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Please go vegan and stop the process of dehorning

May 7, 2013
Animals Are Worth Saving

Animals Are Worth Saving

Please note that this is a welfarist issue, which is typically contrary to Our Compass’s philosophy: people should not just stop dehorning cattle, they should stop using cattle completely, period. I thought, however, that this alert was important to raise the issue of the necessity of veganism, which can, at times, take steps, rather than just an all-out change. See action below from Animals Are Worth Saving.


Many people are surprised to learn that nearly all cows used for milk are born with tissue that will develop into horns. That’s because most farmers remove the sensitive horn tissue or the horns themselves from the cows’ skulls using searing-hot irons, caustic chemicals, blades, or hand saws.

Animals often struggle violently and have to be restrained manually or in a head bail (a metal apparatus for restraining a cow by the neck) during the painful dehorning process, which is frequently performed without anesthetics or painkillers and results in severe pain that lasts for hours and can become chronic.

This procedure is extremely traumatic to young calves, who are often just a few weeks old when their horn buds are burned or cut out of their heads. Older cows fare even worse. Dehorning in mature cattle usually requires amputation of the horn, which has already attached itself to the skull. Tools used for this procedure include saws, sharp wires, or gruesome guillotine dehorners, which also slice off the surrounding skin. Horn removal in older animals can lead to post-operative problems of hemorrhage, tissue necrosis, bone fracture, sinusitis, and even death. The wound caused by this amputation can take three months or more to heal.

Farmers are fully aware that dehorning is painful, and it is up to the industry to phase out this excruciating mutilation. One simple solution is to breed for naturally hornless cows. A single gene determines whether or not a cow will have horns, and this approach has proved effective in the beef industry.

However, the easiest and most effective way for consumers to save cows from the misery of factory farms is to stop buying cow’s milk and other dairy products and choose instead from the dozens of vegan milks, cheeses, yogurts, coffee creamers, and ice creams available in grocery stores. Browse PETA’s website for hundreds of free vegan recipes, and pledge to be vegan today!

If you are not already vegan, please watch this two-minute video



To California Pizza Kitchen, G.J. Hart President, CEO, and Executive Chair:

I was shocked to hear that California Pizza Kitchen refuses to address the issue of dehorning by your cheese suppliers.
Casey Affleck Exposes Mutilation of Cows in Dairy Industry
Cow Dehorning

Your company has learned about the cruelty of burning hot irons into calves’ heads or gouging developing horns out of their skulls as well as the proven solution of breeding for naturally hornless, or “polled,” cows.

Instead, young calves fight back in pain and fear as their horns are painfully removed.

I won’t eat at California Pizza Kitchen and will tell all my friends and family to do the same until CPK takes action to stop this unnecessary suffering.

Thank you for taking the time to read this urgent appeal.


we are cows,
we need our horns,
please stop abusing us
and stop regarding us
with scorn.
we live on a planet
here together,
we were born to be
not to human menus,
sadly tethered.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

5 Comments leave one →
  1. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    May 7, 2013 1:39 pm

    we are cows,
    we need our horns,
    please stop abusing us
    and stop regarding us
    with scorn.
    we live on a planet
    here together,
    we were born to be
    not to human menus,
    sadly tethered.


  2. May 7, 2013 2:57 pm

    Great poem Karen! I only hope seeing this dehorning makes people think more about what they are putting into their mouths and on their plates the bottomline is if you are eating meat and dairy then YOU are part of the cruelty and part of the problem


  3. January 21, 2019 4:55 am

    i am a proud meat eater and the vegan way is not my life style



  1. Ryan Gosling Wants Cruel Cattle Dehorning Phased Out From PETA | Save Animals Today

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