In the dairy industry, literally millions live in housing that is not natural, they are in confinement, their baby’s are taken from them, their tails are docked without pain medication, they do not always get adequate care and in many places the treatment they receive is horrific.
These social creatures are looked at as commodities, therefore they are treated below what most believe are humane standards. They are impregnated every year and within hours will be detached from their offspring. After continuous impregnation and milking most dairy cows are deemed as spent after 5 years and then sent to slaughter. If given the opportunity cattle can live a life span of twenty five years or longer. Cows are social animals and develop very close bonds and family relationships just like humans.
Dairy industry statistics
- “In the U.S., more than 29 million cows suffer and die in the meat and dairy industries every year.”(1)
- “The number of milk cows in the United States is approximately 9.4 million.” (2)
- “Of the 9 million dairy cows in the U.S., 3 million are slaughtered each year at only a fraction of their natural lifespan.” (3)
- Females born into the dairy industry will become dairy cows while male calves are seen as byproducts and either get slaughtered straight away or become veal meat. “About 700,000 veal calves are slaughtered in the United States annually…at up to three weeks of age and from…around 16-18 weeks.” (4)
Below is a story from our Caregiver Jenny Chambers that we wanted to share with you about a Mom and her baby on a dairy farm.
“Allie had 10 babies taken from her & was milked for 10 years before rescued.. …
by Jenny Chambers
She had carried her baby for the whole 9 months in anticipation and the day had finally arrived for her to welcome a new life into the world. The bond is immediate and she’s hit with an overwhelming sense of love and devotion. She wasn’t sure she could ever feel that way again, not after the last time, but gazing into the eyes of her newborn baby girl, she knew she would do anything she could to protect her. She prayed that her perfect daughter wouldn’t have the same upbringing she’d had and she prayed even harder that her perfect daughter wouldn’t meet the same fate as her last baby.
About a year ago, she had given birth to a baby boy and she loved him more than anything. Those first few days of motherhood had been the most rewarding days she’d ever experienced. She would comfort him when he cried, keep him warm when he got cold and spent hours just watching him sleep, folded up as small as he could get. So angelic. So peaceful. So innocent.
She’d been just getting into her stride when it came to being a mother, three days of paradise and it seemed like becoming a mum had made up for her own traumatic childhood. In those three days, she forgot about all of it; the way she had been callously taken from her own mother, when she herself was a baby; how she had been completely powerless against her captors as they’d beaten her. And yet, in that moment, it all had a purpose and as she looked down upon this child of her very own, it had all been worth it.
Evan was seen as a ‘byproduct’ of the dairy industry before rescued.
Her elation had been short lived. She’d tried to ignore the way her mind wondered to what her captors would do with her newborn son. He was hers, not theirs. But when they came in, that third day, nothing could have prepared her for the heartbreak. Her whole world collapsed around her and there was nothing she could have done to stop it. She’d begged and pleaded for them not to take her baby but they grabbed hold of him and tore him away. No tenderness. No kindness. No warmth. She reached the devastating realisation that she was completely at their mercy… and these people had no mercy. She cried for days, not knowing where her baby was, whether he was ok, whether she would ever see him again. By the time her tears had run dry and her heart had hurt so much she wondered how it was still beating, she knew she would never see her son again.
So here she was, just a short year later with a beautiful baby girl. She was relishing in motherhood once again and vowed never to let her captors take her away. She had a plan this time and she was putting all her faith into the plan working. The plan had to work. So when her captors came, she was ready. There were two of them but the unconditional love she was feeling for her baby girl had translated into the strength of thousands and she wasn’t going to let anything or anyone get in her way. She stood still at first, panicked, as one of her captors eyeballed her baby. As soon as he took his first step towards her, she ran straight at him, with all the force she could conjure up but before her bowed down head had the chance to strike, an indescribable pain shot through her legs and she fell to the floor. She tried perilously to get back up as she watched that man take ahold of her baby, with the same disregard witnessed just a year before. As she tried to find her feet and make another attempt, the captor, not holding her baby, hit her with the metal pole again. He did it with such force it made her whole body shake, so much so, she could see stars. He hit her again… and again. She could see blood, her own blood, splattering against the walls yet all she could think about was getting her baby back so she could protect her, console her. It was no use. And in the blink of an eye, her baby was gone. They had left her with nothing all over again. The pain she endured from the beating was nothing in comparison to the pain she felt inside, failing her baby again. She’d been wrong when she’d thought she could never feel as heartbroken, as when her son was stolen. That feeling hit her like a freight train. She couldn’t help wondering why. Why were they doing this to her? She had never done anything to them. Yet they had taken her from her mother when she’d needed her the most and now, they were ripping her babies from her, over and over again. No remorse. No compassion. No feeling. What was it all for? The beatings… The rape… The kidnapping…
As she sunk deeper into an impenetrable depression, the days of crying passed by, one at a time, not getting any easier. She called out for hours and hours for her daughter but no one was listening. She was gone. Her captors would come and go, blatantly ignoring her desperate cries as they forcibly hook her up to an invasive, painful machine and take the milk that was meant for her baby.
— Jenny Chambers
If you were moved by any part of this piece, please know that you can help all farmed animals.
Here are some examples:
- Try vegan / plant-based meals. If you don’t know where to start, please ask us as we have delicious recipes and easy tips!
- You can be an advocate for animal rights by writing your local legislators to help farmed animals live better lives. There are many bills and petitions to sign. Legislation helps to ensure lasting results.
- Explore online for cruelty-free products.
- Support farmed animal sanctuaries.
Together we can make compassionate impactful choices.
Would you like to be a part of the sanctuary community? Sign up for our newsletter, write to us, share our sanctuary with others, volunteer or make a donation.
the JP Farm Animal Sanctuary family ❤️
- PETA, n.d., Cows used for food, 23 February 2021, <https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/cows/>.
- United States Department of Agriculture 2021, All Cattle and Calves inventory: United States, 23 February 2021, <https://www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/printable/2021/01-29-2021.pdf>.
- Capps, A., 2014, 10 Dairy Facts the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know, viewed 23 February 2021, <https://freefromharm.org/dairyfacts/>.
- Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, n.d., Calves for veal, 25 February 2021, <https://woodstocksanctuary.org/learn/animals-used-for-food/veal/#:~:text=About%20700%2C000%20veal%20calves%20are,slaughtered%20around%2016%2D18%20weeks>.
Share the goodness, for goodness sake …. 😉
JP Farm Animal Sanctuary is a nonprofit, tax-exempt. 501(c)(3) corporation (EIN 83-1674833)
More Moo! news and other happenings
Stay up-to-date with all the happenings on the farm.
See how our furry friends spend their days and never miss a story.
we love to share the joy
follow us around
Happy National Pig Day!
Each year on March 1st, sanctuaries and their supporters celebrate National Pig Day […]
Love and Kindness like Wildflowers this Valentine’s Day
At JP Farm Animal Sanctuary, love and kindness spreads like wildflowers. […]
The Gift of Sanctuary
Ronald the turkey, or Ronnie for short, is an important member of the JP family. […]
Join our newsletter!