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Don’t Worry, Those Cows Are Just Crying Over the Loss of Their Babies

Don’t Worry, Those Cows Are Just Crying Over the Loss of Their Babies

Strange noises coming from Sunshine Dairy Farm in Newbury, Mass., during the night last week prompted concerned residents to contact police, who in turn told everyone it was nothing to worry about. The noise was just from cows who were grieving the loss of their newborns.

According to Newburyport News, Newbury police Sgt. Patty Fisher said the department received calls over “inhuman” noises coming from the farm, which prompted her to post a message on the police station’s Facebook page:

Residents in the area of Sunshine Dairy Farm may notice loud noises coming from the dairy cows at all hours of the day and night. We’ve been informed that the cows are not in distress and that the noises are a normal part of farming practices.

Fisher stated that the separation of mother cows from their calves is a yearly occurrence and is a normal part of dairy farming. She’s right about it being a standard practice, but saying they were not in distress is dead wrong. For mother cows, having their calves ripped away from them shortly after they’re born is distressing, and it’s exactly why they were crying out.

Something that seems to get overlooked is that in order to produce milk dairy cows have to give birth, but because we steal their milk from them, calves have to be removed.

These little ones are torn from their mothers shortly after being born and are fed milk replacer and calf starter, instead of being allowed to drink their mother’s milk, which is intended solely for them. They won’t otherwise get to enjoy the comforts of being raised and nurtured by their mothers. Instead they’ll spend their first few weeks of life isolated in calf hutches or pens.

The females will likely follow in their mother’s footsteps and will be raised to replace them, while the males are left to face a sadder fate. They’ll likely be sold for veal because they have no other value. Selling calves for veal is nothing more than a way for the dairy industry to make a profit off of what it would otherwise have to deal with as waste. We can boycott veal all we want, but it won’t do any good if dairy products are still being consumed.

For mother cows, after about a year of producing milk, they’ll be impregnated again, and the whole process will start over and be repeated until their bodies are spent. This usually happens when they’re around five — about two decades shy of their normal lifespan – at which point they’ll be sold for slaughter. This is the continuous heartbreak that an estimated 9 million dairy cows in the U.S. face again and again, and it has nothing to do with the size or type of dairy operation they’re kept at, whether it’s a small family farm or a large factory farm.

The only difference here is that the sounds that were so disturbing to residents were heard. Our typical ignorance, or apathy, about the processes involved in milk production is something the dairy industry banks on. It may seem to cause less harm to cows because it’s just a byproduct, but as Gary Francione said, “There’s probably more suffering in a glass of milk than a pound of steak.”

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Photo credit: Compassion in World Farming

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221 comments

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11:08AM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

poor babies ...this kind of milk carries "bad energies " ,we are filling our whole world with "bad energies" that in turn makes us ill ...

4:39AM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

only drink coconut milk :) thanks for sharing

10:32PM PST on Jan 30, 2014

I completely agree Parvez

9:21PM PST on Jan 30, 2014

Very depressing just thought of killing these beautiful animals

12:28PM PST on Nov 30, 2013

Humans with only a few exceptions have earned no right whatsoever to exist on this earth or participate in breathing the oxygen that life forms other than the recently arrived human spent two billion years to make into a breathable mixture for life, much less to indulge in that purely human criminal perversion of "factory farming" (torturing and murdering billions of terrified animals they have mutated into a form that cannot defend themselves from the two legged monstrosities that have infected this earth). What do most humans give back in an exchange to earth's biosphere as animals to .. the answer is NOTHING..overpopulated humans are a cancer that are hellbent on destroying the very biosphere that supports them, and that destruction and extinction would include their unevolved, dumb selves, Any lowlife human who struts around saying his greasy stomach and comfort is worth more than the future of the earth he is involved with destroying is worth less than a microbe.

3:16PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

I never drink milk yet this article still upset me very much. Cows obviously have more emotion than humans. They cry when seperated from their newborns. Yet humans turn a blind eye to profit.

8:17PM PST on Nov 8, 2013

We should get our dairy from humans and see how that works out since they speak English maybe people will hear them :/

8:16PM PST on Nov 8, 2013

We do not need this to survive... I just want to save them all!!!! /Cry

11:44AM PST on Nov 7, 2013

You don't necessarily have to give up dairy altogether. Find a local farmer who raises dairy goats and treats them humanely. Goats aren't as fussy as cows and they don't mind sharing their milk with humans. Cows, on the other hand, won't give up their milk to a human once their calf has nursed after birth. There are lots of great goat creameries that sell their cheeses online too. I wonder why this option wasn't mentioned in the article?

8:40PM PST on Nov 5, 2013

for once 'loud mouth me' is speech less and chagrined.

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