Senator’s Dairy Farm Tour Must Include Slaughterhouse Stop, Says PETA

Pro-Dairy Lawmaker Urged to Bear Witness to Every Part of Milk Production

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Hadley, Mass.

Sen. Joanne M. Comerford, who represents Massachusetts’ Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester district—reportedly an “agvocate” for the dairy industry—plans to visit Longview Farm on June 23, so PETA sent a letter today urging her also to stop by the slaughterhouse where cows used by the farm are sent after their milk production wanes, in order to get a full and accurate impression of everything that dairy entails.

In the letter, PETA points out that cows on dairy farms are forcibly impregnated over and over again and that their beloved babies are taken away from them within hours of birth so that the milk produced specifically to nourish their calves can be sold for humans to consume instead. When the cows’ bodies give out, they’re sent to slaughterhouses, where they’re strung up by one leg and their throats are slit.

“Gentle cows are used as milk-producing machines and slaughtered without a second thought once they’re no longer profitable,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Senator Comerford not to cherry-pick her dairy day activities, as the slaughterhouse is just as much a part of the dairy industry as the farm where these animals are abused throughout their lives.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to Sen. Comerford follows.

June 18, 2019

The Honorable Joanne M. Comerford

Massachusetts Senate

Dear Sen. Comerford,

After learning that you plan to visit Barstow’s Longview Farm next week, I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide—including more than 117,000 in Massachusetts—to suggest that you also visit the slaughterhouse where the cows are sent after their milk production wanes.

It’s something that dairy farmers don’t like to talk about, but cows on “modern” farms are forced to produce so much milk that they typically become worn out by the time they’re just 4 or 5 years old—a fraction of their natural life expectancies—at which point, they’re sent to slaughter. Male calves, who are useless to the dairy industry, are usually slaughtered when they’re just a few months old.

Slaughter is the culmination of a life of exploitation and abuse for cows on dairy farms. They’re forcibly impregnated via violent and invasive artificial insemination—not just once but year after year in order to maximize their milk production.

In nature, calves would drink their mothers’ milk. But that’s not how it works on dairy farms. Because this milk is intended for human consumption, the calves must be deprived of it by being traumatically torn away from their mothers within hours of birth. These babies are also often confined to cramped crates or pens that prevent them from running and playing as they crave to do.

The dairy industry works hard to hide this exploitation behind colorful illustrations of smiling cows, who—against all logic—appear to be begging humans to drink the milk that nature intended for their babies. Please, don’t be fooled by marketing ploys and “white glove” tours. You have an obligation to your constituents to be fully informed, and the slaughterhouse is just as much a part of the dairy industry as the farm is.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

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