Question: I am vegetarian, but I still eat cheese. I have been trying to research the treatment of organic or biodynamic dairy animals. I want to know if they are only milked when they have had calves naturally, or if they treat them the same as intensive dairy farming where they keep impregnating them. I can't seem to find the right information.
Answer: Their is a pervasive misconception among many that organic is synonymous with "cruelty-free". This could not be further from the truth. The practices engaged in by organic dairy farmers are identical to the handling practices of conventional farmers in all important ways. All the organic label is signifying is that the milk is supposed to be hormone and antibiotic free, and that the animal was fed on organic feed. Even the so called "cruelty-free" products are hardly what they claim to be. for dairy and egg products to be produced animals must die. Unfortunately their is no way around the reality of this situation. For this reason vegetarianism is incompatible with the animal rights position, because vegetarians still engage in easily avoidable exploitation and by consuming dairy and eggs condone the killing of the animals they claim to want to accord basic rights to. It is important that we make every attempt to be ethically consistent in our positions and therefore we must become vegan and quit using animal products all together. To fight for the rights of animals wile still willingly participating in the exploitation of animals or condoning their use in any way is effectively shooting yourself and this movement in the foot.