Follow by Email

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Domino's Pizza and the "Heroic" Dairy Cows

I'm looking at a Domino's Pizza box right now.  It says:  "This pie couldn't have been made without help from Stella, Edna, Abigail, Estelle, and Nancy," i.e. a bunch of fictional dairy cows that Domino's wants us to think are the "unsung heroes" behind the pizza.  Before going on a full-blown rant on this, I checked the internet and found that other ranters have been there before me.  Bottom line -- for those who don't know -- the life of a dairy cow is even worse than that of a slaughterhouse-bound beef cow. Meat cows, on balance, probably enjoy their too-brief lives (about a year; after that it doesn't make sense to keep feeding them), at least until the last few horrific days.  But then it's over.  By contrast, dairy cows are uncomfortably confined and repeatedly are made to suffer the loss of separation from offspring to which they have strong maternal bonds.  Here's an excerpt from Sarah Taylor's recent book,"Vegetarian to Vegan," found here:

"Sadly, just like human mothers bond tightly with their newborn babies, so do cows bond with their calves.  Mother cows have been reported to bellow for many hours or even days after her calf is taken from her.  Author Oliver Sacks, MD discusses a visit that he and Temple Grandin made to a dairy farm: When they arrived, they heard many cows bellowing, causing a very loud and unnerving sound.  Temple commented, “They must have separated the calves from the cows this morning,” and indeed, that was exactly the case.  Similarly, John Avizienius, a senior scientific officer at the Farm Animal Department at the RSPCA in Britain, discusses one particular cow that suffered great emotional distress over the separation from her calf:  She bellowed for hours, and even after six weeks would hover at the pen door where she had last seen her calf.
"In a cruel twist of fate, it’s been shown in mammals that multiparous females (those giving birth for the second time or more) have higher levels of oxytocin than primiparous females (those giving birth for the first time.) This means that with each subsequent birth, a mother cow presumably grows more and more bonded to her calves, and it likely becomes more and more emotionally traumatizing for the cow each time a baby calf is taken from her. 
"Just as the mother forms an immediate bond with her calf, the newborn calf also has an immediate attachment to his or her mother, and is healthier the longer it gets to bond with its mother. Calves allowed to remain with their mothers for up to 14 days showed weight gains at three times the rate of calves taken within 1-2 days, and they also showed signs of better searching behaviors and better social relationships with other calves. But as we’ve seen, baby calves are taken away within hours due to both the risk of infection from their filthy conditions, as well as the desire for the farmers to keep the mother’s milk for humans – not calves – so they can make a profit.
"It has been shown that baby calves experience emotional distress when they are separated from their mothers.  Unbelievably, they have been known to try to bond with the factory farm workers, even trying to suckle the fingers of the worker who is sending them off to slaughter. 
"Female calves will be raised to become dairy cows like their mothers, and the male calves will go to veal farms where they will be slaughtered for their tender meat."
So think about that next time you eat a Domino's Pizza, or any other pizza for that matter.  Think about the dairy cows and their never-to-be-seen-again veal calves nuzzling their slaughterhouse killers.  I know that it's wrong to compare anything involving mere animals with human slavery, but I hope you'll understand that there is an analogy there at least -- this is similar to an antebellum clothing shop advertising that the clothing would not have been possible without "unsung heroes" Stella, Edna, Abigail, Estelle, and Nancy -- the human slaves who endured the overseer's whip while picking the cotton that went into the garment.

Here are some other blogs that have had the same problem I did:

And in case you didn't realize it, cows can be happy and joyful beings, as shown in the following beautiful video:

Finally here's a picture of the box:

Update 120814:  A sickening video of how real-life Stella, Edna, Abigail, Estelle, and Nancy were treated at a Domino's-supplying dairy farm can be seen here:

Domino's response was as clueless as ever:

"No act of cruelty can ever be condoned. Ever. What we do know is that this is not an issue with our cheese supplier — it was an isolated case of sadistic acts by employees at a single dairy farm in southern New Mexico."

What about the cruel act of taking calves away from grieving mother cows?  

I honestly don't know what's worse -- the occasional albeit all-too-frequent cruelty inflicted on cows by sadistic and frustrated minimum wage workers, or the system that not only allows that to happen, but also systematically, and for the sake of profit, causes the cow the searing pain of loss described above, while all the while telling its customers that the cow is a hero with a girl's name?

I wonder if the cows at dairy farms are even given names.


If you've gotten this far, maybe you would be interested in my views on other matters, like free speech and Charlie Hebdo and Charlie Hebdo and Boko HaramSony's "The Interview, as well as my question "Why Should I be Charlie?" (featuring a hilarious clip from The Daily Show).


And by the way, I solved the ISIS problem here:  

PriceFixer: Fighting ISIS with Maslow's Hierarchy

It would only take a couple of billion dollars to do it.  Too bad nobody's listening. 

No comments:

Post a Comment