<\body> Stories in America: How are 'organic' cows and chickens treated?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

How are 'organic' cows and chickens treated?

A woman on one of my vegan lists was considering dairy products again...until she received this response from an 'organic' milk and egg company about the treatment of cows and chickens:
Your concerns about the humane treatment of our animals is very
important, and a high priority to us as well.

Our dairy cows produce milk for 7-10 years. When they no longer produce milk, they are sold at auction; the same is true for male calves. Some are sold to petting farms, or 4H clubs, and some are raised for beef. Since they are organic cows, if they go to beef they will most likely be sold to organic beef ranchers and continued to be raised under humane, organic standards.

The calves are separated from the mothers soon after birth. They are fed their mother's milk with a bottle for 4 months until they are weaned. Since! they do need to be separated for a dairy farm to run, we feel it may be less difficult to do this before bonding happens. Also, the most common way for disease to spread is from the calf, so separating them allows us to monitor the calves' health before she has contact with other cows.

Our chickens are cage free and live in large well ventilated chicken houses. They have fresh air, certified organic vegetarian feed and plenty of fresh water. The houses have ramps that lead outside into large fenced yards where the chickens can scratch in the dirt and just be chickens. We do not debeak them or clip their wings.

2 Comments:

At 7/14/2007 5:54 PM, Anonymous lee said...

At least they're honest...but it does make you say ick.

 
At 7/15/2007 8:26 PM, Anonymous john bachir said...

Hi. Why do you put organic in quotes? I agree that for people with certain ideological attitudes toward the treatment of animals (including me), it's not ideal for the cows to be sold to arbitrary parties after they are done producing milk. But that is not required for organic products, and I think that's an important and valid distinction in the food industry.

As far as I know there is no popular 3rd-party verification process for treating animals humanely. I would be interested to see if there is one, and if they have standards regarding to whom the animals can be sold.

 

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