I am a veteran of watching these animal abuse videos, but even this one is hard to take. The video consists of hidden camera shots of workers in Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio, brutalizing the cows in the facility. The images are deeply troubling. Workers punch calves in the face and kick them in the head. Pitchforks are used to jab various parts of cows. Cows in too much pain to stand (from the savage beating they've endured at the hands of these thugs) are kicked repeatedly. Workers whack cows with crowbars, snap their tails, and they joke about their ability to beat the shit out of (and sometimes kill) innocent, defenseless calves.
Conditions in dairy facilities often leave a lot to be desired, but the ones in Conklin Dairy Farms are particularly brutal. Dr. Bernard Rollin, distinguished professor of animal science at Colorado State University, had a difficult time watching the video and was horrified by what he saw. "This is probably the most gratuitous, sadistic, sustained animal abuse I have ever seen," he said. "The video depicts calculated, deliberate cruelty based not on momentary rage but on taking pleasure through causing pain to cows and calves who are defenseless." (Source.)
Dairy is as brutal as meat. This video shows the day-to-day violence of the factory farm system at its most extreme. In all likelihood, the workers who abused the cows and calves at Conklin are family men - loving husbands and fathers - who aren't earning much money and walking the tightrope to make ends meet. My purpose here is not to dehumanize them. No, my purpose is to show how the factory farm system dehumanizes good people. And make no mistake: It is a system that asks us, the consumers, to look the other way at the shocking treatment of animals.
Even in dairy facilities where workers do not abuse the cows and calves, these poor animals live lives in cold, sterile and unnatural conditions. And when they can no longer give milk, they're not handed a gold watch and allowed to go off and enjoy the sun in some lovely pasture. They meet the same end as all animals in the factory farm system.
So it's not just a matter of ending the abuse at Conklin Dairy Farms in Ohio, although that's a good start. The real goal is to bring a halt to the factory farm system and recognize that we human beings do not have the right to do what we are doing to farm animals.
Going vegan - thereby reducing demand - is a good place to start.