 of the largest food producers in America, including Tyson, Monsanto, and Smithfield Farms. None agreed to be interviewed, and none would allow cameras anywhere near their production facilities. Food, Inc. took six years to make, and a large percent of Kenner's production costs went toward legal protection from the aforementioned companies. What do these companies have to hide?

Here’s just a taste(no pun intended) of what I learned from the documentary Food, Inc.

The majority of mass-produced chickens are raised in the dark. Their breasts are so large, via growth hormones, that they're unable to walk. But that's okay, because they're not allowed to. The antibiotics they are fed to keep them breathing in such conditions end up right in your sandwich.

[/quote]

I have been in integrator poultry houses of more than one integrator, including one of the ones you named. The chickens are not raised in the dark. They would die if they were. Chickens go somnolent; into a sort of suspended animation in the dark. They wouldn't eat or drink if they were raised in the dark. They would just go to sleep and never wake up. Everybody who has ever raised chickens knows that.

And they most assuredly can walk. There is a big integrator poultry processing plant in this town. One of the "rules" is that if a chicken escapes while being unloaded and gets outside the gate, it's free to anyone who catches it. People do that. A free chicken is a free chicken. But they're just as hard to catch as any other chicken, and are in no way recognizably different from any other chicken except that they're always white, which some breeds are, and were before any of those companies existed. There are reasons why they prefer the white chickens, but that's another subject. The people who catch them are usually country people who take them home for their own chicken coops. They're a special fast-growing breed, and they do have a bit more white meat than some other breeds. But otherwise, they are just chickens like any other chickens.

I will grant that they do gather them up in the dark, at night, when it's time to process them. They do that because they're hard to catch in the daylight.

I don't blame the poultry companies for not allowing propagandists into their facilities. Obviously, the intent of such "investigative reporters" is to tell outrageous lies about the companies and products, no matter what they actually see. The "raised in the dark" and "can't walk" lies are just examples.

By the way, the overwhelming majority of poultry raisers are private farmers. They contract with those big integrators to raise the chickens on their own farms. I'll grant, they have very strict rules imposed by the companies. Fresh bedding, clean flowing water, food available at all times, temperature control, only so many chickens per square foot of space, disease control are some of them. Keeps the farmers busy, but they do get paid pretty well for their efforts. So, when these PETA types tell you these lies, keep in mind that it's family farmers they're trying to ruin.

[quote="poombot, post:16, topic:184632"]

The USDA is allowed to regulate what constitutes organic food and when your milk is past due, but it does not have the authority to shut down a meat plant if they are selling tainted meat. If the USDA can't stop this, who does? No one! Yikes!

We've all heard why grass-fed beef is better. But do you really know why it's better? Cows are not designed to digest corn, and when they do, their stomachs become breeding grounds for E.coli bacteria. Five days of feeding grass to Bessie would kill nearly all of this bacterium, but apparently that's too much of a hassle. Instead, meat plants are "washing" ground beef in ammonia and chlorine before packaging it to sell to grocery stores. Yummy.

[/quote]

The USDA can certainly shut down a line or a whole plant. I have seen them do it. They can condemn a whole day's production if they discover a defect in production during that day.

I'll go along with you on grass fed beef. It's not as marbled as grain fed beef, but I think it tastes better, myself. Apparently Australians prefer it as well. But eating grass doesn't kill e coli, which are always in a cow's digestive tract (and ours as well. We would die without it.). There is some belief; perhaps true, that the resident e coli become more virulent with a grain-fed animal.

But I can assure you that USDA would make processors wash down the beef with chlorine solution (not ammonia) whether grass fed or grain fed. I have never been in a beef production plant, but I have been in pork production plants. They don't wash down the sausage with chlorine; only the carcasses when they're still whole and after they're skinned and eviscerated. So, I am inclined to doubt they wash down ground hamburger with chlorine solution either. Undoubtedly they wash the carcasses, though.

I have been in poultry processing plants too, and they are required by USDA to wash down the chickens after they are de-feathered and eviscerated. They do that with chlorine solution too. But they don't wash them after that.

I will add that the processors' processing environments are also frequently jet-washed with chlorine solution as well as hot steam, to kill any bacteria that might be on environmental surfaces, or that the workers might bring in with them. The workers also have to wash their rubber boots with chlorine solution before entering the processing areas, put on hair nets, and smocks.

One mildly interesting thing. In meat processing plants they have what are called "potty monitors". If you go to the bathroom, you do your business in private. But when you're finished, you are required to open the door while you wash your hands so a monitor can ensure that you do it adequately, with anti-bacterial soap. Even then, the workers who touch the product have to wear rubber gloves as an added precaution.

Those processors (the ones I have seen, anyway) are a lot more careful than some people think.

It’s great to hear from people with actual experience in this matter. Thanks!

I sure remember learning a ton when visiting friends Wisconsin dairy farms back when I was in college. Never seen a meat packing plant though.

As for the chlorine, if you live in an urban area you are taking in a lot more chlorine from your tap water than you are from your ground beef. And be glad of it! Chlorinated tap water is the second biggest reason that you’ve never heard of an American getting Cholera (at least when at home, anyways). The biggest reason is the series of events that follows when you flush your toilet, which ALSO finishes with a healthy shot of chlorine before heading back out to the river. Chlorine is your FRIEND folks. :wink:

There is another point that no one has brought up, so I’m going to do so. Some of us humans tend to anthropomorphize how animals react to pain. We assume that a whack on the back with a cattle prod would hurt a cow as much is it would hurt us. For those who would like a reality check, I recommend the books of James Herriot (ne Alf Wight). He describes numerous situations where an animal that has a condition that would send one of us screaming to the ER (completely prolapsed uterus, half of a hoof removed the day before) is calmly standing there munching on its fodder. This is not meant to encourage abuse of animals, but they are not people; they don’t feel things like we do.

Brief side-trail–I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Herriot/Wight in his veterinary surgery in Yorkshire in late 1987. A real gentleman.

DaveBj

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