I only produce milk because I’m a mother, and not just because I’m a cow. I’ve given birth every year for the last four years, but I’ve never been allowed to nurture my babies or spend any time with them. Each year, after carrying my calf for 9 months, I give birth and am filled with joy and happiness and am eager to nurse and care for my new baby, but very soon after, just as I am licking them clean, and they are nuzzling in and beginning to suckle, the farmer comes and takes my baby and I never see them again.
I want to chase after him and I cry out very loudly to show him how upset I am, but he kicks me away and locks me in. My new baby calls out too, and this makes me feel so helpless. I don’t know why this happens, but it hurts so much, and I feel desperate inside.
Life Being Daisy
The industry justifies the practice of early mother- calf separation as they claim it minimises the inevitable agony for both mother and calf (easier on the farmers heart too), ensures the calf’s vulnerable immune system is protected from the risk of infection given the squalid open sewer like conditions of the mother cow is forced to live in, and perhaps most importantly to ensure the maximum milk available for profit and human consumption. It’s definitely not economical to have baby calves suckling and taking all their mother’s milk.
Farmers have used the argument to justify this act of cruelty further, implying that some cows don’t immediately take to their calf and seem indifferent, so without the farmers stepping in the calf would starve. In the rare cases that this might happen like in the human world, it would be described as post-traumatic stress disorder, given that this abused mother cow may be on her third or fourth forced childbirth, mentally and physically exhausted from the trauma she has had to endure, she maybe desensitised and disorientated. Dairy cows are pregnant for most of their working life, they are made pregnant, increasingly by artificial insemination, two months after giving birth as without a new calf their milk would naturally dry up so for profit it’s desirable that they have a calf every year.
Mother to Mother
Dairy is built around the destruction of the mother and child bond. The thing we hold so precious to us as humans is made a mockery of in the dairy industry. The dairy industry is a profit orientated business and the emotions and wellbeing of mother dairy cows is not part of the equation by a long shot. If only dairy cow mothers were just macines; they suffer in ways that can only be equated to torture. If I had my new-born baby stolen from me at birth I’m not sure how I could cope, especially after abduction number three with no hope left. However, dairy cow mothers have to just endure this agony, robbed of the bond they anticipated for nine months, alone, again, no comfort, no explanation, no reprieve, hopeless and left to sit with their intense grief unheard. They are put on high-powered milking machines no sooner than they see their baby calf disappear into the distance. I honestly can not even begin to realise their pain. It’s out of this world.