Allow me to share some facts that seem unlikely to be addressed during International Dairy Week.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of ‘bobby calves’ are born on dairy farms, only to be torn from their loving mothers within hours of birth.
Mother cows instantly bond with their babies and often frantically cry out for days after they are taken away. These calves are irreplaceable to their mothers but useless to the dairy industry, so they are sent to markets when they are less than a week old.
On some farms, which can’t make a profit from sending the animals away for sale and slaughter, calves are shot in the head.
Cows on dairy farms are artificially inseminated to ensure that they give birth every 13 months. When their bodies wear out and their milk production wanes, they also are sent to abattoirs, where they are shot in the head with a bolt gun, hung by one leg, have their throats cut and are skinned, gutted and dismembered, often while still conscious.
A cow’s natural lifespan can reach 20 years; cows on dairy farms rarely live longer than seven.
Humans don’t need to drink cows’ milk, and we’re healthier if we don’t. So why not mark International Dairy Week by going dairy-free?
Des Bellamy, PETA Australia, Byron Bay