Long-time animal lover and vegan Casey Affleck has decided to speak out against the abuse of cows in the dairy industry in a distressing new video. This video shows what happens to cows used for their milk when farmers remove their horns.
“Dehorning”, or “disbudding”, as the process is called when undertaken on younger animals, is routinely endured by cows used for their milk in Australia. As Casey remind us, we almost never see cows on dairy farms with horns – but most are born with tissue that will develop into horns. So how do farmers remove the horns from these animals?
On calves under 2 months of age, whose horns are not yet attached to the front of their skulls, workers will often use a searing-hot iron to burn away the tissue. Knives may also be used to cut this sensitive tissue from the calves’ heads. This is known as “disbudding”.
Once calves have reached 2 months old, their horns will begin to take root in their skulls, and the process, now known as “dehorning”, becomes even more painful and bloody. On older animals, sharp metal scoops are often used to gouge out the horn and the surrounding tissue.
As you can see in the video, cows and calves struggle desperately during these painful procedures, which are regularly undertaken without pain relief. Despite the fact that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has stated that disbudding and dehorning cause “acute pain” and stress and even though studies have been published by the New Zealand Veterinary Journal strongly recommending the use of pain relief for these “painful procedures”, Dairy Australia insists that cows do not need pain relief or anaesthetic for this invasive mutilation.
Dehorning is one of many terribly painful experiences that cows used for their milk are subjected to. They often endure branding, udder infections and lameness as well.
Everyone can help stop these inhumane practices by avoiding cows’ milk, cheese, and other dairy products and instead choosing from the many cruelty-free non-dairy milks, yogurts, cheeses and ice creams available in their local supermarket. So why not follow Casey Affleck’s lead and go vegan today? Remember: animals are simply not ours to eat.
Posted by Ashley Fruno