No cows were harmed in the making of our food.
It’s simple: choosing plant-based products supports animal welfare. Industrial animal agriculture does not.
At least half of the milk consumed in the U.S. comes from cows raised in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Lots), where they are raised in close quarters and fed an unnatural diet rich in corn and antibiotics.
Cows are ruminant animals, which means that they are adapted to a diet of grasses, and they are happiest when able to roam and graze. Their stomachs are not able to properly digest the high-calorie corn and soy feed intended to bump up their weight and milk production. The total number of cows in dairy production has dropped since the early 1990s, but the volume of milk produced continues to rise.
Dairy cows are also impregnated frequently to ensure near-constant milk production, which can result in stress for the calf. At least 17% of dairy cattle are given the hormone rBGH to, again, increase milk output. Because of this stress, industrial dairy cows are only able to produce milk for a few short years, after which they are removed from the dairy operation — around 17% of those cows are ground into hamburger meat.
In 2006, the USDA tallied 3,143 dairy operations with more than 500 cows; 46% of these had 2000 animals or more. As worldwide meat consumption is expected to more than double by 2050, we expect that number to increase.