LOOKING for: Humane dairy products

sally2_gwJune 16, 2005

It's my understanding that dairy cows are treated horribly, but I'm not eager to go vegan. Does anyone know if the dairy products that are listed as organic are produced by dairies that use humane methods? In other words, do the organic methods automatically involve using kinder methods of caring for the cows? It seems logical to me that they would, but I don't that know for a fact. Or, do any of you know of a brand or company that's either in Texas, or ships to Texas, that they know uses humane, kind ways of caring for their cows? Thanks.


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Don't really have any answers for your questions. I just have more specific questions.

In particular, I would like to know a source of dairy products that does not use Bovine Growth Hormone injected into the cow to increase the milk supply. Apparently, if it can be detected, it isn't being tested in Texas. Have to take the "word" of the dairy farmer. If one is to believe some of the info on this topic in the documentary titled "The Corporation" produced by Michael Moore, this is a very detrimental chemical to the cows as well as to customers who drink the milk produced by the cows.

One way to get around this is to use goats milk instead. Apparently, the customer base for goats milk is much smaller so the farmers don't bother to use the hormones (not yet), at least according to what I read somewhere, I may have also heard this in "The Corporation". Can't remember. I only remembered that it made sense.

Really don't know what to believe in this area. Capitalism being what it is, there is much good but the bad is that the business world often will do anything to increase profits, especially in those areas where there is little monitoring or where the violations are difficult to detect, apparently a good description of the process of using bovine growth hormones within the dairy industry.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 11:30PM
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I've bought milk at Whole Foods that stated in the label that no hormones were used. That's the milk that I was talking about being organic.

Thanks for responding, Alice. I was beginning to think no one ever comes to this forum anymore.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 11:55AM
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I think there is a good chance the Whole Food milk (probably Horizon? or was it 365?) that you bought doesn't have hormones but from what I've learned, this is not based on any testing or monitoring. It is strictly the word of the farmer (or farming corporation). That bothers me. Wish it could be more rigorous because the bottom line is as I implied above, profits will cause corporations to lie when penalties are low or non-existent, which is the case here, I think.

Yes forum participation here is unfortunately low. I really don't think recipes should be split between vegetarian and "non-vegetarian". I've always learned to adapt meat recipes to a vegetarian bent if the seasonings are good. But as it turns out, the cooking forum doesn't even really use the Recipe exchange, they have their own threads/posts for their own recipes so I follow those and have learned a lot even though they aren't vegetarian.

You might consider visiting www.simpleliving.net. The food forum there is very active and definitely leans to the "alternative" side with lots of posts about frugality and environmental issues (not too many posts like that on the Cooking forum,LOL). Though there are meat eaters on the simpleliving forum, the percentage of vegetarians is much higher than in the general population (appears that way, anyway).

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 6:00PM
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Thanks for the tip, Alice. As you can see, I've gotten to where I don't check this forum all that often anymore. I will definately check out the Simple Living site.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 11:44AM
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I don't really think that the "organic" label ensures humane treatment of the animals. I do know that if you buy from small family farms, which typically grass feed (ie keep their cows in pastures rather than feed lots or factory farms where they are fed unnatural diets), the cows are healthier and probably happier as they get to lead something of a more natural life, and are more likely to receive individual care as the herds are much smaller.
A good book to read on this subject(plus meat production) is "Mad Cowboy" by Harold Lyman. This guy is great!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 5:47PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look it up.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 9:33AM
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I'm going to add on to what shays said. I think, one of the most important things we can do as consumers is develop relationships with the producers of the products we buy, or at the very least relationships with the purveyors. Quality and ethics are a lot more likely if you have a personal relationship with someone than if it's just impersonal, material you buying from impersonal material them. It takes out the human element and helps turn us into cogs in the impersonal, cappitalistic machine, which is just what the ruler of the material world wants! Knowing the business owners and shop owners and farmers, on the other hand, fosters accountability. I am so lucky. I can buy my milk from a little store with a cow pasture behind it. I drive by the store every week on my way to work, and drive by the jersey cows too. If you check out some health food stores, they buy from local farmers they know too. I work with an "organic" farmer and he says the term "organic" has been coopted by corporate interests who set up rules for what gets labeled organic and what doesn't to favor their practices. He has said on many occasions that the best weapon for folks who want quality, environmental and ethical responsibility, is to buy directly from producers that you know. I will add that it is also a fun way to shop! I say why not "trust" the farmer if you know him. If you buy from a corporation that you don't know who runs it or even where their home office is located, then you are putting a lot of "trust" in an institution quite removed from accountability to you.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 3:22PM
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I do not understand why participation is so low on this forum either. I used to drink milk with every meal until I came to CA. The milk I buy sours so quickly I am afraid to drink it. Any cheese that is not treated with preservatives goes bad quickly. The nearby dairy farm has thousands and thousands of cattle on several acres, with standing room only. They pollute an entire city near Los Angeles, and one look at them you would not want to drink milk for some time. It is the most disgusting treatment of cattle I have ever seen, & the stench is so great I personally would hope they would put every antibiotic or sterilizing chemical into their product they could find.
I donÂt think you can necessarily trust health food markets  you also need to know what is going on in the news. A couple of years back, there was some disease that was affecting thousands of local chickens, which had to be euthanized. The health food stores still sold the eggs of the chickens, assuring consumers they were safe. I did not buy any, because I did not want a product from an infected animal.
California is great with some things, but when it comes to dairy products it makes me turn more and more to strict vegetarian. Considering some of the hot topics in the news, such the diseases that affect animals and humans, it is a good idea to have a set of non-dairy vegetarian recipes on hand.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 4:45AM
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Horizon unfortunately has a negative reputation regarding how their cows are threated:

I buy organic cheeses and half-and-half from Organic Valley--I have not read anything negative about them.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 11:48PM
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I stumbled across this post by accident....
But as the wife of someone who's livliehood depended on happy and contented cows and a product with no controversarey associated with it.....I can tell you dairy cows are treated very well!
Massaged udders, food supplements, fans in the milking barn....dairy cows are well treated!
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 10:49PM
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There is a farm near me that specializes in only raw milk products. It is right on their farm and the cows are happy! They product milk, cream, butter, and various cheese.

The name is Fertile Valley Farm. Though it's in Pennsylavnia.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 1:53AM
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I think your best bet is to find a farmers market near you if one exists and to talk to the farmers themselves though I have had some laugh when I asked if the cows were well treated as if it was a ridiculous question. Most will be happy to answer you. I think smaller farms would treat the animals better than big factory operations.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 2:31PM
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try reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell...I'm sure it will help you out.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Robert Cohen has educational site www.notmilk.com
We all know what happpen to male calves.
While mother cows are crying for their calves, male calves are way to veal factory or raised for beef.
There is hidden cruelty in dairy products.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 3:56PM
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babylark, to produce milk, cream, butter, cheese, calves are taken away from mother cows, how can you say cows are happy?

Separation of mother cows and their calves are traumatic experience for mother cows and there is nothing we can find to comfort these cows whose babies are taken away.
Link below is little outdated but I remember about reading.
When we have soy milk, soy ice cream, soy cheese, soy cream, etc, who need dairy products?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 6:36PM
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I think people need to check link below to know reality.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 9:53PM
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let us not forget that mother nature intended cow milk to be produced for her cow babies - NOT for human consumption. the lie that we need milk for calcium is baloney. where did that cow get the calcium? PLANTS! if you'd like to get more calcium in your diet, cut out the middleman and just eat plants high in calcium.

would you drink another human's milk after infancy? if a nursing mother bottled up her breast milk, would you drink it? didn't think so. then why drink a cow's? an animal of a different species??? just something to think about....

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 12:39AM
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Keep up Robert Cohen!
You are doing great research on dairy products and your site is very educational.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 4:37PM
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Many, many years ago I spent a night with farming friends. A calf had been taken from its mother, and the cow cried - literally - all night long. I can still hear her, and never eat veal.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 4:08PM
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Always thought living as a vegetarian was compassionate until I learned of the dairy farm cruelty. Please do not live ignorantly!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mercy for Animals

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 6:22PM
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Just because something is organic does NOT mean that it is humane.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:12PM
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