Cow - The film

Lofty1984

Member
Location
Cardiff
I heard the 5-live review yesterday as well- all most depressing and apt to raise one’s blood pressure. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins at Cannes, given that it’s a hot topic that many have opinions about.

It’s more or less a documentary, so most people seeing it will therefore think that it has to be unbiased because it is just presenting real life events. From the sound of it, it is anything but. By anthropomorphising the cow, and focusing on aspects that most people will interpret negatively (apparently there are lots of shots of the cow in dark sheds, no doubt standing in filth, lots of her ‘crying’ when her calf is removed, the ‘monstrous’ milking machines… etc), it will give a highly warped impression of the industry, and the ‘education’ it gives will be specious and misleading. Apparently there is a brief moment when the cow is in a field (they didn’t film much over summer then, huh!, then it’s back to the dark sheds.

I used to quite like Mark Kermode and have enjoyed his highly entertaining film review programs with Simon Mayo. Mark is a pescatarian (veggie but eats fish) and his kids are vegan. In his review, he had clearly drawn the conclusions that you are led to. I thought that his comments at the end of the review were entirely uncalled for- “I really think veganism is the way forward”.
No.
So much for bbc presenters being impartial oh yeah it’s only when it suits
 

GeorgeK

Member
Location
Leicestershire
What if the cow was doing all the things an average person does? Hour or more commute every day, stuck in traffic jams with blood pressure going through the roof. 8 hours in the office bashing a keyboard under fluorescent lights. Few minutes to guzzle down some processed waste with zero nutritional value. Quick shouting match with the wife and kids then collapse into bed till the alarm goes off again at stupid o' clock. Repeat until Alzheimer's. Ah the bliss of modern life.
 

Yale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Maybe they should follow an elderly single person who has health issues,picked up in ambulances,left in the back of them,wheeled into a corridor and left there with no assistance.

Then once admitted neglected by nurses,underfed,the wrong medication and incorrect pain relief at the wrong time.

Discharged back to a damp poorly heated house to struggle with mobility until they eventually fall and break their hip then a one way trip to the hospital.

Maybe life in a dairy herd is not so bad.
 
What if the cow was doing all the things an average person does? Hour or more commute every day, stuck in traffic jams with blood pressure going through the roof. 8 hours in the office bashing a keyboard under fluorescent lights. Few minutes to guzzle down some processed waste with zero nutritional value. Quick shouting match with the wife and kids then collapse into bed till the alarm goes off again at stupid o' clock. Repeat until Alzheimer's. Ah the bliss of modern life.
Well exactly.
It sounds like this documentary is highly biased by presenting mainly aspects of the cow’s life that can be interpreted negatively (sheds, calf taken away, industrial milker etc) while minimising the positive aspects (top vet care, lovely time outside for much of the year etc).
We’ve always had cows and I love them. I don’t doubt their intelligence, their ability to feel pain and distress. I’d be a poor farmer if I didn’t see that. Yes my cows moo at their calves at weaning time and that lasts a couple of days before they go back to being contented. An unbiased film would cover that for about 30 seconds but I bet the sequence in this film goes on for ages.
 
That would be a waste of my time and bile. Most presenters contract their services to the BBC so in theory they are free to express their opinions, so long as they conform to left-wing elite groupthink.

I’ve complained about much more egregious abuses of BBC power and received a fob-off reply. For example later last year when they published the photos, names and addresses of two huntsmen when they were acquitted of all offences, yet they didn’t publish the addresses of the Insulate Britain folks who got convicted and sent to jail.
Hate the BBC!
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
See below:
Well exactly.
It sounds like this documentary is highly biased by presenting mainly aspects of the cow’s life that can be interpreted negatively (sheds, calf taken away, industrial milker etc) while minimising the positive aspects (top vet care, lovely time outside for much of the year etc).
We’ve always had cows and I love them. I don’t doubt their intelligence, their ability to feel pain and distress. I’d be a poor farmer if I didn’t see that. Yes my cows moo at their calves at weaning time and that lasts a couple of days before they go back to being contented. An unbiased film would cover that for about 30 seconds but I bet the sequence in this film goes on for ages.
Add in standing in slurry or on slats and eating a high energy,high protein ration then being culled after 3 or 4 lactations.

Contrast with a typical suckler (and yes,I know, it isn't a fair comparison being a completely different industry that just happens to also use cows).

On the other hand they are kept fed, have veterinary needs met, are free from predators......
 

Bald Rick

Moderator
Livestock Farmer
Location
Anglesey
See below:

Add in standing in slurry or on slats and eating a high energy,high protein ration then being culled after 3 or 4 lactations.

Contrast with a typical suckler (and yes,I know, it isn't a fair comparison being a completely different industry that just happens to also use cows).

On the other hand they are kept fed, have veterinary needs met, are free from predators......

Hmm.

With all due respect, that’s bollox…. Apart from the very high welfare covering all bases
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
Exactly my point about the way it’s edited.
Veganuary seems to have been a bit quiet this year, possibly because there have been several more news worthy stories around this month. Could it also be because they realise that people are getting fed up of them constantly banging on about it? This could be a different way for them to get there message out. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the likes of PETA helped fund it.
That wouldn't have cost a lot to make.
 

Doc

Member
I’ve just watched the trailer.
The biggest problem for you dairy farmers is that your customer and the public in general are so far removed from any idea what is ‘normal’ to you that unless you pitch some balance and steer the narrative it will always be seen negatively.
I don’t understand why dairy marketing doesn’t do this and at least give itself a chance.
 
Location
southwest
See below:

Add in standing in slurry or on slats and eating a high energy,high protein ration then being culled after 3 or 4 lactations.

Contrast with a typical suckler (and yes,I know, it isn't a fair comparison being a completely different industry that just happens to also use cows).

On the other hand they are kept fed, have veterinary needs met, are free from predators......

If I get the chance to come back, I think I'd rather be a Dairy cow than a child born in Syria or the Yemen who probably has a lot shorter like expectancy. Or a British child destined to die of parental neglect or abuse.
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
I heard the 5-live review yesterday as well- all most depressing and apt to raise one’s blood pressure. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins at Cannes, given that it’s a hot topic that many have opinions about.

It’s more or less a documentary, so most people seeing it will therefore think that it has to be unbiased because it is just presenting real life events. From the sound of it, it is anything but. By anthropomorphising the cow, and focusing on aspects that most people will interpret negatively (apparently there are lots of shots of the cow in dark sheds, no doubt standing in filth, lots of her ‘crying’ when her calf is removed, the ‘monstrous’ milking machines… etc), it will give a highly warped impression of the industry, and the ‘education’ it gives will be specious and misleading. Apparently there is a brief moment when the cow is in a field (they didn’t film much over summer then, huh!, then it’s back to the dark sheds.

I used to quite like Mark Kermode and have enjoyed his highly entertaining film review programs with Simon Mayo. Mark is a pescatarian (veggie but eats fish) and his kids are vegan. In his review, he had clearly drawn the conclusions that you are led to. I thought that his comments at the end of the review were entirely uncalled for- “I really think veganism is the way forward”.
No.
My thoughts exactly, which is why I thought I’d start the thread. Kermode is a journalist, albeit music. Like so many he is clearly a lazy one as he isn’t questioning anything he’s watched, just swallowed it hook line and sinker, then making life choices as a result which are unsustainable and more than likely damaging to his health.
Just because it professes to be a documentary doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be checked and questioned.
 

delilah

Member
The biggest problem for you dairy farmers is that your customer and the public in general are so far removed from any idea what is ‘normal’ to you that unless you pitch some balance and steer the narrative it will always be seen negatively.
I don’t understand why dairy marketing doesn’t do this and at least give itself a chance.

There is - supposedly - a chunk of the ELMS budget earmarked for 'public engagement'. Getting coachloads of kids from every school inside the M25 onto a dairy farm with a viewing platform over the parlour would be absolutely the best 'public money for public good' the industry could sign up for.

edit: @Janet Hughes Defra could you tell us where the 'public engagement' bit of ELMS is at please.
 

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