We like our great British countryside don't we? Rolling hills of green, privet hedges and cows grazing the pasture. But imagine the cows and fields were replaced with massive, corrugated sheds instead? Doesn't quite sum up what a day in the country is all about.
But we need to act if we don't want our beautiful landscapes to change in that way, and if we don't want to drink milk from 'battery cows'. That is, cows kept in conditions not dissimilar to the millions of poor hens who suffer terribly in barren battery cages. I definitely don't want that to happen, and it was great to hear of the recent WSPA campaign success when Nocton Dairies had their application turned down (yet again) to install a US-style intensive dairy farm in Lincolnshire.
The threat isn't over though. While Nocton Dairies were unsuccessful on this occasion, they will no doubt try again, and other dairy businesses continue to push towards building intensive dairy farms, such as the proposed Leighton Farm expansion in Wales.
'Mega-dairies' impose terrible suffering upon cows. They are kept not in fields but inside stalls with little room to move, and have no opportunity for natural grazing. They are milked to the extreme, three times a day, and the burden this places on them makes their lives even shorter than dairy cows' lives already are. It isn't just the cows that suffer though, the environmental impact is also significant, with waste polluting local water supplies and causing massive problems.
Dairy cows in the US are already subjected to dreadful suffering through intensive 'mega dairies' - PETA are investigating one currently. We must prevent this from ever being the case in the UK. It must not be that we have to keep campaigning against mega-dairy applications, but that there must be no opportunity for dairies to make the application in the first place, with a forwards-ban on this style of farming in the UK.
I have become part of the WSPA's 'Not in my cuppa' campaign, and part of a small team of people looking to spread the word on this issue, to make sure intensive dairy farms never become part of the UK landscape. We want our cows in fields, not in factory farms (can you imagine looking at huge ugly sheds while driving in the countryside, rather than seeing cows grazing in fields?). I hope after reading this, you'll think the same.
Join the 'Not in my cuppa' campaign and make sure the milk in your tea or coffee never comes from a battery cow.