Egg production, even "humane" and "free-range" eggs is a brutal industry that accounts for vast numbers of egg-laying birds living out their short time on the planet in misery. According to Karen Davis, the founder and director of Untied Poultry Concerns, "Approximately 300 million hens are caged for egg production in the U.S. each year, 26 million in Canada, and 40 million in the U.K. Worldwide, about 5600 million hens are living in cages".
Dairy production, for milk, cheese and other products is, in my mind, the worst of the worst in terms of cruelty and suffering. Read why here :( But even without knowing all the horrific humane, environmental nightmares and human health issues connected with dairy production, just connecting the dots on how cows "give" us milk is so disturbing , and the callous, flippant way we are asked to view the process chills my soul at times. This is what runs through my mind in full graphic clarity every time I see milk and animal dairy products: Females being exploited for a reproductive body fluid ( milk ) meant for their own young. Females kept pregnant and lactating for 4 to 5 years and then slaughtered for cheap meat, leather and pet food. Day or hours-old calves, still wet and weak from birth, being whisked off for veal production for the males or kept enslaved for future milk production for the females. As a female who nursed her own two children, I am ashamed and humbled that I did not make the full connection until I was 50 years old. Our society, and the Dairy Board, wants to keep us in the dark.
Here's a blogpost I did on veal way back in 2009 in my New Leaf Vegan blog, while living in Virginia. The picture still breaks my heart :(
And last but certainly not least...there is a new film out that seeks to help us connect the dots about animal dairy production titled Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret Check out the trailer and reserve your tickets to watch it at the Boedecker Theater here in Boulder...I've got mine...let's fill the theater ! The Boulder and Beyond Vegan Meetup is promoting the event as an evening out :)