You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘baby’ tag.
Friday May 17, 2013
I’m holding a 3 day old baby goat. He’s absolutely precious! His cry is adorable. Of course, I’m stating the obvious. All babies are cute.
This little guy should be running and jumping and acting hilarious, like normal kids do. But, he’s not doing that because he has 4 deformed legs that won’t even hold the weight of his tiny body. He’s going to need a LOT of help. He still might not make it.
Sadly, babies are born deformed. It happens all the time. Life isn’t fair. In his case, he had 3 other siblings. He was just so cramped in the womb that he didn’t develop normally.
Here’s the problem, though…
This kid is the product of a goat breeder. It just so happens that the breeder is a “first time” breeder, but that doesn’t really matter. A breeder is a breeder. I’m talking about the dairy industry.
As I already mentioned, the mother goat who delivered this kid had 3 other babies. The breeder didn’t think this one would live. She focused her energy on the other three.
A day or two later, the breeder realized that this kid was still alive. He wasn’t going to just die.
The breeder doesn’t have time for bottle feeding. This kid needs bottle feeding every 2-3 hours for at least a week.
The breeder can’t be bothered with a crippled goat. This kid is completely dependent in every way.
What to do? Of course: Call a goat rescue.
Yes, that’s a very good thing to do. I give her that. It’s very good that she sought help. She did the right thing by calling someone who cares about animals, and who has the experience to help.
But here’s the thing…
This kind of passing the buck (no pun intended) is completely unfair to the goat sanctuary owner. I think it really “stinks” that breeders can basically dump their little inconveniences onto the people who run sanctuaries.
I wonder if the breeder offered to pay for any of the costs that the sanctuary owner will obviously incur, to take care of this kid.
What I just described is just one of the many problems I have with small dairy farms.
But, in general, I can’t stomach the dairy industry on any level.
I can’t stomach dairy products because I can’t accept the mentality that it’s okay to bring life into this world just to turn around and take it away.
Dairy breeders for all species (i.e. goats, sheep, cows) depend on continuous pregnancies to keep all that milk flowing.
Dairy breeders on farms of all sizes are in the business of killing unwanted baby animals. This is simply the only way a dairy can make any money. Extra bodies that aren’t producing milk are a drain on the business. There are too many mouths to feed!
- Male babies are killed because they won’t ever produce milk.
- Female babies are killed because their numbers still inevitably become too numerous on the dairy farm. Farms only need a small number of “replacements” for their “old” and “unproductive” mothers. (Retirement = Death).
It’s really quite rare for a baby animal to get the kind of chance that the kid I’m holding in the picture is getting. But, that certainly doesn’t make it okay to continue breeding animals.
Dairy really does make me sick to my stomach.
Responding to question #7, Robb Wolf said (at ~55 minutes into the above noted episode):
“An underfed baby will not have adequate..will not have normal cognitive development. That is, ya know, the classic scenario when you’re looking at an underfed baby– which interestingly you actually see a lot of this stuff in like the vegan community, because even if the mother is breastfeeding, the mother’s breast milk is so nutrient deficient that the baby’s not doing well, and then beyond that..um..you know it’s a clear indication that when the baby is, has a failure to thrive, there’s a lack of body weight gain, and there’s a lack of normal, kind of psychomotor development…”
WHAT?! Did Robb Wolf actually say that the breast milk of vegan mothers is nutrient deficient?? Is he saying that “you see a lot of” vegan babies who are underfed…failing to thrive…lacking body weight gain…and lacking normal psychomotor development? Seriously?
That’s a bold statement: ”You actually see a lot of this stuff in like the vegan community.” Someone making a statement like that needs to back it up with some facts!
On 9/11/12 I went to the Robb Wolf website to ask for the reference:
“What exactly is the reference to Robb Wolf’s statement about “seeing a lot of this stuff in the vegan community?”"
CHRIS WILLIAMS (from the Robb Wolf website):
“Hi Elisa, here are a couple of examples (not to mention Robb’s own experiences and things he’s seen personally)
It’s not an attack against vegans, but it’s pretty much impossible to get everything necessary for human thrival on a diet without animal products without supplementation.”
So…what do YOU think about those examples?
The first example– of “seeing a lot of this stuff in like the vegan community”– is the case of one baby who died in France. The unfortunate 11 month-old died of a pneumonia-related illness. She was underweight and suffering from vitamin A and vitamin B12 deficiencies. She was reportedly fed “only on her mother’s milk.” Her mother just happened to be vegan.
Is this a fair example? NO!! This baby should have been started on solid food months before. Breast milk shouldn’t be the exclusive food source for an 11 month-old infant. This is NOT a failure of the vegan diet. This is a failure of parenting, in general.
The second example– of “seeing a lot of this stuff in like the vegan community”– is the case of one baby (a 5 month-old) with a vitamin B12 deficiency. The deficiency was “due to low vitamin B12 concentrations in the maternal breast milk.” The case did not indicate whether the mother actually came from “the vegan community” or not.
What the case did indicate was that the mother was found to have classical (Addisonian) pernicious anaemia and hypothyroidism. Is pernicious anemia unique to vegans? NO!!
Is this a fair example? NO!! Fortunately, the baby in the second case example was treated with B12 and showed a “rapid clinical and haematological improvement.”
Let’s still learn from this…
- Everyone needs vitamin B12. Everyone should have vitamin B12 levels checked periodically.
- Vegans should supplement with a B12 supplement.
- Non-vegans may also need to supplement, because vitamin B12 deficiency is not only a “vegan issue.” Besides cases of pernicious anemia, people over age 50 lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods.
Dear Robb Wolf,
Please stop talking out of your paleo ass about vegan babies.
Dear Chris Williams,
To use your words..it’s “pretty much impossible” to take you seriously when you provide such ridiculous examples.
(thriving without killing animals…with the intermittent help of a modern world supplement that is cheap and readily available )
Mackenzie Dierks, from Pork Checkoff:
“One of the things you touched on was a lactose source, such as whey, and its importance, and also the challenges it can create as a part of the nursery pig diet. Can you expand on that?”
Joel DeRouchery, from Kansas State University:
“Lactose is a very common nutrient that we look at to formulate into starter pig diets. Lactose is the milk sugar, so pigs really like the taste. It’s highly digestible in that transition period from the sow on into weaning. So it’s very typical we have some sort of lactose source from weaning, up until the pigs are about 25 pounds.”
“One thing that’s happened over this last portion of this year is that the lactose price has greatly increased. In fact, spray-dried whey is priced around 75 cents per pound. And if we go back historical, 4 years ago, it was 24 cents per pound.”
It seems that everyone’s getting dairy products except infant cows.
And, it seems that baby animals of various kinds are denied their own milk from their mothers.
Let’s back up a second and review Biology 101…
Cow + Pregnancy = Baby Cow
Cow Lactation = Food for Baby Cow
Pig + Pregnancy = Baby Pig
Pig Lactation = Food for Baby Pig
Human + Pregnancy = Baby Human
Human Lactation = Food for Baby Human
That’s what nature intended.
Now, a step-by-step sequence describing how humans have screwed with nature:
- Humans want Cow Lactation.
- Humans take the Food for Baby Cow from Baby Cow.
- Humans feed Baby Cow a “milk replacer.”
- Humans calculate the economic usefulness of Baby Cow in order to determine his or her ultimate fate.
- Humans want to consume lots of Pig flesh.
- Lots of Pig flesh requires lots of dead Pigs.
- Humans breed lots of Pigs in order to kill lots of Pigs in order to consume lots of Pigs.
- Humans remove baby Pig from mother Pig as early as possible.
- Humans feed baby Pig “milk replacer” from a Cow.
- Humans like to breed, kill and consume one type of animal in order to breed, kill and consume another type of animal.
- Humans like to take what is not rightly theirs to take.
- Humans have zero requirement for (non-human) animal Lactation.
- Humans learn speciesist behaviors based on societal indoctrination.
- Humans are capable of challenging social norms.
It’s time to stop disrespecting nature.
Live vegan and let’s stop the insanity!
Milk a bean, milk a grain, milk a nut, milk a seed, milk a drupe (yes, a drupe!), but please don’t milk an animal. When people consume milk from lactating animals, the first thing you should ponder is what is baby cow– baby goat– baby sheep– drinking? What happens to the baby animals? What happens to momma cow– momma goat– momma sheep when her overworked reproductive system stops being “profitable”? The bad news is that the answers aren’t pretty.
The good news is that non-dairy milk options are plentiful. It’s easier than you might think to wean off animal milk. There is no nutritional need for animal milk in the human diet!
Go to the non-dairy milk section of your local store and you’ll notice an ever-increasing array of plant milks: Soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, hemp milk, coconut milk..even flax milk! There are different brands of each type of milk. There are different varieties within the types of plant milks..like plain, vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened, fortified. If you don’t like one, try another. Find your favorite!
Holiday flavors (YUM!) – Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Peppermint, Nog
Make your “own” milk: it’s easy to do and you needn’t endure a long pregnancy and painful delivery. It’s also less expensive than packaged milk and more eco-friendly. Personally, I don’t like the aftertaste of packaged almond milks but I love homemade almond milk. I encourage you to make your own nut and rice milks. Here’s how I do it…
First, make sure you have a batch of cooked short grain brown rice on hand. I make up a batch and freeze portions in 1/2 cup glass jam jars. One cup (dried) rice will make enough for 7 batches of milk.
You must use short grain rice! You don’t want your milk to have a gritty sediment, do you? What’s the difference between long and short grains? The answer is in the percentage of the starches amylose and amylopectin. (I first learned about them from chef Alton Brown…thanks, A.B.!)
Long grain rice has a higher percentage of amylose. Amylose makes the rice cook up dry, firm and separate. Amylose is insoluble in water. Rice milk made from long grains has more of a “gritty” sediment. The resulting milk is more watery, less creamy = not good!
Short grain rice has a higher percentage of amylopectin. It releases starch when cooking, resulting in a moist, soft and sticky grain. The resulting milk will be creamy without a gritty sediment = good!
On to the nuts…pick your favorite raw nut. I like to use Brazil nuts, but sometimes I mix it up and use cashews, almonds, or hazelnuts.
Nut Rice Milk (my own creation):
Soak 1/3 cup raw nuts and 2 pitted dates into 4 cups water for 4-8 hours. Blend the water, nuts and dates with 1/2 cup cooked short grain rice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a VitaMix blender or other “sporty” blender. (I don’t know if it would work with a wimpy blender!) Frothy, healthy, affordable and delicious! I don’t strain my milk. I simply shake, then pour.
My personal favorite is mixing my homemade nut rice milk with packaged soy milk in a 50-50 ratio. That’s just me! You do what you gotta do…as long as you leave the animals alone!