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Cows

When ever someone tells me that-- cows have to be milked and domesticated and the people have to drink the milk or all the cows will become overpopulated and die-- i am like huh??? I have no clue what this means and i want to know this isn't true

I have no idea either, but I do know there was a time when cows existed in the wild and they seemed to get by fine without human domestication.

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It is my understanding that milk production in cows naturally declines as the calves grow.  It is common dairy practice to impregnate the cows when this starts to happen in order to keep milk production up (as well as make more cows).  Now I could be mistaken, but it seems like humans are responsible for increasing the cattle population faster than it would increase on its own in nature.  Of course, humans are turning around and eating them too, which keeps the numbers in check, but nature has its own ways of keeping things in check: carrying capacity, predator-prey relationships...

It's a bogus argument to say we have to milk them.  We wouldn't have to milk them if we didn't make so many of them, IMO.

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i think i kind of get it now thanks!

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Also, if one would consider "why" cows have milk in the first place (same reason humans do--to feed their babies), then you wouldn't have people saying things like cows HAVE to be milked; if this were true, then all (female) mammals would need regular "milking" and that is just B.S.  ::)

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Skinny Bitch has a chapter that explains this concept in easy to understand language.

Basically the dairy industry keeps the cows impregnated to keep the milk flowing and in order to keep cows pregnant most of the time like that, they also have to give them hormones or something icky as well... it's a vicious cycle that the dairy industry perpetuates to make more money.

As I said, Skinny Bitch says it better, I'm paraphrasing, and not all that well!

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We took the boys to a small "working farm" in our town, essentially its a glorified petting farm. But as far as I can see the animals are really well cared for.  One of the horses died of natural causes at 18(?), after living most of his life on the farm, and it made the local paper and kids were crying and the adults were sad because they'd gone to see this animal as kids. 

Anyhoo, my question...  They have a milking demonstration and the lady doing the milking said they couldn't give the milk to the calf "as is" (I think she said they water it down or scoop off the heavy cream part) because it was too rich and would give the calf diarrhea and she would eventually get dehydrated and die?  I was kinda puzzled by this.  Anyone  have any experience with cows?

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When ever someone tells me that-- cows have to be milked and domesticated and the people have to drink the milk or all the cows will become overpopulated and die-- i am like huh??? I have no clue what this means and i want to know this isn't true

i get that all of the time!

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We took the boys to a small "working farm" in our town, essentially its a glorified petting farm. But as far as I can see the animals are really well cared for.  One of the horses died of natural causes at 18(?), after living most of his life on the farm, and it made the local paper and kids were crying and the adults were sad because they'd gone to see this animal as kids. 

Anyhoo, my question...  They have a milking demonstration and the lady doing the milking said they couldn't give the milk to the calf "as is" (I think she said they water it down or scoop off the heavy cream part) because it was too rich and would give the calf diarrhea and she would eventually get dehydrated and die?   I was kinda puzzled by this.  Anyone  have any experience with cows?

Uuuhhhh, that makes no sense whatsoever! Cow milk is made for cow babies and there should be no need to 'dilute' it. On a beef ranch, cows are kept in big pastures and babies are kept with their mama's for several months until they are weaned and sold. Those babies drink their mama's milk straight from the teet -- no little 'dilution fairies' covering all those acres as far as I know. Calves can get sick and get diarrhea through viral type diseases that sort of make their way through the herd, though. Just like humans pass around germs, I guess.

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We took the boys to a small "working farm" in our town, essentially its a glorified petting farm. But as far as I can see the animals are really well cared for.  One of the horses died of natural causes at 18(?), after living most of his life on the farm, and it made the local paper and kids were crying and the adults were sad because they'd gone to see this animal as kids. 

Anyhoo, my question...  They have a milking demonstration and the lady doing the milking said they couldn't give the milk to the calf "as is" (I think she said they water it down or scoop off the heavy cream part) because it was too rich and would give the calf diarrhea and she would eventually get dehydrated and die?   I was kinda puzzled by this.  Anyone  have any experience with cows?

I am purely speculating here so anyone can totally tell me I'm wrong--but you said on the farm the animals seem very well taken care of--is it possible their vet recommeded this type of diluted milk for some health reason or another--maybe they initially did have the calf drink stright from mommy, but then had gastro problems? Could the baby be lactos intollerant?  Just my guess  :P

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Maybe its because something they are giving the mom cow is making her milk "richer" than what it normally would be. OR the calf cannot digest something they are giving the mom (thinking of lactose intolerant babies here, where if mom eats dairy the baby gets a belly ache) OR The calf never was given the rich milk from the start and therefore its system didn't develop naturally to digest it.

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Drat!! Can't get the quote thing to work!
"It is my understanding that milk production in cows naturally declines as the calves grow."

True. Back in the "olden days" cows "ran dry" after the calf got about so old. Women also stop producing as much breastmilk after a certain time. It was due to the amazing (! take that as you like) technomedical advances that included hormones etc. that cows are "kept fresh" so much longer these days.

I also agree that probably this hormonal treatment along with "enriched" feeds and vitamins and antibiotics and all the other junque they give the momma cow is what makes the milk "too rich" or at least indigestible to the calf. Indeed, at least in Europe they get the calf off the momma as quickly as possible and onto diluted milk with all those "enrichments"...even "powdered colostrum". I think in reality they want the creamy first milk for the marketplace...

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