Author Will Anderson provides a vivid and personal portrayal of his experiences inside an auction house for dairy cows in his new book “This is Hope: Green Vegans and the New Human Ecology.” The following passage comes directly from his book:
“I have gone to livestock auctions and have seen what spent really means. The bleak mental image of spent dairy cows in their pens is something I cannot shake from my mind. They had been moved once again, this time to the auction I attended. Separated from any remaining relationships they may have had with other cows, they were sold by the pound for slaughter. These particular cows were gaunt and obviously malnourished. They were undoubtedly depleted of calcium, caused by so many pregnancies. They looked exhausted, like cast-off objects of our uncaring worldview; they were dispirited inmates with their heads hung very low, as if suffering in their return from losing a war. Spent dairy cows account for 17 percent of the U.S. meat supply.
Less than a hundred feet away were the calves. The skeletal mothers in the auction pens may not have been the ones who gave them life. The auction staff paraded the calves in a semi-circle inside the auction ring as bidders in working attire looked on from the stands. The calves startled at the amplified auctioneer’s voice. Prodded sharply with sticks into and out of the auction ring, many slipped on the sawdust and concrete floor when they made sharp changes in direction as the bewildered do. After auction, they will be trucked to the next indecency. These serial, countless crimes are paid for by the consumers of dairy products.”
“We do not need dairy products. We can release dairy cows and their calves from the hell we have created for them. Our children do not need calves’ milk and they do not deserve to be made into unwitting co-conspirators, consumers of this travesty.”