An (un)pleasant childhood memory

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An (un)pleasant childhood memory

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Something's wrong with this...

When I was young I watched a cow get artificially inseminated. What I remember is that the vet came to our house and put on a shoulder length black rubber glove. He lubricated his arm and then stuck it all the way up the cow’s butt. For some reason I can’t remember clearly past that point.

I’ve been somewhat bothered my by imperfect memory, so I’ve been trying to find a description of this process.

This sounds like it could be it:

In the rectovaginal technique a sterile, disposable catheter containing the thawed semen is inserted into the vagina and then guided into the cervix by means of a gloved hand in the rectum. The inseminating catheter is passed through the spiral folds of the cow’s cervix into the uterus. Part of the semen is deposited just inside the uterus and the remainder in the cervix as the catheter is withdrawn. Expulsion of the semen should be accomplished slowly and deliberately to avoid excessive sperm losses in the catheter.

[source: “Artificial Insemination in Dairy Cattle“]

A little more googling resulted in this video.

I’m not sure if this is one of the reasons I eventually adopted a vegan lifestyle, but it probably contributed.

This sort of thing happens to all dairy cows (small farm, large farm, organic, etc), every year, so that they can give birth and continue to produce milk. I guess there’s a little rape in every glass of milk, bite of cheese, or spoonful of yogurt.


Ed Coffin

March 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm

and this just reiterates the fact that dairy is NOT natural!


March 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm

No f-ing kidding!


March 10, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Hahaha yes, something is VERY VERY VERY wrong with that picture.


March 11, 2009 at 9:08 pm

I have been picturing this throughout the week. As a vegetarian who aspires to me vegan (but needs more vegan friends to cook with!), stuff like this motivated me to make different choices.

A little bit of rape in every glass of milk, how true.

Well – Natura soy milk tastes like a milkshake anyway. With zero rape! That’s how they should advertise it.

Amanda Daniell

March 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Hmmm….a little bit of rape in every glass….sounds even better than it did before….Kidding of course 😉

I had no idea what the insemination process was. I have often wondered, but never really wanted to find out bad enough to go and look it up.

I did hear that it was pretty yucky getting the semen from male turkeys. Men in gloves have to go and well you know. I won’t use the word here…but needless to say apparently the Turkeys were very friendly until after their first experience being raped. After that they ran away.

The ugliness never ends in this industry.

Oh right, it’s Easter! | Liberation BC blog

April 10, 2009 at 11:01 am

[…] dairy industry is one of the cruelest animal industries ever. Cows are artificially inseminated so that they will give birth once per year to produce milk. Their calves are taken away […]

5 Vegan Sweet Treats: Taking the “Veg” Out Of Vegan « dawn of a new era

April 23, 2009 at 6:25 pm

[…] 24, 2009 Wanting to make more vegan choices after learning about the brutalities of the dairy and egg industries, but having a hard time giving up the indulgences you’re used […]


December 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I’ve AI’ed many cows and Cows feel no pain from this procedure. Me sticking my arm in the cow’s rectum is much less painful than a 2000 lb bull jumping on the poor cow. Almost every cow I’ve bred has stood perfectly still and in no way was in any disscomfort. I always wear a new glove and use lots of lube on it.


January 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm

FYI, that’s not rape — that’s nature. Rape, by its very definition, means that the victim is non-consenting. Animals simply don’t have the mental capacity to consent or not. In fact, all animals have a biological NEED to reproduce. And sometimes, it doesn’t really matter if the female is willing or not. That’s how NATURE works — put two cows (or horses, or dogs, or cats, or just about any other animal, domestic or not) in a pen together; assuming one is a male and the other is a female in estrus, the male WILL try to mate with her, period. And, for most animal species, he WILL succeed. In fact, some animal species’ reproductive habits are based on nothing but what we humans would think of as “rape”. You think that’s bad, look up how bedbugs reproduce.

My aunt used to run a dairy farm, and I can say from personal experience that all her animals were happy and well-fed. As Jenna, above, said, the process is much more preferred to being mounted by a bull that literally weighs a ton, and may even injure her.


January 1, 2010 at 2:25 pm

So would you rather be impregnated by somebody with a long black glove and semen in a gun or by a member of your own species, of your own volition?


January 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm

If I were a cow, and had a choice I would much rather be impregnated via Artificial Insemination. I’ve witnessed cows bred by a bull and its a very rough process. I also know of cows who have been injured in this process with broken hips and legs. I have never heard of an injury with A.I. As Caitlan said, the bull has one thing on his mind, to get that cow bred as quickly as possible obviously ignoring any sort of cleanliness.

As I say all this, our cows really get better care than us humans at our farm. They are our livlihood. With this said, there is unfortantly a SMALL number of people who dont take such good care of their cattle, but do remember this is only a handful of farms who give the rest of us a bad name. I am glad there are animal rights, and hope this will help these farmers clean up their practices. But please dont punish the rest of us trying to do a good job.


January 24, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Seems to me that you are imposing your own idea of what you would like on that cow. I’ve seen cows mount and they enjoy it and it is the natural thing for them to do. There is nothing even remotely natural about sticking your arm up a cow’s ass just to force a baby on her. You’ve taken away her reproduction and you then take away her baby.

Cows and bulls evolved in such a way that they are able to mate naturally – and you have taken it upon yourself to violate that natural order.

If your cows get better care than the humans, does that mean you kill the people on the farm when they get to be too old to be useful? Do you sell your own offspring? Do you artificially inseminate the teenage girls who live on your farm to get them pregnant and never let them have their own relationships or choose their own mate? Your idea of “care” is a total perversion of the word.


January 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Glenn, we’re all imposing/projecting our views on the cows to arrive at our decisions. You’ve got people saying the cows are fine or indifferent, now you’re left saying they’d like natural sex better?

I’d leave that one.

You do have better points about perpetual pregnancy, meat harvesting.


January 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I’m just saying that we should leave them to as much of their natural life as possible. Saying that artificial insemination is “better” for cows because it means they won’t be mounted by a bull, when that is how they evolved, is just absurd. If we didn’t breed cattle to be extraordinarily heavy to endure the excessive amounts of milk they’ve been bred to produce, then that argument wouldn’t even make any sense. Bestiality is illegal, but sticking your arm up a cow’s ass to artificially inseminate them is not? Either way you are violating them and raping them.

I’m sure we can find ways to really listen to animals and respect their desires and needs, and a first step would be to start leaving them alone and letting them live their own lives.


November 1, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Well dont know about cows, but artificial insemination is much less stressful, safer, and causes less pain for (horses) mares. I A.I. maybe 4 of my mares myself each year and would never let them be bred by a stallion. I had a mare severely injured once by a stallion.
With A.I., its a very controlled situation. The mare is cleaned, I put on a sterile glove, lubricate it and insert my arm with the pipette vaginally into the mare. The only thing not “natural” about it is my arm is going in the mare versus a penis. I inject the semen right where the stallion would, so she has equal chances of begin bred as if he did it, without the possible injury and pain.


August 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I really needed a good picture of cow A.I. for my fantasy football team, and that picture is absolutely perfect. Also, most of you are bunch of douches. I don’t care if you animal lovers decide live a vegan lifestyle, but please don’t try to make the rest of us live under your warped sense of right and wrong.


August 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. It’s nice to see that people who enjoy animal abuse read these posts.

talavera tile

October 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I read people talking about the picture of the cow but I can’t see it. Can anyone send it to me?


August 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I too ai my cows myself, and can re-assure that if done PROPERLY, It causes no discomfort to the cow. But, I’m sure their are some people who dont do it properly and then i would agree, it is RAPE!!! When I AI my “babies”, cows, I dont even need to tie/restrain them in any way, they stand very well just as if a bull was mounting them. If it hurt while i have my arm in breeding them, they sure wouldn’t stand there. Just my thought.

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