Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Life of Dairy Cows, Cow-Friendly Dessert Recipe, & "Ask Amy"

“Dairy cows, like all mammals, need to give birth to produce milk, so they are continually kept pregnant (mostly through artificial insemination). Shortly after birth, the calves are taken away from their mothers. Cows are very maternal animals and this separation is very stressful to both the mother and the calf. Mothers can be heard crying for days for their lost babies.
Male calves are either sold to the veal industry - where they are chained inside a small veal crate without sunlight, alone and afraid, for 14 to 17 weeks before they are slaughtered - or raised for beef. Female calves will either replace their worn-out mothers, or are killed soon after birth for the rennet in their stomachs - a product used in cheese.
Naturally cows can live up to 25 years old, but dairy cows are killed when they are only 5-7 years old - when they start producing less milk. They are sent to slaughter and sold for cheap meat or pet food.” From

“Cows have been known to escape their farms and go searching for their offspring. A farmer in England found one of his dairy cows a full 7 miles from home, suckling her biological calf.”
From “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone

Until last year, it had not really occurred to me that cows only lactate when they are pregnant/have given birth. And I had not stopped to consider how traumatic it must be for a mother and baby to be separated within a day of the baby’s birth. During their short and restrictive lives, dairy cows must endure this agonizing separation again and again, all so we can drink a glass of milk, have a slice of pizza, or eat an ice cream cone.

With that in mind, here’s a recipe that’s sinfully simple and delicious, courtesy of Alicia Silverstone.
Plus, it’s cruelty-free!

Makes 12
½ cup Earth Balance butter (this is a butter-substitute, sold in tubs and sticks in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores)
¾ cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened and unsalted)
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares, crumbled
¼ cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener
1 cup non-dairy chocolate or carob chips
¼ cup soy, rice, or other nut milk
¼ cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts (optional)
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners (If You Care makes unbleached liners made from recycled paper.) Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat.
Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups.
Combine the chocolate and non-dairy milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts if you wish.
Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

"Ask Amy"
You're invited to email your questions about all-things vegan,
and I will answer them weekly:
Here's today's question:

Q: Do you ever miss eating meat?

A: When I first started eating a plant-based diet, I wondered if I'd miss meat. But with each day that I didn't eat meat, I became less and less interested in it. I realized it was probably the fat and salt I craved, rather than the meat itself.
Also, I felt less sluggish eating vegan and performed better athletically than I had when eating as an omnivore. This gave me incentive to keep going. Once I learned about the cruelty of the meat industry, my desire to eat meat vanished completely. Now I can't look at a hamburger or hot dog without thinking about the beautiful creatures killed to produce those.

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