The overarching assumption in Joanna Blythman’s anthropomorphic article on “free range” milk (1 March) is that it’s better for cows to graze on pasture than be kept, milked and fed in a closed environment.

That grazing is more “natural” (and so better) is a silly assumption. None of our domesticated beasts have led a “natural” life for thousands of years now and are evolved into creatures that are as dependent on us and our care as we are on them. If we use as a measure of “happiness” or “contentedness” the milk-yield of each cow and its susceptibility to illness, indoor husbandry wins hands down over traditional farming every time. “Cows belong in fields” may have an emotional appeal – but in a world of daft slogans it is surely one of the daftest.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change