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This year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. My mother told me how her father took her to vote for the first time and how he made it into a reverent experience of great import. In my generation Martin Luther King Jr. broke down the walls of segregation and his sermons and speeches on equality for all still ring in our ears. As he famously said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Among the social justice issues of our time, and there are many, animal rights stands out as one long overdue. When I walk my dogs now and meet other people with dogs, so many have “rescue dogs” as are mine, and we happily chat about their antics and where they are from. It brings an extra joy to know we were able to save our dear pups and give them a forever home. Part of animal rights is realizing that farmed animals are no different than our companion animals in the sense that they too are individuals with a personality and possessing the same drive to live as we humans.
Southern Florida Farmed Animal Transition Inc. is dedicated to bringing animal rights to farm animals, primarily dairy cows initially, by providing a means of transition from a farmed life to a free life. The majority of people don’t realize that cows need to be pregnant and give birth to have a milk supply just like humans. I think we have not been made aware of this reality in order to conceal that the mother cow’s baby becomes an inconvenient by-product of the industry, since her milk is sold for people to drink. This is why veal was created, and often there are so many babies they simply need to be disposed of. Dairy farmers, like the rest of us, were brought up to believe that we were born to drink milk and that it is normal, natural and necessary. The mother cow’s milk eventually dries up at which point she is inseminated once again, typically artificially, and the cycle is repeated until she is “spent” and sent off to slaughter.