Do you want the opinion of someone who actually knows what they are talking about? If not, please feel free to ignore!
Here are the facts:
-Yes, male calves are raised for veal. They are harvested at around 6 mos. of age (~300 lbs.) Not really babies.
-Yes, the cows end up dead in the long run. Just like everything else in this world. The reason for selling cattle is not usually that they are worn out. Usually there are young productive heifers coming in to take the place of the older cows. Our oldest cow is 14 and still kicking.
-Yes, cows are bred to calve every 13 months (no less, it's hard enough to get 13). With good nutrition available, cows would naturally calve every spring. (That 2-3 year thing is for Indian water buffalo who live in a region with poor forages.)
- Yes, The calves should be removed immediatly after birth to avoid disease contaminations such as Jones, Lukosis, E. coli infections, Scepticemia, Staphs and Steps, etc. The calves don't care at all and the mothers don't stress after the move has been completed. I know this, I take calves away all the time and tuck them in their new beds where I become mommy.
-Yes cows are artifically inseminated. It takes 2 seconds. It does not hurt them. Cows are not like humans. They come into heat every 21 days until bred. The scream and rant around and cause a big rucous until bred. They do not choose to have babies or not. Their bodies tell them what to do.
-Cows are not pumped full of chemicals or whatever nonsense. There is a protein hormone given to some cows during the middle third of lactation but many farmers are stopping that practice. If you buy milk from Smith's, Krogers, anyone who gets milk from Dairy Farmers of America Co-op, Turkey Hill, etc.; it was produced from farms not giving rBST. Cows may be given antibiotics if they are sick. There are no anitibiotics in your milk. Every drop is tested.
Organic milk is NOT more humane. This is an all too common misconception. The basic differences are the cows are allowed out a few hours a day and cows cannot be treated with antibiotics when they are sick. These sick cows suffer until they die or are sold to market. Herbal remedies only help the cows immune system battle the bug. They don't get rid of the bug. For example, Coliform mastitis will kill the cow unless treated with strong antibiotics. Bacterial pneumonia will kill calves unless treated with antibiotics. There is no way around it. I have worked on an organic farm and have seen the needless death first hand. (In Denmark, organic farms are allowed to use antibiotics because it is more welfare friendly than to let them suffer.)
My cows are content. They get to sleep, eat, and drink all they want. That is what cows really love. They are not given rBST. They are given antibiotics when absolutely needed. They are well cared for. As my boss says, "the cows come first, they are our bread and butter."
Take the truth and make your own choice. I know cows very well and I think they are in no harm.
B.S. in Agriculture--Animal Science (dairy)
Herd Manager of 170 cows
Worked on both conventional and organic dairies