Cruelty Free / Organic Milk and Eggs
Posted by Julie R at 01/09/2013
I am a vegetarian who drinks cow's milk and eats eggs (but no flesh at all). It is easy to buy milk labeled "organic", but I would like other people's opinions on the best milk to buy that is organic AND cruelty free. In otherwords, I want to buy milk that comes from cows who just wander around a pasture all day grazing and smiling. I have been buying Horizon and while it says it's organic and has happy cows, it really doesn't go into specifics on the carton about their treatment of their cows.
Same with eggs. I buy organic eggs from Egglands Best. Some of the cartons have "cage-free" some don't.
I just want to make an informed choice. I don't want to pay double for milk and eggs that really aren't cruelty-free. But, I don't mind paying double if I am assurred they ARE cruelty-free.
Everyone's opinions are welcome. I live in the south Florida area so anyone from Florida who knows the stores here, please feel free to reply.
p.s. For those of you who are going to suggest I drink soy milk and cut out the eggs - I do drink soy sometimes, but I am a cows-milk girl and I don't eat eggs a lot, but I do enjoy them sometimes. I wish I could cut them out of my diet, but I can't. :)
As for eggs, the most cruelty-free you can get is to find someone who has backyard chickens, or better yet rescued chickens, AND raises them like pets. In other words, once they can no longer lay eggs, this person doesn't ship them off for slaughter and instead lets the chickens live out their natural life.
Alternatively, buy Vital Farms eggs. They're sold at Whole Foods. See http://www.vitalfarms.com They'll be the most expensive ones on the shelf, but that's because these hens are truly among the happiest in the world. They have the freedom to forage on organic green pastures under open skies and are raised exclusively on small family farms. It's not just a marketing gimmick. Vital Farms is the real deal.
Eggland's Best, I'm sorry to say, is the worst. They treat their hens so terribly the Humane Society of the United States took action against them. See http://www.prwatch.org/spin/2010/06/9177/egg-lands-worst
You were right to be skeptical of "organic" and "cage-free" eggs. With eggs in the U.S., organic does not mean free range. And free range does not equal humane. Many organic and free-range farms cram thousands of animals together in sheds or mud-filled lots to increase profits, just as factory farms do, and the animals often suffer through the same mutilations—such as debeaking without painkillers—that occur on factory farms.At the end of their sad lives, the animals who don't die on the farm are shipped on trucks through all weather extremes, usually without food, water or rest, to the same slaughterhouses used by factory farms. There they are hung upside-down and their throats are cut, often while they are still conscious and struggling to escape. Some are still conscious when they are forced into the scalding water of the defeathering tanks or when their bodies are hacked apart. I know you didn't want to read about that and I'm sorry to be the one to convey the news.
More info here:
If you want to know how egg labeling got this horribly dysfunction in the U.S., read "Trouble In the Henhouse" here http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-44041791/trouble-in-the-henhouse-the-scam-of-organic-eggs/
Julie R01/12/2013 20:34:24
P.S. to Longdrive - Oh, how I miss Scully & Maulder!!!! :)
Diet For a New America......John Robbins
Mad Cow & Milk Gate.........Virgil Hulse
Milk: The Deadly Poison.....Robert Cohen
The Weaning of America......Don Lutz
Thanks for that good news! Most folks don't even know that milk cows typically go to the same slaughterhouses that beef cattle do, when milk production drops below the maximum profit level.
But I would question whether even humanely treated cows milk is a good idea. All other mammals wean their young from milk at a young age. Humans reject nature's plan and refuse to be weaned, substituting a cow for the human mother. Weaning is an important step in the growth of a mammal into maturity. Some would say that refusing weaning denies maturation, both physically and mentally.
May I humbly suggest my first book, "The Weaning of America".
Yoga Leaf06/27/2014 09:32:11
As for milk, that's a whole other beast. I've been looking for cruelty free but I just don't think it exists. There are farms that will treat their cows well and ensure pasture feelings, but the unfortunate truth is that their lives are only as valuable as for as long as they can be empire ganged and produce milk. It becomes an ethical debate rather than animal welfare. Some farms in Europe still milk only a few cows and deliver unpasteurized milk. That's just incomprehensible in North America. Everything is about money and efficiency more so than how happy and comfortable the animal is. :(
Anyhoo - as to the real point of this thread, so glad to hear you are thinking about cutting out eggs and dairy. I think that's the real end game if we are able. The facts are, there is no such thing as slavery done ethically. Whether you are keeping those slaves for their meat, milk, work or menses, it is still slavery. Just because there's a TV in the cell and a basketball hoop in the yard doesn't mean it's not jail. The question is, are you a veg who believes we are better than and deserve better treatment than our animal companions on this earth or not. If not, you can't compassionately support any industry that treats animals in a way you would not approve for humans. This includes rape farms for cows milk, and convent jails for chicken eggs.
Eggs are very high in cholesterol. At a lecture almost forty years ago, Dr. Jeffrey Bland (PhD in nutrition) told us that more than three eggs per week puts you at risk of too high cholesterol.
i don't know if anyone can live a cruelty-free life if functioning among humans, in this civilization~
i like how someone stated it, that some of us, we're cruelty-lite.
First, where do their 'egg-laying' hens come from? How do they manage to acquire ONLY females? Very few (if any) folks 'keep' an equal number of roosters, strutting around with their egg-laying sisters. Most male chicks are DESTROYED as soon as their gender can be verified.
And, second, what happens when these 'egg-layers' stop producing eggs?
When you understand how much cruelty is involved, you will never again think that you are simply 'taking' an egg that the hens 'don't want'...
Don't be blind to the cruelty that you simply don't 'have' to see.