This summer, the first cows from Germany, Netherlands and Hungary were flown to Qatar. In the dessert, the cows are supposed to serve the country’s milk industry and self-supply. During our visit, we have to think of the term ‘Animal Machines’ by Ruth Harrison.
The animals seem to be well cared for. The large farm is well managed and the workers handle them kindly. They are accommodated in large, air-conditioned halls. Everything is quite clean. The animals stand on a light sand-floor.
Some cows are rather skinny and some are lame. Maybe due to transport or the change of environment. The milking parlor is located outside. After milking, the cows are visibly exhausted and breathe heavily.
But worst is that they lead a totally unnatural life here. Cows love temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees, green pastures and some drizzle. But this they will never experience again. In their halls, everything is grey in grey with no bird’s twittering, no wind and no green. Only the air condition’s depressing noise.
Our résumé: The management strives to keep the animals healthy and productive and they certainly have a better life than in some tie-stall in Germany. But they don’t have a cow’s life either. They are being degraded to ‘Animal Machines’.