Forget About Equal, How About Alive
An Animal Rights Article from


Mary Martin, PhD,
October 2009

You may have seen "Dog." If not see if here.

When I saw "From Science, Plenty of Cows but Little Profit" this morning in the New York Times, I immediately thought of "Dog."

I thought: What if those were women, ears tagged, imprisoned in some metal contraption that made it easier for the man behind them to inseminate them.

Photo /

And the day-old calves...

Photo / J. Emilio Flores, New York Times)

forcibly taken from their mothers, penned . . . what if those were human babies?

The article, by the way, touts the technological advancement that allows the sperm of dairy bulls to be "sexed," thereby allowing dairy farmers to choose to "produce" more females, who are more valuable to them. The only problem (for the farmers--I have a many problems with this scenario, beginning with bringing cows into the world) is that the cow milk industry is struggling along with much of the economy, and there is now a glut of cow's milk, which has driven the price down and . . .

"Desperate to drive up prices by stemming the gusher of unwanted milk, a dairy industry group, the National Milk Producers Federation, has been paying farmers to send herds to slaughter. Since January the program has culled about 230,000 cows nationwide."

There's more, and it's no more uplifting, but here's my point: Though I see mothers and babies when I look at the photos above, most people don't even see living, breathing, sentient beings. They see machines. They see things that make--or are turned into--the food they find so delicious. They see units that will somehow enter the marketplace. Their hearts don't ache at the thought of raping cows and ripping their babies from them as soon as they are born. Their minds don't whirl and scream with the injustice of sentient beings enslaved and treated as units of production.

We here in America claim we love dogs. They're our "best friends." But if a video must be made (and I realize this video wasn't made in the US, but we have the same issues here) to get people thinking about stray dogs as deserving of a life free of persecution and suffering at the hands of others, what hope is there for cows and other animals we have deemed "food?"

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