The New York Times recently wrote about dairy farming, contrasting farmers perceived treatment with the opinion of animal activists. Dairy cows that live on farms are used to make dairy products that so many Americans rely on.

The United States dairy industry is worth $620 billion. To fulfill demand, dairy cows are repeatedly impregnated, female cows are confined to small pens, and their horn buds are removed at an early age. Typically, cows spend their lives on concrete floors and in confined areas.

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“People have this image of Old MacDonald’s farm, with happy cows living on green pastures, but that’s just so far from reality,” said Erica Meier, the president of the activist organization Animal Outlook, in the New York Times. “Some farms might be less cruel than others, but there is no such thing as cruelty-free milk.”

In recent years, dairy farming across the country has declined. Dairies have filed for bankruptcy. During the pandemic, farmers were dumping milk because of supply chain problems. Meanwhile, plant-based milks are on the rise.

Activists use undercover footage to show what really happens behind the scenes of dairy farms. Celebrities have also joined the cause against dairy farms, most notably Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix’s Academy Awards acceptance speech even included a plea for cows and going dairy-free.

“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable,” Phoenix said. “And then we take her milk that’s intended for the calf and we put it in our coffee and cereal.”

You can avoid contributing to such cruelty by ditching dairy and meat and here are some resources to help you get started:

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects. Learn about some Common Health Concerns That May Disappear Once You Ditch Dairy and 10 Calcium Supplements For Healthy Living on a Dairy-Free and 10 Carrageenan-Free Non-Dairy Products!

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, plant-based, vegan and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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