I'm writing in response to a comment about hormones and milk made by Penny Ormsbee in "Fighting Words." While I think it's imperative that we question where our food comes from and how it's made, we should be asking reliable sources before we take any information as truth. I have heard too many ill-informed people say that we shouldn't drink milk because dairy farmers inject cows with hormones. Most likely, these people, Ormsbee included, read an American publication about practices that go on in the U.S. and made conclusions about practices in Canada without talking to a local farmer. In Canada it is illegal to give livestock growth hormones. The real reason dairy cows lactate is because they have calves. They are bred during lactation, go dry for a few weeks, have another calf and then go through the natural cycle all over again. I have lived on a dairy farm all my life and have never heard of or seen anyone injecting their animals with hormones. It is against the law. So please, next time you read something about agricultural practices on the internet or even in a magazine, talk to an actual farmer before you consider yourself informed.
By Chelsea Murray