Last week, the Newbury, Massachusetts police station received several calls from residents complaining of strange sounds coming from nearby farm. Upon investigating, the police found the source of the noise: female dairy cows who were bellowing and crying after having been separated from their calves at Sunshine Dairy Farm.
According to the Newburyport News, the police received so many calls from concerned citizens, the sheriff issued a statement addressing the issue: “We’ve been informed that the cows are not in distress and that the noises are a normal part of farming practices.”
Sadly, it’s true that the practice of taking newborn calves away from their mothers is standard in the dairy industry. However, to suggest that these mother cows, whose sad cries were heard throughout the community, are not in distress is very far from the truth.
Like us, mother cows form strong bonds with their young. If given the opportunity, she and calf will even remain companions for life. The forced separation on factory farms causes cows and calves an incredible amount of pain and grief. Cows have even been known to try hiding their calves from farm workers, or making incredible escapes to try to reach their stolen calves.
Cody Carlson, a former undercover investigator and COK legal intern, recounted that seeing calves being taken from their mothers was a heart-breaking experience he witnessed while working undercover:
“It’s a tough experience for the mother cows. I saw a few return to the spot where they gave birth for days afterward and look in the direction where the calf was dragged off, bellowing helplessly. I’ll never forget one that kept looking at the shed, then at me, each time bellowing dramatically at me in a way that seemed to say, “HEEELLLPP!!”‘
Thankfully, we can help these cows — first, by choosing dairy-free options instead, such as soy or almond milk. And second, by sharing this information with our friends and family while introducing them to vegan foods Start today by visiting TryVeg.com.