An article in Saturday’s Palm Beach Post about Larson Dairy, one of Florida’s largest dairy farms, included this photo of dozens of young calves, confined individually in small wire hutches covered with a piece of fabric for shade. Why aren’t these calves with their mother? Because humans are drinking her milk!
On large dairy farms, calves are taken from their mother shortly after birth and fed artificially. (Female calves are raised as “replacements” for adult cows who are sent to slaughter when their production declines.) The calves spend the first weeks of their lives cut off almost completely from contact with other cows. Not all calves survive the stressful, unnatural, forced separation from their mother.
When ARFF visited a Florida dairy farm we found one poor calf dead and covered in flies inside a wire hutch. A video of the disturbing scene can be found on ARFF’s YouTube page.
The Palm Beach Post article did include some good news: Milk sales are declining! Among the reasons, “Soy, almond, and rice milks and other alternatives are cutting into market share.”