One New York university’s Women’s and Gender Studies program has published a paper that insists that milking cows is comparable to “sexual abuse,” “emotional trauma related to pregnancy,” and “nonconsensual hormone treatments,” according to Celine Ryan, writing for Campus Reform.
The paper, “Readying the Rape Rack: Feminism and the Exploitation of Non-Human Reproductive Systems,” was included in Dissenting Voices, published and edited by the Women’s and Gender Studies program at the College at Brockport State University of New York.
Ryan notes that the author, an intern for Brockport’s Women’s Studies Department, asserts that she must discuss the “under-researched” “feminist aspects of animal agriculture,” adding, “the same way women’s health has been at stake for years, a dairy cow’s reproductive system has been poked and prodded.”
The author writes, “Throughout our lives, we are offered an idealized image of dairy cows where these animals graze on beautiful pastures, have room to sow and play, and are comforted in spacious areas in which to sleep. We are presented with images of a life well lived, but when it comes to the deaths of those same animals, the picture perfect story comes to a grim reality.”
The paper continues, “The outdated stereotype about women being caretakers and most importantly child bearers remains consistent in the dairy industry, especially when we take into account the means through which these animals are exploited. A few brief examples include rape or sexual assault, nonconsensual hormone treatments, and emotional trauma related to pregnancy. Dairy cows are forcibly impregnated, or raped, in order to constantly produce milk for humans to consume.
More: “The dairy industry is a host for sexbased discrimination. It is a site where sexual assault and objectification based on biological makeup are highly prevalent but ignored as we choose to neglect non-humans with whom we share a planet.”
The author concludes, “While we fight against the sexual abuse of women, why are we still allowing the same treatment to be thrust upon other living bodies when there are other, more sustainable ways to live that do not involve harming millions of female bodies? With simple lifestyle changes that promote reproductive justice towards animals available to many, why are we picking and choosing which pots of capitalism, sexism, and patriarchy to stir, when we could dismantle it all?”
In response to Milk Life campaigns that were run since the 2016 Olympics featuring athletes from Team USA, an anti-dairy commercial was aired during the closing ceremonies of the 2018 South Korea Olympics. Swtitch 4 Good made the commercial, which showed various former Olympic athletes asserting that they had decided to renounce eating dairy products, with comments such as “I got stronger,” “to take back my life” or “run faster.” Six athletes who participated were Kendrick Farris, USA, weightlifter, Rebecca Soni, USA, six time medalist in swimming, Malachi Davis, Great Britain, track and field sprinter, Kara Lang, Canada, soccer, Dotsie Bausch, USA, silver medalist in pursuit cycling, and Seba Johnson, Virgin Islands, alpine skier.
The ad concluded with athletes saying “they don’t drink cow’s milk” and “they are proud to be dairy free.”