A recent interview in The Washington Post with the renowned animal welfare specialist leaves many in dairy circles with unanswered questions.
With all due respect to Temple Grandin, and the research she has done to improve the lives of farm animals, her quotes in a recent popular media report left me questioning her intentions.
Titled "Why a top animal science expert is worried about the milk industry," the report ran last Thursday in The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.
According to the report, the main beef (pun intended) Grandin has with the dairy industry right now is that we’re using selective breeding to create hyperproductive dairy cows, with little regard for cows’ well-being.
If you haven’t had a chance to read the story yet, I understand. Maybe, like me, you’d rather be out caring for your cows instead of addressing inaccurate reporting. Here’s the quote that really made me wonder:
"I call them the bad dairies," Grandin said. "They make up most of the farms in the United States, and their cows are so wrecked by the time they stop milking they can barely be used for beef."
Grandin defines “bad dairies” as the ones that use selective breeding to increase cow size and milk production, at the expense of cow health.
My first thought was, “Really? Did she just say that?” No dairy farm I know, mine included, is in the business of wrecking cows. On the contrary, we put all of our time and energy into creating the best life possible for our cows.
Then, I was left with several questions.
[Read the rest here – in the HD Notebook at Hoard's Dairyman.]