This week, PETA sent a letter to the Texas Department of Agriculture regarding compensation for losses following winter storm Goliath—which killed more than 30,000 cows used for dairy “products”—and, in it, urges authorities to help farmers make a progressive and farsighted switch away from animal-based agriculture. As PETA notes, the Worldwatch Institute estimates that raising animals for food is responsible for 51 percent of all human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions, which in turn fuel the rise of deadly storms like Goliath.
*This video of cows who were caught in a different blizzard shows how the animals have little protection from the severe snow storm and freezing temperatures.
PETA’s letter to Sid Miller, commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture, follows:
January 4, 2016
Dear Mr. Miller,
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to urge the Department of Agriculture to support farmers affected by winter storm Goliath by doing something with lasting implications for their livelihood, the taxpayers, and the environment. The scientific consensus is that animal-based agriculture is unsustainable in the long run, with its drain on water resources, production of greenhouse gases, and treatment of cows as nothing more than milk-making machines. Rather than compensating farmers with public funds so that they can conduct business as usual, how about helping them transition from raising animals to raising crops?
As climate change worsens, freak storms such as Goliath will surely increase, and raising animals for food is one of the key contributors to the havoc being wreaked on weather systems. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that animal agriculture is responsible for fully 51 percent of all human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions that are warming our world. As for water consumption, it takes an estimated 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of cow’s milk, while it takes just 50 gallons of water to produce a gallon of soy milk.
More and more people are switching to plant-food production for reasons concerning health, the environment, and the cruelty to animals that has been exposed again and again. Cows, who must be kept in a cycle of pregnancy and birth in order to produce milk, are violently inseminated on what the dairy industry itself refers to as a “rape rack.” A mother cow will bellow for her calf for days after the baby is taken from her. After just a fraction of her natural lifespan, the cow will be “spent,” unable to meet milk quotas, and will be forced onto a crowded truck to the slaughterhouse, where, weakened from her existence in a factory-like environment and the traumatic journey in all weather, her legs may buckle beneath her, preventing her from walking to her own death.
Please be forward-thinking by seizing this opportunity to subsidize the end of a disastrous industry and instead sow the seeds of change by supporting the switch to plant-based agriculture now. Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk