Greener Pastures

“When the nation’s non-rural citizens—more than 80 percent of the population—picture a dairy farm, they probably picture an idyllic scene: cows scattered along rolling green pastures; a red, hay-filled barn nearby in case the cows need to seek shelter. This scene, however, is far from reality. Instead, three quarters of Canadian farms use the tie-stall system, where cows are chained inside metal pens not much bigger than two phone booths laid down side by side. The remaining quarter of farms house cows in barns, allowing them to move freely in and out of the available stalls—so-called free-stall barns. But Canada currently keeps no data on how long, or even if, Canadian cows spend time outdoors. If you’ve had a glass of milk or a piece of cheese lately, chances are it’s come from a tie-stall cow.”

Mirjam Guesgen – Maisonneuve – June 2018

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