Realise this is an oldish thread, but what the hell! Can't resist adding my pennies worth.
the way cows are treated is digusting, they dont get to keep there babies - Actually that's just dairy cows that don't keep their calves, beef cattle do keep their calves, that's why they're called suckler cows. So if you buy good-quality beef from a local butcher the chances are that animal will have stayed with its mother for months and months.
The dairy calves that are taken away from their mothers are kept in groups with other calves, and for the most part are fed cows milk, not powdered replacement milk (unlike many human babies FFS!) In the summer they are usually kept in grass fields, and in the winter in open-plan barns. They really do enjoy life!!
Male calves are usually not killed now, they are kept and fattened as the price of beef is high.
chickens only live for 72 weeks before they're considered useless and male chicks are killed. Well, male chicks to be grown for meat are not killed, only the ones which are hatched for egg-laying. Yes, this is not good (commercially it is not viable to do it in any other way), but if you felt strongly about this you could buy your eggs and meat from a small-holding or hobby chicken-keeper, who would as likely as not keep the male chicks until they were of an age to go in the freezer, even if they were an egg-laying variety rather than a meat-variety. In fact many smallholders prefer 'duel-purpose' varieties of chicken so there is no waste.
My philosophy is to respect the animal and make sure that its life is very enjoyable from beginning to end - i.e. free range, organic diet, social (other animals of the same variety to hang out with), and enjoy the meat on my plate all the more because of the fab life its had.
To ensure high welfare, buy organic, or from a smallholding.
Not a veggie or vegan and (sorry!) no intention of being one ... But I couldn't be a vegetarian and still use dairy products ...what did you think happened to the male calves???? And cows have to calf every two years to keep producing milk...50% of calves destined to die - normally shot at a few days old for dog food because meat is so cheap (we are prepared to spend so little) and cows have been so specifically bred to be either dairy or beef that it isn't worth fattening the male diary calves up for meat ...even veal. And the price of milk doesn't help either... (Grandparents had dairy farm ...sold 30+ yrs ago - even then they were trying cross breeding dairy/beef to solve the male calf 'problem'...before meat was relatively more expensive they could sell them to beef farmers -now farmers really can't afford to reduce their milk output/produce smaller beef carcasses by even trying this ....) Same with male chicks (gassed at birth) ...
I was aware of it but reading the details is one of the reasons I became veggie and then vegan. I am no longer either but very rarely eat meat and then, only meat that I have bought directly from local farmers.
I also have big concerns about the impact on the environment. I tend to live by the 'an it harm none, do what the will' rede... eating chicken does hurt someone/thing so I won't eat them.
No, you are not the only one. I only made the connexion at about your age! I feel so stupid, but we are brainwashed to think it's all happy happy. It's far from it. I have been vegan for a long time. Once you know, you can't unknow! If you want any support, feel free to ask here, or PM me.
I feel rather stupid that at 24 years old (ive been vege since 4) i have only just found out that the way cows are treated is digusting, they dont get to keep there babies and if they have a male its killed or raised for veel, and chickens only live for 72 weeks before theyre considered useless and male chicks are killed. How could i not have known this, i stupidly thought they lived happily on a farm and we had there spare milk, what an idiot! Am i the only one who didnt know about this?