“In NutritionFacts.org‘s video-of-the-day today, I note that the antiseptics used to disinfect cow teats can provide a source of iodine, but have been found to boost the level of pus in the milk of cows with staph-infected udders. Today’s dairy cows endure annual cycles of artificial insemination, pregnancy and birth, and mechanized milking for 10 out of 12 months of the year (including seven months of their 9-month pregnancies). This excessive metabolic drainoverburdens the cows, who are considered “productive” for only two years and are slaughtered for hamburger when their profitability drops, typically around their fourth birthday – a small fraction of their natural lifespan.
Turning dairy cows into milk machines has led to epidemics of so-called “production-related diseases,” such as lameness and mastitis (udder infections), the two leading causes of dairy cow mortality in the United States. We all remember the Humane Society of the United Statesinvestigation showing sick and crippled dairy cows being beaten and dragged into the California dairy cow slaughter plant en route to the national school lunch program, triggering the largest meat recall in history. That loss of body condition is a result of the extreme genetic manipulation for unnaturally high milk yields. Continue reading