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“Fact, not fancy”: Male Infanticide in the dairy industry

Indian families prefer sons to daughters. Finding out the gender of an unborn baby is thus illegal. Abortion is also restricted by law. Yet surprisingly, talks and news of a girl child being aborted or abandoned get surfaced plenty of times. Similarly, it is illegal to kill a calf in India – a place where the cow is considered as a sacred element and worshipped by the majority. Yet male calves are starved to death or are abandoned! Why? Just because they are commercially not viable. There is no doubt that the milk production cum consumption and male infanticide go hand in hand, as if directly proportional.

Thorough investigations and researches have led us to the conclusion that times have changed. Our milk no longer comes from cows reared on agricultural fields, or from the breed of cattle that plough the land, but from dairies where exotic species are bred solely for the purpose of higher milk yields. To brief, dairies in India treat cows as inanimate milk-producers. They are kept constantly pregnant through artificial insemination and spend their lives battling diseases on concrete floors.

It isn’t that more cattle will not be slaughtered if we stop consuming milk. But a fall in demand for milk will surely result in less milch cows and lesser calves having to suffer the atrocities. Moreover, the consumers can lead healthier lives by avoiding excess antibiotic-laden milk products. Isn’t it a win-win?

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