From Veal Calf to Celebrity: The Extraordinary Life of Samuel

Born on August 21, 2013, Samuel, a calf rescued from the dairy industry, has touched the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

Within just a few hours of birth Samuel and his twin brother were torn from their mother and locked in a tiny veal crate. Confused and frightened, all they could do was listen to the helpless calls of their mother as she cried out to be reunited with them. All around them were more calves just like them.

Twins are not desired by the dairy industry as they are usually smaller and weaker, and in Samuel and his brother’s case it wasn’t worthwhile rearing them until it was time to take them to the slaughterhouse.

Scared and completely unaware of what was going to happen next, Samuel and his brother sat  in their veal crate awaiting their fate, and Gaia Sanctuary had to make the heartbreaking choice between the two as they could only save one of them.

Upon entering their cage, they asked Samuel for forgiveness because they could only take his brother, and in that moment Samuel got up and tried desperately to escape the cage. They took this as a sign of who to save. It seemed like the two bothers had already agreed who would go and who would stay. As they bundled Samuel into the van they reassured him that what was to follow was nothing to be afraid of, and with heavy hearts for all those they had to leave behind, they started on their journey back to the sanctuary.

Watch the story of Samuel’s rescue below:

Samuel, un ternero rescatado de la industria láctea. from Santuario Gaia on Vimeo.

Samuel was in an extremely delicate state on arriving at the sanctuary and all anyone could do was hope and pray that he would pull through, and thankfully with a lot of love and care he did.

Since living at the sanctuary, Samuel has befriended many humans and animals alike, showing us that love knows no species. His story has warmed the hearts of thousands and it’s not hard to see why when you watch this beautiful calf jumping with joy, snuggling by the fire and giving kisses to hens. He has inspired people the world over to give up meat and dairy, becoming somewhat of a celebrity in his home country of Spain, and he even has his own children’s book dedicated to him!

Samuel is lucky to know the warm and loving embrace of his caregivers, to run and play free with his animal friends, to feel the sun on his back and the grass beneath his feet. He will grow old in the company of those that love him deeply and he will never have to be afraid again.

You can help to change the destiny of calves just like Samuel by choosing to reject dairy products and opt for cruelty free alternatives instead. Calves like Samuel are the byproduct of an inhumane and unnecessary industry, and they have to pay the price for our desire to consume their products.

Photo Credit: Gaia Sanctuary


Heather T
Heather T1 years ago

It is so sad that cows are so mistreated.
I have heard cows crying and running to try to find their babied torn away from them shortly after the birth Poor darlings both Mum and babies.
I am 83 and have never eaten veal all my life as could not bear to think of the way they were treated.

Margaret C
Margaret C1 years ago

Too bad they couldn't save his mom, too. He needs a mom, someone just like him.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney3 years ago

Thanks for the great story of Samuel and his rescuer.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney3 years ago

Good on you Samuel and your rescuer.

katherine crook
katherine crook3 years ago

Wonderful poster boy!

Jenna Miles
Jenna Miles3 years ago

Those who consume dairy support veal.

Angie P.
Angie P3 years ago

I hate when people say they love to eat veal and lamb. Wish they could put a face to the food they are eating.

JD She
JD She3 years ago


Paula Lopes
Paula Lopes3 years ago

Wonderful :)