Must Read Info About The Dairy Industry (Please Support Free Range or Go Vegan)

This is a tough subject to speak about, but I will do my best. My intention is not to make anyone feel guilty about their milk consumption, but rather to state the facts about the dairy industry and leave people to make up their own minds. Solutions are at the end because I try not to make people despondent but rather raise awareness of problems and provide some solutions. If you have any ideas on how we can farm more humanely please let me know on lara@ethicalsuppliers.co.za

There is no such thing as humane dairy farming. Calves are weaned almost immediately so that the milk that should be theirs can go to us. They are often fed milk replacer which is the equivalent of us feeding our children formula. Not that great. Male bull calves are often sent off to be processed as veal, or sent to a feedlot. The cow is kept pregnant for most of her life till she gets “spent” and is turned into low grade meat. This is after about 4 years. Cows that are not raised this way can live up to 25 years. Cows form an emotional bond with their calves, and make the most heart wrenching sounds when separated from their calves. They get separated from their calves very early to make it easier on them before they really bond with their calf. Some cows have been known to destroy fences to get to their calf.

The veal industry is a by product of the dairy industry. Many calves that are going to be turned into veal are kept in crates so that their muscles become softer from lack of exercise. Sickening. I have never eaten veal and never will. It is disgusting. But I eat lamb, so not that great. But let me stop with the self flagellation of my eating habits, and try to improve my consumer choices. My ideal is to be semi vegan, eating meat occasionally from an animal that has died of natural causes or old age. I will do my best to find a farm that sells this type of meat for anyone that wants to do the same. And remember, if you support Ethical Suppliers and spread the word we can unite consumer buying power under one umbrella and eventually bring about the changes that we want to see in the food production industry.

I digress -back to the dairy issue: so in order for us to enjoy what used to be a luxury and is now taken for granted, cows are sometimes raised in the most deplorable conditions. Many dairy farms keep the cows confined in barns and their life is as follows: eat, get milked, eat, get milked. When the supply goes down they get a break, then they get impregnated and it’s back to the grindstone. Free range grass fed milk comes from slightly happier cows, since they at least get to graze in the pasture, enjoy a bit of sun and a nice breeze. Free range farmers usually farm for the joy of being around animals so they are often kinder to their animals.

Excerpt from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/farming/11381554/Dairy-farming-No-milk-of-human-kindness-left.html

Shoppers love a bargain but cheap milk comes with a heavy concealed cost. In the past 10 years, half of Britain’s dairy farms have closed, taking with them both an essential economic generator and part of the character of the countryside.

To remain viable, farms are becoming ruthlessly productive, moving their cattle from the fields into giant sheds where they are milked for every last drop. The once-comforting sight of a herd of cows grazing in a sun-dappled meadow is disappearing from our landscape.

So don’t think I am condemning your milk drinking – I drink milk too. It makes a cup of tea all that better. But I will look for an alternative to milk and I strongly urge you to do the same. Or at least cut down on your milk intake. If we all do what we can to cut down on our meat and dairy we can improve the lives of millions of farm animals everywhere because less of them will be needed. Then we can still milk cows, but not as much. And don’t just buy the cheapest, buy the most ethical product. Consume something that came from a good place and as happy an animal as possible. If we demand better treatment of farm animals we can really make a difference. So if you don’t want to give up meat and dairy, at least make it free range.

It is the least you can do.

 

Links for more reading

http://www.humanemyth.org/cheriezell.htm

https://spiritedrose.wordpress.com/jersey-cattle/before-buying/typical-annual-cycle-for-a-cow/

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/cows/dairy-industry/ (this video showed cows wading in runny manure – lovely! But not as horrible as the skinny overmilked cow at the end. Try not to buy dairy products till you know how they were produced!)

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Firstly, this is not a massive investment fund. This is my personal initiative and is funded by me, I already fund all the costs related to Ethical Suppliers and Open Education Centre. This initiative is really for the poorest of the poor who have practically nothing and need a helping hand to get somewhere.  

I used to be a chicken and pecan nut farmer a few years ago and had to quit because of family issues with the property. So yes, I have experience in farming, as well as an education site for farmers, Open Education Centre

From a little seed we can grow big things. Nature has all the means by which we can grow our money and farming is a way to do this while at the same time providing food for families and communities. 

I will buy most of the starter stock eg seeds and chicks, saplings, and so on. Watering costs will not be covered but we will try reduce water consumption as far as possible with the use of mulch and other methods to keep costs down. 

You will need to fetch the stock from the supplier if I cannot have it delivered, prepare the earth, sow the seed, water/irrigate and generally manage all day to day operations. If you are in Pretoria I will assist with the manual labour.

For the chicken farm you will need to construct a simple roosting perch from sticks and a simple hut with a basic door which can close at night. This can all be done with wood and salvaged materials. No floor needed, sand floors are best and I will explain why later. Eggs need to be collected daily and a small percentage of the eggs need to be marked and  left in their clutches in the hope that broody hens will hatch them out. We are trying to breed broodiness back in as this is in accordance with natural and humane principles. 

Once the operation turns profitable and I have recouped 200% of my total investment I will withdraw.

Remember – this is NOT a get rich quick scheme, this is only for individuals who share the same principles of ethical, eco friendly and humane farming. Profits will only start coming in after a few months, sometimes even up to a year or two, it all depends on what we are farming. 

Think about ways that you can “pay it forward”, eg seed donations etc, because this principle is extremely important. 

If all this excites you and you want to be part of the group please continue the application process below. I know it is long and tedious but I really want to get to know you a little better as we will be working closely together and I want to make sure we are a good fit :) 

If you would like to help fund the initiative please contact info@ethicalsuppliers.co.za or 071 484 5295. 

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