The Shocking Truth Behind Goats Milk

The Shocking Truth Behind Goats Milk

More and more people are becoming aware of the unethical practices of the dairy industry and the horrendous realities that millions of cows go through for the production of milk. It’s very easy for us to think that we can simply switch from cow’s milk to goats milk in response to feel better and more ethical about your milk choices

However not all goats milk is ethical and justifiable to drink, in most factory farm facilities when involving farm animals, the only important output to the farmer is the production level. Therefore the animals welfare and standard of life and enjoyment is largely rejected in favor of profitability and production volume

Another thing to be aware of is the false and deceptive advertising used to paint a false picture of high animal welfare products. Brands that sell factory farm products often go out there way to convince consumers that they should feel ethical and happy about buying there high animal welfare products through there packaging of animal characters/mascots and TV advertising strategies

Not every goats milk brand neglects there animals basic rights to roam free on green pastures and have some enjoyment and stimulation in their life. However most are not so generous and compassionate towards there goats that make them thousands of pounds of revenue each year

If you do drink goats milk, be sure to do some extensive research into the ACTUAL animal welfare and not the company’s perception and promises. Below is the standard practice for industrialized goats milk production that supply the major supermarkets     

Common Practices In Goats Milk Factory Farms

Mislabelled Products

Often people think that of goats milk (farming) as a cruelty free cottage industry in the UK, however this is not the case. Most goats farms are industrial sized factory farms similar to cow and dairy farms were production is the number one importance

When profitability and production level is the two parampount factors then any extra cost for animal welfare or veterinary care is neglected and left out to maximise profits for the farmer  

Often goats milk is labelled as “Organic”, “Humanely Raised”, “High Animal Welfare” “RSPCA Approved” and “Free-Range” in an attempt to fool consumers into thinking that animals are well looked after and live a joyful happy life

All of these labels DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN that goats are free from abuse and neglect from farmers workers as they live out their entire life on factory farms. Regulators are often not present on these factory farms and the goats are valuable to abuse and neglect on a regular basis

What Does “Free Range” Really Mean?

Free range means that FOR AT LEAST PART OF THE DAY, animals can roam outdoors, RATHER THAN BEING CONFINED IN AN ENCLOSURE FOR 24 HOURS EACH DAY. On many farms, THE OUTDOORS RANGING AREA IS A VERY SMALL FENCED AREA, thereby technically making this another enclosure

I could not find an accurate length of time that free range (labelled) goats could spend outdoors in fenced enclosures however a lot of this could vary as the “Free-Range” regulators are not constantly present on the farm

There’s no getting away from the fact that goats spend most of their time in milking parlours and large industrial sized warehouses/sheds with concrete walls. There are so many goats that they are very often confined in large spaces with very little room to maneuver, conditions resemble a concentration camp rather than a high animal welfare facility

Milking Procedure

Goats are usually milked twice a day in the milking parlour, goats are milked using huge industrial sized, automated milking machines similar to that of cow’s milk

Goats that are milked often have sores, extended udders, swollen teats and neglected hooves due to lack of care or veterinary care. Goats and often refused any level of cleaning and are kept in dirty warehouse sheds and milking parlours their entire life

Rape, Birth & Separation

The vicious cycle of rape, newborn birth and the separation of mother and child is played out over and over again in goat farms. To keep a steady stream of goats milk, female goats are artificially inseminated. When their child goat is born, it’s snached away from the mother almost immedaitly after birth

This causes great emotional distress to the nanny goats as it would any animal or human being to be separated from your child.  Baby goats are rounded up and put onto a wheelbarrow to be transported to an isolated part of the factory farm

Baby Billy Goats (males) are painfully ear tagged and castrated shortly after their birth, a tight rubber band is fitted around the goats testacles and a ear tag is stapled in their ear. This is done without any pain relief or anastasia, this cause horrendous pain and discomfort for the child goat  

Baby Nanny goats (females) have their horns buds burned out shortly after their birth, it’s so painful that by law it’s legally meant to be done by a vet while the goats under anastasia. However most if not all baby nanny goats are denied any pain relief and go through this pain while fully conscious

After the baby goats have went through that, the baby goats are kept in a separate area (away from their mothers) where they suckle on artificial rubber teats protruding from a concrete wall. They will likely be separated from their mothers their entire life

Baby Nanny (females) goats will have the same fate as their mothers, milked for their short miserable life until they are sent to slaughter after their milk production declines. Alternatively they may die a premature death from illness or disease on the farm, either way their short lives are filled with abuse and neglect

Baby Billy Goats (males) will be either killed shortly after birth or raised and then send to slaughter where they are sold for meat. There is no compassion shown to these animals their entire life, any factory farm facility only looks at the animal as a “unit or object of profit and usefulness” for the famer   

This practice is standard for goats milk which is supplied to all of the major supermarkets which include ASDA, Tesco, Waitrose, Co Op and Morrisons to name the major names of suppliers  

Dirt, Disease & Death

Many goats die from disease while being held at goat factory farms, veterinary care and basic hygiene is neglected to maximise profits for the farmer. For intensively farmed goats the parasitic disease Coccidiosis is common due to the concentration of faeces in confined spaces. It especially effects kids during the stressful separation from their mothers and can lead to diarrhoea, with streaks of blood, followed by severe dehydration and even death

In general, goats are susceptible to many of the same diseases as sheep, such as clostridial diseases, foot-rot, worms, live fluke and external parasites. Milk fever, listeria and pink eye are all more common in housed goats

Goats held on goat factory farms can become infected by Johne’s disease, Johne’s disease in goats is caused by MAP and it can be a problem in all ruminants. In goats, “clinical disease seems to be seen more in large commercial herds and is thought to be initiated by low levels of stress”

Sick and dead goats are tossed into a bundle of other dead goats, they lie there until being thrown onto a trailer truck to be disposed off. The natural life expectancy for goats is between 15 and 18 years but as with dairy cows, life expectancy for dairy goats is rigidly dependent on milk yield and fertility. MANY ARE SENT TO SLAUGHTER AT AROUND SIX YEARS OLD, which is less than half of what they’ve live out in the wild.

On Bromes Farm, Somerset, visited as part of Viva! Campaigns goat farm investigation the farmer recorded each goat’s milk yield and if production was found to drop below 1.1 litres per day she’d be killed for meat

Abuse & Neglect

Goats like so many other factory farm animals are prone to abuse from workers who work on goat milking farm factories, most intensive factory farms have very little care for the animals involved as they see them as a “unit or object of profit and usefulness

Not all goat milking farm factories abuse their goat flocks however there is no compassion shown to these goats, if they become sick they are very often left to die and suffer with no help or empathy shown towards it

Like so many other examples in history, when power over a animal or race is granted, abuse of that power is often exploited and exercised and a dangerous prejudice mindset is practiced against the less powerful

Farmers working at industrial intensified goat milking facilities very often view goats as worthless beings, they become desentized to any suffering goats are going through and treat them as merely as object, and not a living being that can experience suffering like ourselves  

Secret filming from PETA has undercover footage of violent and psychological abuse at a goat milking farm factory in Germany, this is a very common practice I suspect and this case just so happens to have been discovered. But what about the countless other goats going through the same level of violent and psychological abuse that has not been discovered yet all over the world, including the UK 

Fundamentally you have to understand that any supplier that provides for the major supermarkets have a high volume and intensive production facility. These goats experience no enjoyment out of their lives and their life routine is being milked continuously and being left in a concrete holding

That’s no way for an innocent animal to live, abuse comes in different degrees and to assign thousands of goats to a life described above is a case of huge neglect and abuse in an epic proportion. This behaviour is unjustifiable all so human can get there hands on some goats milk when at their local supermarket  

Info link:

Housing and Zero-grazing

It’s becoming more and more common for goat milk farmers to keep their goats under zero grazing facilities, to maximise profits farmers keep their flock of goats imprisoned in large concrete walled areas were goats are refused access to outside pastures

Basis rights to roam free are denied and the goats live their entire life in an industry intensified factory farm, this is a breach of their right to a life. Goats naturally would thriving on tough, mountainous terrains, foraging for food and looking after their young but all of this is denied on goat milk factory farms

Convenience and profitability far outweighs environmental enrichment for the goats, many farmers reasoning that by restricting access to pasture there’s no need to worm the animals. Without licensed goat wormers in the UK farmers are forced to cease milking operations during a seven-day withdrawal period, which ultimately impacts the financial gains of the milking business


Goats are closely monitored on the production level of their milk, similarly to the cow’s milk once the goat milk level drops they are sent to slaughter, killed and sold for meat. On Bromes Farm, Somerset, visited as part of Viva! Campaigns goat farm investigation the farmer recorded each goat’s milk yield and if production was found to drop below 1.1 litres per day she’d be killed for meat

The natural life expectancy for goats is between 15 and 18 years but as with dairy cows, life expectancy for dairy goats is rigidly dependent on milk yield and fertility. Many are sent to slaughter at around six years old, which is less than half of what they’ve live out in the wild.

Market Share & The Level Of Suffering

It is estimated that the UK commercial dairy goat population now stands at around 45,000, with demand predicted to rise by 500%, as more and more people buy into the ‘healthy alternative’ myth perpetuated by the industry

With a greater demand for products comes a greater intensification of goat farming and herds in excess of 2,000 are becoming increasingly common. Goats are increasingly treated more and more like a machine giving birth to more baby goats often producing twins or even triplets

Goats in their ‘natural state’ would typically produce one kid per pregnancy, but as greater intensification increases so does the suffering and productivity of goats

Health Claims

There are health benefits to drinking goats milk vs drinking cows milk, however fundamentally your drinking milk that is biologically designed for little baby goats. Fundamentally there is no need to drink goats milk as the nutritional benefits can be found in a healthy and balanced plant based diet

Health benefits for goats milk are largely exaggerated by the industry to boost sales and overall popularity. It’s largely marketed as an healthier alternative to cow’s milk and to be fair, that what it is. These health include:

Easier to Digest (than Cow’s Milk)

Fewer Allergens and Less Inflammatory (than Cow’s Milk)

High in Calcium

Helps Reduce Cholesterol Levels (More than Cow’s Milk)

Information Link:

Some of these health benefits may sound good on paper, however it seems like it’s more damaged limitations. Goats milk is marketed as a healthier alternative to cow’s milk (which is used to take a small baby calf to a 2000lb’s adult cow), so it’s little surprise that there a reduction in unhealthy nutritional facts as goats are biologically smaller than cow’s

All of the risk (allergens, saturated fats and lactose intolerant) and issues associated with goats and cow’s milk can easily be avoided by converting to a plant based milk. There are no unhealthy benefits to drinking a plant based milk, so why take the risk in the first place?

Plant based milks are usually made out of 100% natural ingredients with no processing chemicals. Additionally plant based milks can be easily made at home whenever it suits you, here is some video for making homemade nut based milks

Alternatively you can read my Vegan Milk Guide blog article here

A Ethical Vision

Resource List:

Close Menu