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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.”

Reference:  7/23/12 PorkPod podcast “Availability and Cost of Feed Ingredients” (6:27)

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Well…

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:

  1. Humans want Cow Lactation.
  2. Humans take the Food for Baby Cow from Baby Cow.
  3. Humans feed Baby Cow a “milk replacer.”
  4. Humans calculate the economic usefulness of Baby Cow in order to determine his or her ultimate fate.

and…

  1. Humans want to consume lots of Pig flesh.
  2. Lots of Pig flesh requires lots of dead Pigs.
  3. Humans breed lots of Pigs in order to kill lots of Pigs in order to consume lots of Pigs.
  4. Humans remove baby Pig from mother Pig as early as possible.
  5. Humans feed baby Pig “milk replacer” from a Cow.
Conclusions:

  1. Humans like to breed, kill and consume one type of animal in order to breed, kill and consume another type of animal.
  2. Humans like to take what is not rightly theirs to take.
  3. Humans have zero requirement for (non-human) animal Lactation.
  4. Humans learn speciesist behaviors based on societal indoctrination.
  5. Humans are capable of challenging social norms.

It’s time to stop disrespecting nature.

Live vegan and let’s stop the insanity!

I did a home safety assessment for a patient at work today.  I went with her & her husband to their rural home that includes a small herd (i.e. <25) of cows raised for meat.  Having never been in this particular situation before, I was keenly interested to learn everything I could about the fate of those animals.  I watched the cows innocently & peacefully grazing on grass as my patient was more than happy to answer all my questions.

By anyone’s definition, this is about as “humane” as an animal farm can get.  The bulls are not castrated, so the breeding is natural.  The cows have a lovely green pasture with a beautiful view of trees & mountains in a location w/ a mild climate.  A mobile unit comes to the farm to slaughter the animals on site.  The animals are killed when not much more than ~18 months (“so that the meat doesn’t get too tough”…and older animals are only “good” for hamburger.)  The animal’s body is hauled off to a butcher shop in a nearby city for about a week of aging (she called it “hanging”) & then processing into the various meat cuts.

This will be the last herd that my patient & her husband will have because they are both elderly & it’s getting to be too much work for them.  She also admitted that for health reasons everyone in her family is eating less beef so it is clearly not a necessary food source.  She clearly has a certain fondness for her animals & yet her speaking tone was matter of fact and clinical.

I found the whole experience quite unsettling.  Since going vegan, I have never needed confirmation, but yet being there confirmed in my mind that I am on the right track.  If this little family farm is AS good as it gets, I still don’t want any part of it.  I looked at the eyes of those animals.  I put myself in their situation.  I can only come to the conclusion that those animals don’t deserve to be suddenly killed when it is so unnecessary to kill them.  It is unnecessary to eat them.  And they really are babies…18 months.  Cows can live to be 20 years or more if given the chance.

More Q’s I have:  What happens when the mobile slaughter unit drives up?  What is the process then?  I didn’t have time to find out all the answers to every question that I later thought of.  What happens when one cow is harmed..killed?  When do the other cows know that they, too, will be harmed?  I still want to know more.  Nevertheless, I reflect on this interaction without tears, without anger.  I am disturbed by it because it is so unfair.  So unjust.  But I am glad that no more animals on this particular farm will be bred just to be killed.  I hope that more people will go vegan.

(Written April 5, 2012)

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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