The dairy industry is so very cruel for so many reasons, one of the main ones being the separation of cows and calves.
In order for cows to produce milk for human consumption they have to be made pregnant and give birth. Calves are usually taken from their mothers within 24 hours of being born (if left alone they can suckle for up to a year) and are either disposed of as “waste”, reared for veal or, if they are female, raised to meet the same fate as their mums.
If given the opportunity, cows and their calves form a bond which can last for their entire lifespan.
Cows are much more intelligent and sensitive than we give them credit for, scientists at Northampton University have found that cows have “best friends” and get stressed when separated.
In Newbury, Massachusetts the police were called over reports of strange/distressing sounds which turned out to be mother cows frantically bellowing for their stolen babies.
Dr. Holly Cheever documented a story where a pregnant cow, knowing that her farmer would take away her baby, gave birth to twins and took only one back to the farmer and tried to keep the other one hidden.
In Sarah Taylor’s research on dairy cows she finds that each time a cow gives birth her levels of oxytocin increase, meaning that with each subsequent birth, a mother cow presumably grows more and more bonded to her calves, and it likely becomes more and more traumatizing each time a calf is taken from her.
Oliver Sacks, MD, visited dairy farms reported that the mother cows who had their babies taken from them would bellow for hours on end even up to six weeks after separation and would dwell at the pen doors where they had last seen their calves.
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare found that after calves are taken away, the mother cows exhibit general signs of distress such as long-range vocalising, increased activity/restlessness, ruminating, sniffing and reduced sleeping.
Scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna found that calves who were separated from their mothers after birth had long-term behavioural issues such as being less sociable as adults and being more stressed when isolated from the herd compared to calves who were allowed to stay with their mums.
In a video by The Gentle Barn, a rescued cow who is reunited with her calf rushed over mooing frantically as soon as she sees her baby and tries to reach it before they’re even on the same side of the fence.
Cows have been known to attack farmers who try and drag their babies away, break separation fences and even escape and wander for miles looking for their babies.
All this for a piece of cheese or a glass of milk that is forgotten as quickly as it is consumed. Please stop paying for this to happen.
KJ Morris was born in Torrington Connecticut and was a graduate of Post University, where she played Division 2 basketball. She lived in Northampton Massachusetts for about 10 years where she worked for both Smith and Amherst Colleges. At Smith she was the evening manager of the campus center. She performed regularly at Diva’s in Northampton as Daddy K.
Her performances at Northampton LGBTQ Pride Festivals were memorable.
Hannah Podbury presented extreme knitting for her final collection at The University of Northampton’s #GFW show. Featuring a conceptual collection of exaggerated chunky yarns, sheer knitted loops and net textures - merged, embellished and draped across simple shapes.
Kirandeep Bassan of The University of Northampton showed a statement set of painterly prints in bold blues, sunny yellow, pumpkin and burnt reds worked across an east meets west fusion silhouette. These standout prints went on to win her the Textiles award at the #GFW Gala.
What uni do you go to? My uni also introduce gender neutral toilets with posters in all of them saying things like 'if you are concerned about the gender of the person using the toilets, don't worry they know better than you' etc. The student bars have also introduced a zero tolerance outlook on all sexual harassment and if anyone is feeling uncomfortable they can tell a member of staff or a security guard which is pretty rad!