For a long time I’ve been aware of many problems, ethical & otherwise, inherent in the sort of subsidized, large-scale “factory” farms that dominate the food marketplace in most of the developed world. The subsidies distort and falisfy market signals, encouraging over-consumption by making meat, dairy, poultry, etc., appear relatively less expensive than other competing, unsubsidized foods. Accordingly, the volume of animals raised purely for slaughter is much higher than it would be in a truly free market.
Even if I can’t pinpoint the threshold that makes it “wrong”, what’s obvious to me is that we’re not in some grey area, “humane” is not even a blip on the radar; along the continuum between survival and sadism, today’s large-scale factory farms are far closer to the latter.
I never really thought how this process translates to dairy milk production, but thanks to this infographic, now I have and it’s fucking sick.
I’d wager that most people, if they pause to think about things like this, would reconsider (or at least want to reconsider) their reliance on factory farms, just like most people would think twice about eating a hamburger if it meant they personally had to drive a metal spike through the cow’s skull.
Even though it doesn’t contain the chemical additives and hormones, I’m not really sure if the organic, free-range/pastured stuff is any better.