Male dairy calves are killed, but why the surprise? People have no right to complain if they don’t inform themselves about food

Comments Off on Male dairy calves are killed, but why the surprise? People have no right to complain if they don’t inform themselves about food

By CLIVE ASLET

I am baffled by the response to the Channel 4 documentary showing the fate of male dairy calves. Why the shock?

What did people think did happen to them? Most of the audience will drink milk. How did they think it was produced?

I agree with one thing: it’s a terrible shame that this massacre of the innocents should take place. In a thrifty society, it wouldn’t.

If you farm animals to eat, you owe it to them – and to your conscience – not to waste the meat they furnish. In my view that includes throwing away food from the fridge which has been allowed to pass its sell-by date: if you buy meat, the least you an do is to make sure you consume it.

We should also make better use of male calves. As I write this, on a train to Kent, I am sipping a cappuccino.

At the outlet in the railway station, I watched the barista carry half a dozen huge plastic containers of milk to the fridge. Milk has become an industrial product.

It bears little relationship to the creamy liquid that froths out of the cow. It’s sold in petrol station and other places that have no obvious connection with food. It’s ubiquitous.

Produce: A female farmer milks a cow. Unfortunately there’s no market for their bobby calves

The retail system has driven down the price to a level where thousands of dairy farmers have had to pack up over recent years. The family farm, as it exists in many people’s imagination, is now a thing of the past. 

Put all these factors together, and it’s hardly surprising that harsh economics and ruthless efficiency have risen above sentiment.

I didn’t see the documentary in question but I bet the farmers on it cared deeply about the welfare of their herds. In a sense, that’s the surprise.

Farmers, despite all the financial pressures that they’re now under, still want to do their best for their animals. They’re as sorry as anyone that there’s no market for their bobby calves. 

In part, this was destroyed by the animal rights brigade. Traditionally, Britain’s male calves were exported to the Continent. Some years ago, campaigners blockaded the ports and put a stop to it.

I wasn’t wholly sorry that they should have done so. The calves often had to travel long distances in dreadful conditions, and were then bred for veal. In order that a wiener schnitzel or Blanquette de veau is the correct order of whiteness, the veal calves are kept in darkness, and fed on milk.

As a consequence, white veal is one of the few things I won’t eat. Where the campaigners were wrong was in failing to establish an alternative destination for the British calves.

Without one, a bolt from a humane killer was the only alternative. Some retailers attempted to establish a taste for pink veal in Britain – veal from young animals which have been allowed to see the outdoors – but it didn’t really take off.

We live in a largely urban society, and unfortunately most town dwellers are too lazy to find out about animals, even when they say they care about them.

Life for many dairy farmers has been made all but impossible by the badger explosion.

We all want to have badgers in the countryside, but when was the last time you saw a hedgehog dead by the side of the road? Squashed hedgehogs were something of a sick joke in the 1970s.

Now, I’m told, hedgehogs are eaten by badgers, along with the eggs of skylarks and other ground nesting birds.

Urbanites hardly think about the consequences of badger preservation on other forms of wildlife, much less the impact on dairy farms. In fact, many of us close our eyes to farming practices altogether.

If consumers choose to exist in a state of wilful ignorance about the production of what they eat, they really don’t have the right to complain at what goes on, when they suddenly find out.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2152608/Baby-calves-shot-C4-documentary-People-right-complain-dont-inform-food.html#ixzz1wRylYCEI

Dancing Cows?

Comments Off on Dancing Cows?

“It’s so true they do, I live 5 minutes away from fields full of cow’s & sheep it’s great to see them frolicking about & also makes me feel great about not eating them. It would be terrible to see our rolling country sides, absent their animals!”

DANCING COWS?

Cows belong in fields. We have known it for a long time. And the cows agree!

In March 2012, we visited a farm in the UK to film cows being released from their indoor winter housing to their fresh pasture for spring and summer grazing.

As you will see from the video below, the cows could not have been happier.

 

Sadly, though, these cows are the lucky ones. Some dairy cows never get to leave the confines of their sheds, but instead are kept indoors all year round in intensive zero-grazing systems.

Cows being released from their indoor winter housing

Zero-grazing is already common in the USA and we do not want to see this practice become commonplace in Europe or anywhere else.

We believe that all cows should be given access to pasture and want to see an end to the practice of zero-grazing.

If you agree that cows belong in fields you can make your voice heard in our poll about the future of dairy farming.

Could you support us with a donation?

Compassion believes that all farm animals – from dairy cows to laying hens – deserve a life worth living. We campaign for legislation and enforcement of existing laws to protect animals; we work with food companies and retailers to champion ethical farming; and we carry out hard-hitting investigations to expose farm animal cruelty.

If you agree that farm animals should be treated with compassion and respect, please consider making a donation today.

Link:- http://www.ciwf.org.uk/farm_animals/cows/dairy_cows/dancing_cows.aspx

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