It has been 90 degrees in NYC all week. I’m in my tiny home office, trying desperately to get the cool air from my window air-conditioning unit, which is in my bedroom, to reach my living room. The last thing I want to do is go outside in this heat. You haven’t experienced humidity until you’ve been in New York City in August.
Meanwhile, further downtown, two dairy cows who shouldn’t have been in the city at all were exploited yesterday morning in front of the New York Stock Exchange by a baby formula company called American Dairy, Inc. The two cows were sitting in this gross heat so that people passing by could be misinformed about milk. Ironic, too, that the stunt was devised to promote a baby formula – when it’s the baby cows who won’t be getting any of the natural formula that was intended for them, not for humans. (We are the only species that takes milk from another species.)
I imagine that their cruel and inhumane promotion did not mention the fact that dairy cows are forcibly and repeatedly inseminated so that they produce milk. It probably didn’t mention that these cows need to have just given birth in order to produce it. It is unlikely that this promotion got into the fact that the babies of these dairy cows are immediately ripped away from their mothers upon birth, or that it’s not uncommon for the moms to bellow in desperation for days afterwards. This promotion surely did not mention the fact that the boy calves born to these cows will often end up in the hands of the veal industry, where they will be fed an iron-deficient diet for their short life until they are slaughtered at around just four months old. I’d guess that this promotion did not mention that when the bodies of the dairy cows like the ones who sat roasting in the hot New York City sun are no longer able to produce milk, they will be slaughtered for low-grade beef. It’s also likely that this advertisement didn’t get into the plethora of health complications milk causes for people who drink it.
According to Animal Care and Control and the ASPCA, American Dairy, Inc. had a permit for the cows to be there. It’s truly astonishing what people can get away with when they have a piece of paper stamped “Allowed.” As we know, that does not make it excusable, and that does not mean we can’t make hay about it.
A New York City street is no place for a cow.E-mail American Dairy, Inc. and tell them so. Then e-mail the New York Health Department Commissioner and tell him that permitting cows to sit in the hot sun as a form of advertisement is the same thing as permitting cruelty and deception. And if you buy formula for your baby, make it soy-based.
The other sad irony here is that these particular cows might have had it better than many other farm animals, the vast majority of whom spend their entire days confined in quarters so small that they can’t turn around. The dairy industry is full of inescapable egregious cruelty. When you’re done contacting the offenders who made it possible for two cows to visit the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, boycott dairy.