End Constant Forced Pregnancy that Mutilates Dairy Cows

Target: United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Goal: End the rapid rate of pregnancy that destroys the bodies of dairy cows.

American dairy cows are forced through artificial insemination to have one calf every year. The physical toll this practice takes on their bodies renders them lame after only a few years of life, at which point they are slaughtered. The dairy industry must end this greedy practice and allow dairy cows more humane birthing rates.

The natural lifespan of a cow is about 25 years. After only four or five years of constant pregnancy and milking, the average American dairy cow is sent to the slaughter house, its body lame and useless. During their short, miserable lives, dairy cows are milked so often that dangerous and painful infections of the udders are common. Infections such as mastitis cause agonizing inflammation of the teats, as well as clotted and watery milk that often contains blood.

In addition to the painful and crippling physical effects of chronic pregnancy in these cows, the overproduction of calves is also a serious animal welfare issue. While female calves are kept as dairy cows, males are taken from their mother after birth and either shot, used for meat, or sent to a veal farm. The surpluses of unwanted male calves are doomed for unnecessary suffering and death.

It is our responsibility as a humane and civilized society to end the suffering inflicted on dairy cows. These cows should be allowed a break between birth and artificial insemination. This period will allow the cow to recuperate from the physical demands of birth, as well as allow her udders to recover from constant milking. By signing the petition below, you can ask the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to regulate the birth rates of commercial dairy cows.


Dear Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service,

While a healthy dairy cow has a natural lifespan of 25 years, the dairy cows in the United States last an average of four to five years. This short lifespan is a direct effect of the physically taxing rate of pregnancy required of these helpless animals. It is standard practice that cows are forced to give birth about once a year, a gestation schedule that keeps them constantly milked and constantly pregnant. As a result, the animals are lame and ‘spent’ after a few short years of life. Some die even earlier from painful udder infections, a result of constant milking.

In addition to the pain forced on these cows, the constant pregnancy produces a surplus of unwanted male calves. These infant males are sometimes sold for meat, but more often find themselves on veal farms or simply shot and disposed of.

The dairy farmers of America must be held to a higher standard. Cows need time to recuperate after giving birth, and should be given time off from pregnancy and milking. Please end this abuse by requiring a standard break between birth and artificial insemination of dairy cows.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: schick via morgueFile.

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  1. United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


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