Saputo: Time to MOOve Towards an Ethical Dairy Industry

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Do you feel like you should avoid eating beef, because the animal has to be slaughtered, but you continue to buy delicious dairy products because you believe they are harmless?

Dairy has become a staple food and dairy farming is a practice that provides jobs all over the world. However, dairy cows often live short and cruel lives. Like us, in order to make milk, a cow needs to give birth. To ensure high volume production, factory farm milk cows are often kept in small, confined areas, continuously impregnated, milked for a few years and then slaughtered for meat consumption. Dairy farming also has significant environmental impacts.

Holy cow! Some dairy industry facts:

  • A dairy cow only lives as long as she’s productive, which is on average 5 years. Her natural lifespan is somewhere between 18-22 years!
  • Many dairy cows will never set its hooves in a field, spending their whole lives confined indoors; and cows really enjoy grazing.
  • Calves often spend less than 24 hours with their mother before being taken away. Her milk, after all, is for our consumption.
  • Cows are maternal creatures. When their babies are pulled away, they reportedly bellow for days.
  • Because they are constantly milked, cows can develop painful, sometimes fatal infections, called mastitis.
  • Some cows have their tails surgically removed, sometimes without painkillers. It’s believed that doing so keeps the udder clean, which is false. They need their tails to swat away flies.
  • Cows are also often dehorned, a process in which the farmer will cut or burn off the horns. Sometimes no painkillers are provided.
  • The Dairy industry also emits about 20% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the main livestock sectors and also leaves a huge water footprint.

So, how can we improve dairy farming and make it not just beneficial for humans, but sustainable for the world? We need a leader willing to participate in a milk revolution.

Concrete steps can and should be taken to ensure dairy cows are treated humanely. They need healthy and spacious living conditions and they should be allowed to graze in fields with their calves. No unnecessary suffering should be brought to them. Professionals should perform necessary surgical procedures - with pain killers. Concrete steps can also be taken for farms to reduce their carbon and water footprints, as well as improve the use of farm land. Embracing organic farming standards is a step in the right direction.

We challenge one of Canada’s favourite dairy companies, Saputo, to be a leader and source its dairy ethically, from Canadian Organic Standards farms. We invite them to begin the revolution, one cheese at a time. 

Sign this petition to speak up for all the cows who currently face cruel lives.

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