As far as milk-producing cows and Western farmers: if you've ever been to a dairy farm, ethically, the conditions are not pretty. Calves are taken from their mothers immediately and placed in dark stalls by themselves. They do not see the light of day for many months. They are isolated. They are eventually fed through bars where food is thrown on the ground. They stick their snouts through the bars to reach the grain. At approximately four months they are allowed outside. The mothers, for their milk, are kept in a constant state of false pregnancy for lactation, to produce milk. This is a dairy cow.
Last summer, I was at a photo shoot at a farm that included dairy cows. One other photographer , along with myself, was a vegan. After seeing and having the conditions explained to all of us, the two of us felt compelled to walk out. We could not bear to look at the one-month-old calves isolated in darkness. To drink cow's milk is a decision that one makes perhaps without realizing the conditions of the animal. There are alternatives, such as hemp, soy, and rice milk instead that can be purchased where no animal is used in under such conditions.
It's a matter of one's personal belief system. Although I wonder if one saw these animals how it would affect them. Especially the newborns in the dark for many months and knowing their future fates.
Interesting point of view. I am lacto-vegetarian, as most part of my people and since in India we consider the cow as a holy animal, conditions regarding milk and dairies production are quite different from what you described.
It is really disgusting to realize that all effort and distress we have to treat them carefully, including the smell of manure in the streets and the traffic difficulties associated are simply... thrown out! Can you imagine their suffering?
I am stunned and I need to reflect a lot about it!
In a second moment I'll think about the perfume testing in animals, it is too much now!