Her: ''But it's not like drinking their milk harms them or anything is it?''
Me: ''Well I always thought the same as you, but recently I found out the truth. I was surprised too. Cows are constantly kept pregnant, their calves are taken from them at birth and killed for veal. The cows are also sent to slaughter anyway when at around age 4 (normal lifespan is 25) they are so badly damaged and in permanent pain from constant milk production that they can no longer be used.''
Which is honestly, just the tip of the iceberg; I wanted her to know the facts, but was concious of saying too much too soon and coming across as a militant vegan. Which of course I totally am.
Anyway, she didn't believe me. Probably thinking the same thing that I used to think; that vegans are extremists and refuse to use animal products based on some hippy notions that I don't understand, and so make up lies about animal cruelty to get us to join their cult.
''But I thought they were dairy cows?''
''I don't know what you mean by that, they are dairy cows...''
''So then they don't have to keep them pregnant.''
Be aware that this lady is an extremely intelligent, successful, well respected businesswoman, so her thoughts are likely to resemble those of many others. And that what she was saying is that she believes there to be a breed of cow that just gives milk, constantly and painlessly. Forever. Like a milky bottomless well given to the human race as a gift from God.
''There is no such thing as a cow who just gives milk constantly...why would that be a thing?''
''Think about it. They produce milk to feed their newborn calves. If there were no calves, there would be no milk produced.''
I'd said enough, something had resonated at least. She was stirring the milk into her tea and I noticed her face scrunch up a bit. I was dying to quickly tell her about the legally allowed quanitites of pus and blood that goes into milk, but I thought better of it - save that for next time!