That’s what’s for dinner?

I’m sure that most people have seen the recent news about the beef supplier in California and the charges or inhumane treatment of animals. The animals that they were focusing on in the report looked to me like they were dairy cattle that hadn’t been cared for of milked in several days and possibly sick. How did they end up this way, is it part of the life cycle of a dairy cow? I had always thought the beef in the hamburgers that I love was raised for consumption and came mostly from feed lots. Do all cows taste the same even angus beef? Then there are the calves that are raised for veal that are confined in small enclosures in triple digit temperature, how humane is that?

If “it” means being milked then yes, it’s required for dairy cows. Ever been around a nursing woman? Sometimes, “moo” is Cowish for “my boob hurts!”

There are variations in taste and texture, but I understand that they are largely linked to diet and living conditions and that most people can tell the difference between different cuts (i.e., different parts of the cow) or between animals of a different age than between different varieties of cow.

Um, what’s the question here?

Dairy cows that become less productive are used for meat, what else would you do with them? As mentioned by a certain someone McDonalds uses a mix of cuts from both dairy cattle and cattle raised specifically for meat.

If you are concerned with the way the animals are treated that you are eating in your hamburgers - you may want to explore local grass-fed beef options. Feed lots are not exactly optimal conditions for cows - they create bad conditions for the animals and the environment in general.

I’ll answer the GQ that’s buried in there: what’s the end fror a dairy cow?

Once dairy cows reach the end of their productive life, the are slaughtered for meat. This can be due to age or sickness, i.e. inflammation or infection of the udders. Now, those cows are pretty old by beef standards, so the meat is pretty low quality (“canner” or “utility” grade). It won’t end up in your local butcher’s case, but it might end up as pet food or ground up into processed meat.

More information about dairy cow lifecycles: http://www.epa.gov/oecaagct/ag101/dairyphases.html
And more information about beef grading: http://meat.tamu.edu/beefgrading.html

Thank you. My first post. You answered the important one.

You’re quite welcome!

And welcome to the forum. Just so you know, we’re rather picky about what content goes in which forum. GQ is supposed to be for more factual questions, which have concrete answers: “What happens to dairy cows?”. Then we like to keep opinions in IMHO: “I think the meat industry is inhumane!”, and if you want to have an argument go to to GD: “Is the meat industry humane?”.

And while I’m explaining the board, some of the other forums are thus:

Cafe society: “Where can I get myself some tasty and humane beef? Recipes!”
MPSIMS: “I saw a cow today.”
BBQ pit: “Fuck the beef industry! And fuck you for disagreeing with me!”

Elections: “You have two cows…”