What does the research say?
Every single day, more than 200 million animals are killed for food around the world and, if you include fish, around 3 billion animals are killed each day. This is neither necessary or sustainable (check out this global clock). Additionally, babies of dairy cows are separated from their mothers within the first 24 hours after birth. The majority of the milk thus enters the food market and not the stomachs of the calves, leaving behind wailing mothers and inconsolable newborn babies. The separation between any mammalian and her infant is an excruciating one. Dairy cows and goats suffer multiple losses, year after year, until they are killed by industry for either their skin (leather) or less common for meat. Their female babies will become dairy cows, enslaved by the system until their deaths. Their male babies often become veal calves, a tortuous and gruesome life of deprivation and violence.The notion that humans are superior, and thus entitled to exploit, use and abuse, and subjugate animals is known as speciesism. Many in the civil rights movement associate speciesism with other forms of prejudice and oppression.
Here are some articles about animal welfare, speciesism, and philosophy.