An investigation released today by Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) shows horrific cruelty at Texas-based Natural Prairie Dairies—a 25,000-cow organic dairy farm owned by Select Milk Producers Inc., a raw dairy supplier to Kroger. In its first investigation of an organic dairy farm, ARM revealed workers stabbing cows with screwdrivers and hitting them with shovels, allowing them to fall into cesspools to drown, and leaving them tied in uncomfortable positions for prolonged periods of time. Investigators found cows with open flesh wounds, scrapes, and untreated eye infections that were too injured to walk, many laying in squalid, feces-ridden barns with rotten feet. ARM observed the routine practice of cutting “portholes” into cows stomachs to analyze their digestive systems—a mutilation that requires six weeks of recovery that remains on the animal for the duration of his/her life. Untrained workers at the organic dairy farm were also seen force-feeding animals with metal tubes. “The cows of Natural Prairie Dairy live a life of pure misery and torture,” ARM founder Richard Cuoto said. “Beaten, stabbed, and locked down in feces-ridden barns, this is not what consumers imagine when purchasing organic milk and/or cheese. The world has just been schooled on the reality of organic dairy.” 

In June, ARM exposed the cruel truth at Indiana’s Fair Oaks Farms—which produces milk for the Fairlife Corporation, a brand distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. While the farm bills itself as a “humane” facility that treats animals kindly, ARM’s three-month investigation showed workers stabbing, beating, burning, and throwing calves. The investigation also confirmed that calves were sent to slaughter for veal, a practice Fair Oaks previously denied. Upon releasing ARM’s undercover footage, Cuoto explained that the abusive practices his investigators saw were routine and rampant within the dairy industry and were not isolated to a single incident. Together with the most recent investigation, ARM’s footage proves that both “humane” and “organic” claims do not translate to animal well-being. “The only thing that’s going to stop the animal cruelty is literally ending the industry,” Cuoto said in June. “We want people to understand that these cows are being abused because people are buying the products. The buyer is supporting this industry.”

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