Your Dairy Meditation

September 3, 2013

Stonyfield zen cow

Grab a cup of Stonyfield, close your eyes and picture this – a patchwork of green fields somewhere in the northernmost part of Vermont dotted with happy black and white Holstein cows – a little calf somewhere among them – lazily nibbling on alfalfa and clover. Can you hear their soft, contented mooing?

Now take a bite. There is just something so delicious about knowing your yogurt comes from the milk of cows living the good life on an organic dairy farm.

One of the questions we get asked about the most is whether our cows are treated humanely. On organic farms, humane animal treatment isn’t an option – it’s a requirement with very real standards that let us know the cows making the milk for our yogurt are being treated right.

Ever wonder what the life of an organic cow entails? Organic standards for dairy cows include:

  • access to the outdoors every day, shade, shelter, exercise areas, fresh air and direct sunlight
  • the majority of their diet comes from grazing pasture during the grazing season—which must be at least 120 days per year
  • appropriate, clean, dry bedding
  • no antibiotics (unless the cow’s life is in jeopardy and they must be used – but then the cow can’t be considered organic anymore)
  • no synthetic growth hormones, and
  • shelter that allows for:
  • natural maintenance, comfort behaviors and exercise;
  • suitable temperatures, ventilation and air circulation; and
  • less of a chance for injury.

Now grab a spoon and go to your happy cow place.