Cows Destined To Be Killed Are Facing “A Pretty Big Problem” – Wait. What?
If you were to ask me what I thought the biggest problem facing dairy cows was, I would respond saying that – like all animals we use as economic resources – they are treated as property and exploited and killed for unjustifiable and unnecessary purposes. I wouldn’t tell you that the biggest problem they face is “inhumane” treatment, nor would I list off all the various horrific ways in which we routinely use these animals. Indeed, given their status as chattel property, “inhumane” treatment is considered “humane” and “necessary” treatment in the eyes of the law in so far as it provides a human benefit – societal or economic. I would tell you that the biggest problem that dairy cows face (and all other animals), is the denial of their moral personhood through being treated as things. Things with no value other than that granted to them by an owner for their purposes; told when to live, and told when to die.
Dairy cows all end up dead. Around 18 months into their short lives, they are deemed unproductive and loaded on to a lorry destined for the slaughterhouse. Quartz, however, would have you believe that the problem facing dairy cows isn’t that they’re killed at all; it’s that they’re killed prematurely. In an article published on January 11th, our old friend Chase Purdy tells us that half a million Dutch dairy cows have “a pretty big problem.” Farmers use cow manure as fertiliser on farmland, but due so much phosphate-rich manure being spread, the phosphates are seeping through and contaminating the groundwater. Subsequently, one of proposed solutions is to ‘thin the herd’ with a mass cull constituting about a third of the dairy cow population in the Netherlands. Dairy farmers are complaining that they feel “blindsided,” and that a better solution would be to have their feed companies amend the levels of phosphates in their products. The Dutch government are considering offering €25 million to farmers as incentive for the dairy industry to either export or slaughter approximately 200,000 cows.
In the Quartz article, Purdy states that if the Netherlands can’t find a way to manage the manure, the cows will have to be killed in accordance with “European Union environmental rules.” Let’s not kid ourselves into believing that there is any concern here whatsoever for the cows. Whether or not a significant portion of the herd is killed all at once, or whether they’re left to complete their 18 month cycle, they will all be killed. They will live miserable lives, and they will die horrible deaths. Nothing in this decision changes that. The fact that cows are sentient beings with interests, desires and preferences of their own, is utterly irrelevant. They may as well be Marijuana plants on an illegal plantation needing to downsize in order to avoid the feds. Such is the nature of property.
Don’t get duped by the mainstream media into believing that animal interests are being taken seriously. The only way to ensure that future animals aren’t brought into existence in the first place for the sole purpose of being exploited as property, is by going vegan and educating others to go vegan.