Dairy Farming History
Humans have not always consumed another species’ milk. Once childhood was over (which is the time when other mammals quit drinking milk), it wasn’t digested by our ancient ancestors. Even these days, mos adults all over the world do no produce lactase, which is the enzyme needed for digesting lactose, or milk sugar.
However, most Europeans have the gene. The genetic change occurred in homo sapiens about 7,500 years ago. Being able to digest milk without getting sick caused their health to improve, mainly due to two reasons. First of all, communities did not have to rely as much on crops that could potentially fail. Second, they were less likely to be harmed by milk than local contaminated supplies of water.
The co-evolution of dairy farming and milk tolerance have gone hand-in-hand up to this day. There are now 264 million cows at dairy farms around the world. However, nearly 100 percent of individuals with Native American, African, and Asian ancestry become lactose intolerant by the time they are adults. It is more than 70 percent in black communities. People who do consume dairy may experience abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and bloating, and might not know what the cause is. Dairy Equipment Ireland
Dairy Farming Explained
Dairy farming exploits and uses the cow’s reproductive system (and less commonly goats and sheep) to mass-produce milk to sell it for consumption.
So why do humans milk cows instead of whales, moose, or dogs? It doesn’t have anything o do with the suitability or the taste of the product. Cowers are just larger and produce more milk compared to dogs, and they are easier to domesticate than whales or moose. It is just that simple.
How Dairy Farms Work
Cows do not produce milk naturally. Like other mammals, they first must become pregnant. The breast milk produced by their bodies is for feeding their young. Farm cows are made pregnant repeatedly through the use of artificial insemination to ensure continuous production of milk. They are bred selectively for optimal milk yields. This does take a big toll on the cows – lameness, teat infections, and painfully distended udder are all very common occurrences at today’s dairies. However, people are never satisfied. They want to extra every single ounce of milk that they can from every cow. Not even one drop can be spared for the calf that the milk was made for. We want the milk and not the baby. Therefore, the newborns are taken away from their mothers right after birth to prevent them from drinking the milk. This devastating separation causes both the calf and mother to grieve for days like any other child and parent would.
Newborn females make be taken to a hutch and isolated here. They have no comfort for a herd and cannot nuzzle their mothers. Often they are left alone and chained and can only lie down or stand up until they become old enough to impregnate and milk.
Males are obviously unable to produce milk and since they are not the right breed for beef, farmers will not waste any feed on them. They might be raised for veal instead, chained inside of crates so they are permanently weak to produce tender and pale flesh. Or they might be shot on the day they are born.