Dirty Jobs

Season 3 Episode 27

Dairy Cow Midwife

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Apr 28, 2008 on Discovery Channel

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
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  • An interesting look at the dairy industry and not as horrifying as expected. Mike is fun to watch as always and this show was very informative.

    I normally don't write reviews of individual episodes. As the current editor of Dirty Jobs, I spend enough time writing a synopsis for most of them. However, before seeing this one I had read a review here first and based on that information, I was worried about the squeamishness factor. I have to look away each time I watch CSI, House or ER when they try showing what's going on with the internal organs. Ick. I did figure that the review I read was greatly exaggerated by an animal lover, but waited until I saw the episode to pass judgment on the writer. It was written by someone (named "dirtyjobreview") who registered just to comment on this episode. Seemed fishy. After watching, I'm starting to doubt if this person and I saw the same show!

    I did not see any animal cruelty in this episode. Mike visits a dairy farm run by professionals and we get to see how things work. There is no "hidden footage". Fair Oaks Farms actually gives group tours of their facility and allowed Dirty Jobs to film there. So what exactly are they hiding? This episode simply shows how this farm milks and breeds their cows. Reality isn't always pretty (for animals or humans) and the previous reviewer doesn't seem to understand that. I have to admit that it does disturb me when people treat animals better than their fellow humans. I can't ignore how humans get mistreated on a daily basis. Many of the things done in this episode to the cows does not seem all that much different than things that get done to people. Going to the gynecologist is not fun. Mammograms are not fun. Colonoscopies are not fun. Giving birth is not fun. C-sections are not fun. I've never been artifically inseminated, but I highly doubt that that's fun. I don't expect much of what animals go through is fun either, but that's part of life. The day that I don't have to have invasive (yet medically necessary) procedures done on me is when I'll begin to worry about how much pain an animal is in while it gives birth. I did not see anything particularly disturbing about how these cows were treated. Everything appeared to be done efficiently and safely.

    Contrary to what the other reviewer wrote, the machine the cows were on is not called a "rape rack". That's one thing that shows that the other reviewer did not actually see the episode. It was a milking machine. Nothing cruel about that. It would be more cruel and painful to not milk the cows. The machine actually looked kinda fun. Funny how nothing was mentioned about the blow torch used to clean the udders. That scared me (especially when they let Mike use it), but it didn't appear to bother the cows.

    As for the cow getting a C-section, it did NOT get simply one shot of local anesthetic. It received several - another thing that leads me to believe that the entire show was not seen by the other reviewer. What really bothers me about the condemnation of this part of the episode is that the calf (and probably the mother) would have died had the procedure not been done. It would have been a slow, painful and cruel death for both of them without the C-section. It was a little bloody and I did turn my head, but still not as bad as some dramas on tv. The cow also was not moaning in agony. The only cow that appeared to be in distress was the first cow we saw giving birth. The vet explained that this was the first time for this particular cow so she was just upset and confused - not in pain. I imagine if I suddenly was giving birth and didn't know what was going on, I'd be freaking out too.

    I like animals and would not promote animal cruelty. However, I also like meat and I'm not ashamed to eat meat. I drink milk and I'm not ashamed of that either. I live in a city and can't grow my own food or raise my own animals to live off of. I can't even imagine trying. Does that makes me biased? Maybe. Farms like Fair Oaks help provide millions of consumers like me with the food we need to survive. I have a lot of respect for what the people on this farm were doing. The way it was portrayed actually gave me faith in the ethical treatment of animals in the industry rather than put me against it. I think I would like to be a cow on this farm.

    I don't disrespect vegans for their beliefs and I think it's great that many are standing up for something they strongly believe in. However, I don't appreciate being force-fed (haha) false notions of animal cruelty in an attempt to get me to stop eating meat. Farms that are obviously cruel to their animals should be shut down. If they don't care about the animals, then they don't care about what consumers are being given either. Cruel farms are only in the business for the money and that's where bacteria and horrible diseases like mad cow come into place. On a final note, isn't it funny how vegans don't seem to care that they're killing the plants they eat? How do you think the soybean feels to be killed just for your dinner? Why is that not considered cruelty as well? We might as well not eat at all... :)