New South Wales, Australia
October 9, 2017
There are reports that New Zealand dairy farmers are ‘jumpy,’ expecting that abuse of bobby calves will surface again as it has in many recent exposés, including “The Price of Milk” earlier this year.
They should be. It’s calving season, and people who care about justice more than profits are watching.
Every year, New Zealand’s almost five million dairy cows give birth to more than two million ‘bobby calves,’ who are torn from their mothers within hours of birth and killed, often extremely violently.
Worth little to the dairy farmer, bobby calves often do not receive even basic care. Because they are not intended to live long, they usually receive only one meal a day. They are also fed milk replacer instead of their own mother’s milk, since farmers want to sell that. After about four days, the youngsters are crammed onto trucks and transported, often over long distances, to face a terrifying and painful slaughter.
Mother cows instantly bond with their babies and often frantically cry out for days after they are taken away. I grew up on a dairy farm, and the memories of the stricken cries of the mother cows still haunt me.
Humans don’t need to drink cows’ milk, and we’re healthier if we don’t. With so many delicious, dairy-free milks on the market, why not choose healthy and humane plant-based milks instead?
Desmond Bellamy is Special Projects Coordinator at PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals based in New South Wales, Australia.