Global milk industry’s brutal methods exposed
Posted on June 11th, 2014

Janaka Perera

The world celebrated Milk Day on June 1 amidst newspaper articles extolling virtues of milk consumption.  Sri Lankans are being urged to consume liquid milk instead of powdered milk to which most people young and old have become addicted over the past six decades.

Amidst this a controversy is continuing in the West and elsewhere over the supposed health benefits of milk consumption and the ethics of the modern dairy industry.  Among the organizations that have raised questions on this issue is the U.S.-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a non-profit organization, which promotes a vegan diet, preventable medicine and alternatives to animal research.

Dairy products (not powdered milk), especially curd, ghee and whey or butter milk have been part of Sri Lanka’s food culture since ancient times.  Though the cow was a valued animal there is no evidence of our ancestors consuming milk on a daily basis every morning unlike the way many of us are doing today.  

Robert Knox, the Englishman who was a prisoner in the 17th Century Kandyan Kingdom, writing on the eating habits of Sinhalese at the time, says, Their common drink is only water” (An Historical Relation of Ceylon).

It was not milk but medicinal drinks like ranawara, polpala and gruel (kola kenda) made of herbs and leaves that our villagers had regularly.

Many households had cows but there were no commercialized dairy and meat industries here in the modern sense, although some people went hunting and fishing. In comparison to the rest of the world ancient Sri Lanka enforced most stringent animal welfare laws in certain periods of her history.

The majority of the population being Buddhists looked after their animals almost as family members – not as chattels. Domesticated cattle used for work in the paddy fields were affectionately called ‘wahu daruwo’ (cattle children) even as late as the 1930s and ‘40s.  The cows were milked only after they fed the calves.  Their humane owners were sensitive to the feelings of the dumb creatures. 

This is no longer the case anywhere in today’s profit-oriented world where economics – not ethics – dominate our lives from womb to the tomb.

Humans are the only species which consume milk in adulthood and the only species that consumes milk from another animal. Before the dawn of modern ‘civilization,’ humans only drank mother’s milk as infants.

Consuming milk or not is a personal choice.  But it is important to educate ourselves on the sources of the dairy products we buy or imported from.  The main focus of this article is the dark side of today’s global dairy farming.  There are no ‘happy cows’ in this industry as the blurbs and ads try to make us believe, whether in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand or any other country where large scale dairy farming is practiced.

The dairy farms of today are quite different than the picturesque sunshine-filled meadows of contented cows as in the time of our grandparents and their parents. They are hardly any contended cows we imagined as children.

The days of a calf being born in a field and being nurtured by her dam are long gone. Calves are separated from their mothers within 24 hours of birth, and weaned from milk within eight weeks (calves will gladly suckle for as long as eight months if allowed to do so). A calf separated from her mother at an early age does not receive any immunity through her mother’s milk and is therefore vulnerable to disease — a 10 percent mortality rate is common

Most dairy cattle are confined to a barren fenced lot with a packed dirt floor, where they must endure all types of weather, including rain and extreme temperatures 24 hours a day. Factory farming systems (sometimes known as dry-lot) seldom provide shade, shelter or clean comfortable resting areas. Dairy cattle are often covered with their own filth because they cannot escape the dirty dry lot conditions. In colder climates dairy cattle may be provided shelter in winter, but most dairy practices remain the same.

To boost their milk production, the cattle are fed high intensity feeds and grains that often cause digestive upset. They are also injected with Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) to increase by up to 25 percent the already exorbitant amount of milk they produce.

Under modern methods of dairy processing the typical cow produces milk for about 300 days after giving birth.  In order to maintain uninterrupted milk production cows are forced year after year to go through an endless cycle of pregnancy and birth only to have their calves immediately taken from them. Cows and calves cry after each other as they are separated.

All forms of dairy farming involve forcibly impregnating cows. This means a person inserting his arm far into the cow’s rectum in order to position the uterus and then forcing an instrument into her vagina. The restraining apparatus is commonly called a ‘rape rack.’

Half the cows born are male.  Of no use in milk production, they are sent to veal-producing operations or directly to auctions where they are sold and slaughtered when they are just a few days old. Male calves used for veal production suffer a crude castration process and are killed after four months spent in small crates or pens.  After just four to six years, dairy cows are ‘spent’ from being forced to continuously produce milk. Often weak and ill, they endure transport to auction and slaughter,, both of which are traumatic for these gentle animals. If allowed to exist free of exploitation and slaughter, cows can live 25 years or more.

In an attempt keep up dairy production levels, the dairy industry uses bovine growth hormone (BST), which is a controversial, genetically-engineered growth hormone which is injected into cows to increase milk production.  Most of the European countries and Canada have now banned its use.

If baby calves that “have no useful function” as a result of being a by-product of milk production are killed and turned into dog food, supple leather gloves, and various products for people to eat, how is it possible to say that cow’s milk is a wholesome food for human children, who have no more of a biological need for cow’s milk than they do for pig’s milk or monkey’s milk — or even their own mother’s milk after the age of weaning?

The use of BGH to increase milk production results in increased udder size and increased frequency of infection. The large numbers of cattle that are crammed into small spaces where the soil is hard and compact increases the incidence of injury and lameness as well. Some dairies have up to one thousand cows which means the factory dairy farmer may often fail to recognize that veterinary care is needed until the illness or injury has progressed beyond successful treatment … and the cows are sent to slaughter.

Fully 25 percent of dairy cattle are slaughtered before they are three years old. Only 25 percent of dairy cattle live more than seven years, although the natural life span for cattle is 20-25 years. (The oldest cow on record lived to be 49 years old!)

Injury, illness, milk production lower than optimum, poor conception rates, and other factory-farming-induced health problems are common reasons dairy cattle are sold for slaughter long before they have lived out their natural life span.

Every year millions of shots of antibiotics are given to cattle for infections related to milk production and other diseases. Most commercial ground beef is made from the meat of culled dairy cattle. Because dairy cattle have not been raised specifically for human consumption, they have often been treated with antibiotics shortly before being butchered in an attempt to cure the disease that later resulted in their being killed. Therapeutic antibiotics are also routinely given to dairy calves and cattle.

This means that antibiotics are entering the human food chain through the consumption of the milk and meat of dairy cattle. Many experts feel that the excessive consumption of antibiotic-tainted animal products has created a number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (superbugs) that may be a threat to human health.

Also, conversion of forestry land to dairy pasture destroys forests and replaces them with intensive dairy farming which is one of the most greenhouse gas intensive forms of land use.

A Greenpeace investigation has revealed that the iconic New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra is implicated in Indonesian and Malaysian rainforest destruction, dead orangutans and driving global greenhouse gas emissions.  Sri Lanka too has a Fonterra branch.

The time has come for this country’s animal welfare groups and Buddhist and Hindu organizations to probe to probe to what extent the brutal methods of the global dairy farming are being practiced in this country.

10 Responses to “Global milk industry’s brutal methods exposed”

  1. Senevirath Says:

    even calves don’t drink their mothers milk after 1 year but our human bulls drink it until death
    sri lankans are brain washed by big companies and doctors


  2. Nanda Says:

    “The time has come for this country’s animal welfare groups and Buddhist and Hindu organizations to probe to probe to what extent the brutal methods of the global dairy farming are being practiced in this country.”

    -Even Buddhist themselves are subjected to ‘rape rack’ torture by media and our own politikkos. Nevertheless our heart should be big enough to fight this menace of Para Suddas.

  3. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Prostate cancer is the fourth most common malignancy among men worldwide and its incidence and mortality have been associated with milk and other dairy product consumption according to the international and interregional correlational studies. Also high intakes of lactose and dairy products, particularly milk, are associated with an increased risk of serous ovarian cancer.
    IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor 1 is an important hormone that is produced in the liver and body tissues. It is a polypeptide and consists of 70 amino acids linked together. All mammals produce IGF-1 molecules very similar in structure and human and bovine IGF-1 are completely identical. IGF-1 acquired its name because it has insulin-like activity in fat (adipose) tissue and has a structure that is very similar to that of proinsulin. The body’s production of IGF-1 is regulated by the human growth hormone and peaks at puberty. IGF-1 production declines with age and is only about half the adult value at the age of 70 years. IGF-1 is a very powerful hormone that has profound effects even though its concentration in the blood serum is only about 200 ng/mL or 0.2 millionth of a gram per mL.
    IGF-1 is known to stimulate the growth of both normal and cancerous cells. In 1990 researchers at Stanford University reported that IGF-1 promotes the growth of prostate cells. This was followed by the discovery that IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells. In 1995 researchers at the National Institutes of Health reported that IGF-1 plays a central role in the progression of many childhood cancers and in the growth of tumours in breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and cancers of the pancreas and prostate. In September 1997 an international team of researchers reported the first epidemiological evidence that high IGF-1 concentrations are closely linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Other researchers provided evidence of IGF-1′s link to breast and colon cancers.

    Bovine growth hormone was first synthesized in the early 1980s using genetic engineering techniques (recombinant DNA biotechnology). Small-scale industry-sponsored trials showed that it was effective in increasing milk yields by an average of 14 per cent if injected into cows every two weeks. In 1985 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States approved the sale of milk from cows treated with rBGH (also known as BST) in large-scale veterinary trials and in 1993 approved commercial sale of milk from rBGH-injected cows. At the same time the FDA prohibited the special labeling of the milk so as to make it impossible for the consumer to decide whether or not to purchase it.

    Concerns about the safety of milk from BST-treated cows were raised as early as 1988 by scientists in both England and the United States. One of the main concerns is the high levels of IGF-1 found in milk from treated cows; estimates vary from twice as high to 10 times higher than in normal cow’s milk. There is also concern that the IGF-1 found in treated milk is much more potent than that found in regular milk because it seems to be bound less firmly to its accompanying proteins. Consultants paid by Monsanto, the major manufacturer of rBGH, vigorously attacked the concerns. In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August 1990 the consultants claimed that BST-milk was entirely safe for human consumption. They pointed out that BST-milk contains no more IGF-1 than does human breast milk – a somewhat curious argument as very few grown-ups continue to drink mother’s milk throughout their adult life. They also claimed that IGF-1 would be completely broken down by digestive enzymes and therefore would have no biological activity in humans. Other researchers disagree with this claim and have warned that IGF-1 may not be totally digested and that some of it could indeed make its way into the colon and cross the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. This is of special concern in the case of very young infants and people who lack digestive enzymes or suffer from protein-related allergies.

    Researchers at the FDA reported in 1990 that IGF-1 is not destroyed by pasteurization and that pasteurization actually increases its concentration in BST-milk. They also confirmed that undigested protein could indeed cross the intestinal wall in humans and cited tests which showed that oral ingestion of IGF-1 produced a significant increase in the growth of a group of male rats – a finding dismissed earlier by the Monsanto scientists. The most important aspect of these experiments is that they show that IGF-1 can indeed enter the blood stream from the intestines – at least in rats.

    Unfortunately, essentially all the scientific data used by the FDA in the approval process was provided by the manufacturers of rBGH and much of it has since been questioned by independent scientists. The effect of IGF-1 in rBGH-milk on human health has never actually been tested and in March 1991 researchers at the National Institutes of Health admitted that it was not known whether IGF-1 in milk from treated cows could have a local effect on the esophagus, stomach or intestines.

    Whether IGF-1 in milk is digested and broken down into its constituent amino acids or whether it enters the intestine intact is a crucial factor. No human studies have been done on this, but recent research has shown that a very similar hormone, Epidermal Growth Factor, is protected against digestion when ingested in the presence of casein, a main component of milk. Thus there is a distinct possibility that IGF-1 in milk could also avoid digestion and make its way into the intestine where it could promote colon cancer. It is also conceivable that it could cross the intestinal wall in sufficient amounts to increase the blood level of IGF-1 significantly and thereby increase the risk of breast and prostate cancers.

    Despite assurances from the FDA and industry-paid consultants there are now just too many serious questions surrounding the use of milk from cows treated with synthetic growth hormone to allow its continued sale. Bovine growth hormone is banned in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The European Union has maintained its moratorium on the use of rBGH and milk products from BST-treated cows are not sold in countries within the Union. Canada has also so far resisted pressure from the United States and the biotechnology lobby to approve the use of rBGH commercially. In light of the serious concerns about the safety of human consumption of milk from BST-treated cows consumers must maintain their vigilance to ensure that European and Canadian governments continue to resist the pressure to approve rBGH and that the FDA in the United States moves immediately to ban rBGH-milk or at least allow its labeling so that consumers can protect themselves against the very real cancer risks posed by IGF-1.

    A new study out of Harvard University showing that pasteurized milk product from factory farms is linked to causing hormone-dependent cancers. It turns out that the concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) model of raising cows on factory farms churns out milk with dangerously high levels of estrone sulfate, an estrogen compound linked to testicular, prostate, and breast cancers.

    Milk from modern dairy farms is identified as the culprit , since large-scale confinement operations where cows are milked 300 days of the year, including while they are pregnant. Compared to raw milk from Mongolia and rural China, which is extracted only during the first six months after cows have already given birth, pasteurized factory milk was found to contain up to 33 times more estrone sulfate.

    Evaluating data from all over the world, a clear link is identified between consumption of such high-hormone milk, and high rates of hormone-dependent cancers. Contrary to what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the conventional milk lobby would have you believe, processed milk from factory farms is not a health product, and is directly implicated in causing cancer.

  4. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Renin and lactase are enzymes necessary to break down and digest milk. They are all but gone by the age of three in most humans. There is an element in all milk known as casein. There is three hundred time more casein in cow’s milk than in human’s milk. That’s for the development of huge bones. Casein coagulates in the stomach and forms large, tough, dense, difficult-to-digest curds that are adapted to the four-stomach digestive apparatus of a cow. Once inside the human system, this thick mass of goo puts a tremendous burden on the body to somehow get rid of it. In other words, a huge amount of energy must be spent in dealing with it. Unfortunately some of this gooey substance hardens and adheres to the lining of the intestines and prevents the absorption of nutrients into the body. Result: lethargy. Also the by-products of milk digestion leave a great deal of toxic mucus in the body. It’s very acidic, and some of it is stored in the body until it can be dealt with at a later time. The next time you are going to dust your home, smear some paste all over everything and see how easy it is to dust. Dairy products do the same to the inside of your body. That translates into more weight instead of weight loss. Casein, by the way, is the base of one of the strongest glues used in woodworking.

  5. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    To know why Drinking Milk Is Rocket Fuel For Cancer please watch

  6. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Some fish lay a staggering amount of eggs. Most eggs are consumed by creatures both large and small. Nature finds a way to allow a mere handful of eggs to survive so that they grow into adults and propagate their species. A human body manufactures protein messengers in much the same way. Proteins are delicate necklaces, composed of different colored beads called amino acids, which occupy assigned places in a string that is the protein.

    When digestive acids and enzymes break down proteins, the amino acids are used as building blocks for the body’s new proteins. When an intact protein is delivered from one part of the body to another, it conveys an unbroken and uninterrupted message. Milk from one mammalian species to its young is the perfectly designed mechanism that delivers lactoferrins and immunoglobulins to that happily receptive infant. Nature’s way is to produce many more proteins than are required. The wisdom of this mechanism takes into account mass destruction. Enough protein messengers survive to exert their intended effects.

    In homogenized milk, an excess of proteins survive digestion. Simple proteins rarely survive digestion in a balanced world. When milk is homogenized, it passes through a fine filter at pressures equal to 4,000 psi, and in so doing, the fat globules (liposomes) are made smaller (micronized) by a factor of ten times or more. These fat molecules become evenly dispersed within the liquid milk.

    Milk is a hormonal delivery system. With homogenization, milk becomes a very powerful and efficient way of bypassing normal digestive processes and delivering steroid and protein hormones to the human body (both the cow’s natural hormones and the ones they were injected with to produce more milk). Through homogenization, fat molecules in milk become smaller and become “capsules” for substances that bypass digestion. Proteins that would normally be digested in the stomach or gut are not broken down, and are absorbed into the bloodstream.

    The homogenization process breaks up an enzyme in milk (xanthine oxidase), which in its altered (smaller) state can enter the bloodstream and react against arterial walls causing the body to protect the area with a layer of cholesterol. These micronized fat globules are much “sharper” than their larger forebearers, and serve to abrade arterial lumen (the innermost linings of these blood vessels). Such chronic irritation triggers a protective mechanism whereby the body plates out cholesterol onto the lumen to protect it from the constant irritation produced by the micronized fat globules. The end result is atherosclerotic plaquing.

    Combined with two other phenomena of our culture – high level consumption of hydrogenized vegetable oils (another source of this intra-lumen plaque) plus the onslaught of refined sugars and flours (which trigger high level bursts of another potent intra-luminal irritant known as insulin) – this unavoidable side-effect of drinking homogenized milk produces the rapid acceleration of cardiovascular disease now routinely seen in young people.

    In theory, proteins are easily broken down by digestive processes. In reality, homogenization insures their survival so that they enter the bloodstream and deliver their messages. Often, the body reacts to foreign proteins by producing histamines, then mucus. And since cow’s milk proteins can resemble a human protein, they can become triggers for autoimmune diseases. Diabetes and multiple sclerosis are two such examples. The rarest of nature’s quirks results after humans consume homogenized cow’s milk. Nature has the best sense of humor, and always finds a way to add exclamation marks to man’s best-punctuated sentences. One milk hormone, the most powerful growth factor in a cow’s body, is identical to the most powerful growth factor in the human body. Hormones make cells grow, and don’t differentiate between normal cells and cancerous cells. We’re not designed to intake hormones; we make all the ones we need.

    Doctors who have an opinion on the subject believe that milk proteins cannot possibly survive digestion. They are wrong. The Connecticut cardiologists Oster & Ross discovered that Bovine Xanthene Oxidase (BXO) survived long enough to compromise every one of three hundred heart attack victims over a five-year period. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) had not been discovered when Oster and Ross made their magnificent observations and conclusions. Bovine Xanthene Oxidase did not set the scientific community on fire. Too many syllables for headline writers. Insulin-like growth factor presents the same problem. Cancer has just two syllables. IGF-I has been identified as the key factor in the growth of every human cancer.

    Homogenized milk, with its added hormones, is rocket fuel for cancer. One day, hopefully, the world will recognize that cow’s milk was never intended for human consumption. We can get all the calcium we need from a healthy, balanced plant-based diet. What we don’t need is all the degenerative disease that dairy products contribute to.

    And if you think that raw, un-pasteurized, un-homogenized milk is a wholesome food, think about this: Even raw un-pasturized cow milk was never a healthful food for humans. It’s only a proper food for baby cows, and even they quit drinking it when they mature. Humans are the only species that “sucks the teats” of other species. Humans’ best food for the first 2 to 4 years is human milk, and after that, even human milk is not proper human food. Plus, the calcium in milk is not well absorbed due to the lack of magnesium, and even when raw, it still contributes to osteoporosis. And even the naturally occurring hormones in milk from cow’s not treated with Bovine Growth Hormone still contribute to cancers.

  7. Senevirath Says:

    well done good ayya

    but our people are brainwashed by doctors and big comp…s


  8. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    The word “Polpala” sprang out at me. I still remember going to my grand parents home and during lunch or dinner time when all the uncles and aunts would be seated for their meal, my Grandfather (a Buddhist and a Buddhist Scholar) would wonder out of his bedroom/office/kitchen to announce to one and all (while he scratched his arm) ‘every one must eat Polpala. It is the most healthiest vegetable”. That is all he would eat, rice and boiled Polpala. while the rest of us had various curries.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    “The time has come for this country’s animal welfare groups and Buddhist and Hindu organizations to probe to probe to what extent the brutal methods of the global dairy farming are being practiced in this country.”

    HINDU organizations?

    NO WAY! They will NEVER join in. They also kill in Munneswaram.

    They know this will lead to a clash with Muslims. So they want the CHINGALAM MODAYAS to do it. Ultimately it will be ONLY Sinhalese who will do this and get the RACIST label from Muslims and even from “modarate” Sinhalese.

    Just forget it. The Saiva Islamic Republic of SL is only Buddhist by name. Animals are tortured and killed in SL to please a HINDU goddess and an ISLAMIC god.

    Look at the SL flag. FIRST green (Islamic), then orange (Hindu). Only thereafter you get the TINY TINY 4 BO LEAVES symbolizing Buddhism!! Electronic version of the flag doesn’t show them like BO LEAVES. Only four triangular specks.

    Someone fooled the people with this flag.

  10. AnuD Says:

    There are hundreds of research papers which say that milk causes allergy and subsequently leads to Asthma. That is when you consume milk regularly. It is not the same with fermented milk such as curd or yogurt. Fermented milk – curd or yogurt are very good for your body.

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