Practical Issues > Factory Farming > Cows
California's Unhappy Cow Farmers

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust

 The California Dairy Industry finances a nation-wide campaign intended to have us think that California is home to "Happy Cows".

 Two contrary versions of Happy Cow reality:

Most male calves never make it to auction where farmers net $5 per calf while transport costs $15 per animal. Bullets are cheap, and composting manure piles are an efficient means of getting rid of the evidence that male California calves are not-so happy.

The screams of female calves meant to one day produce milk are additional evidence that there is no happiness when a cow's horns are burned or severed from her head by dairymen who do not use anesthesia on sensitive richly-enervated horn buds.

The spent dairy cows transported to slaughter stuffed tightly into trucks with other pained creatures; the ones with tumors and bone injuries and Johne's Disease and mastitis; all soon to be prodded with painful electric devices as they walk around the auction ring, parading before those bidders who seek the choicest animals to feed cats and dogs and hungry human kids who go to fast food restaurants seeking toys in white bags; these are not happy cows.

The stun gun to the head before slaughter; the knife cutting through the aorta and carotid artery; the choking to death on one's blood; the flailing legs cut off with chain saws so that slaughterhouse workers not be injured; the painful indignity of death to those who remain conscious during the entire process; these are not "Happy Cows".

In 2011, California's "Happy Cow" farmers were paid an average of 18 cents for each pint of milk they trucked to dairy processors.

In 2012, these same sad dairy farmers will pay more than double what they paid for corn to feed their cows than they paid just three years ago. The price of hay has tripled in three years. The price of medicine has soared. Even the price for the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone which results in more un-needed milk for America (ending up as subsidized dried food paid by overtaxed citizens and sent to third world nations).

In 2012, it will cost an unhappy California dairy farmer 19 cents to produce a pint of milk for which he (or she) will be paid 13 cents. Just who is happy? Members of Senate and House agricultural committees who are paid bribes by the dairy industry (legal PAC money) so that happy legislation is kicked back to the unhappy California dairymen who torture "Happy Cows".

Robert Cohen

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