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Dairy's Dark Secret
Posted By Jane

Dairy's Dark Secret

Posted 26 January 2011   by         Permalink | 27 Comments

Tags: dairy, milk, calves, cows, video, campaign, laws, vegan, chocolate

Want to be let in on a secret? Here's one the dairy industry would rather you didn't know...

Pretty bad, right? Can you believe the dairy industry is now quietly trying to make it perfectly legal to deny a bobby calf any feed for 30 hours before he is killed. Even criminals on death row get a last meal!

Outraged? Good! If you want to stop this awful cruelty, then the most important choice you can make is to go dairy-free! It's simple, healthy and as an added bonus, good for the planet! To make things even easier, we've already prepared a dairy-free shopping list for you!

And now it's time to make your voice heard!

  • Click here to tell the dairy industry how much you think their treatment of bobby calves sucks.
  • Then click here to share this video on Facebook and let all your friends in on dairy's dark secret.
  • Then go here to find out how you could win some delicious dairy free chocolates!

And keep an eye out in major papers this week for something else we've got cooking up for this campaign ;)

Personally, I can honestly say that since dropping dairy, I've never gone without. I mean - have you tried a Tofutti Cutie? Heaven! I still drink 'milk', eat 'cheese', chocolate, yoghurt and ice cream but I leave the cows out of it.

Tell me... what's your favourite dairy-free treat?

« The Ad the Dairy Industry Didn't Want You to See     Call me un-Australian, but ... »

Post a Comment   |   

..1 ..1 26 January 2011
My favourite dairy free treat would have to be Sweet William chocolate or So Good icecream. Mmmmm. Going vegan was the best choice I ever made, for myself and the cows.

I've done the action alert, emailed a letter to Animal Health Australia and posted them a letter in the mail. I can't actually believe that people would WANT to starve a baby animal! cry
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Amour Amour 26 January 2011
Les animaux sont nos amis, traitons-les avec respect.
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Smiley Smiley 26 January 2011
I am standing up for all animals all the time.
I run a volunteer animal welfare organisation helping
destitute animals and counselling their owners.
I am a Vegan.
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Glenn Glenn 26 January 2011
Gelativo Mango Sorbet is amaaaaazing!! 42% mango....delish! & no animals needed to suffer to make it!

Watching videos like this just reinforce everything it means for me being vegan
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Nay23 Nay23 26 January 2011
I am so happy that I have raised my children vegan! Watching that video just reinforces the fact that my family is doing the right thing!
Plus I can't get enough of so good icecream!!! Add a big slice of vegan chocolate cake and I am in HEAVEN!!!
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...2 ...2 27 January 2011
Ugh. If my next discussion with my parents about my veganism results in them saying I'm being stupid an should just be vegetarian, I'm showing them this. Then Earthlings.
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Lila Lila 27 January 2011
We must respect animals.And not use cruel methods  on animals to feed humain beings.Maryse Rougé
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jdr jdr 27 January 2011
I watched a video on the cruel methods the middle east used on animals transported to their country and we Australians were calling for better conditions to be introduced
come on Australia lets the BETTER CONDITIONS  START IN OUR OWN BACK YARD  before we start putting pressure on other countrys

cheers judy
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michael3 michael3 27 January 2011
how absolutely terrible for those innocent little calves. to be treated in such a cruel and inhumane way,there is no excuse at all. i could not stand to watch the entire film as it became to sad to watch. they did not deserve to have their poor little lives to have to end like that. no excuse whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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babs babs 28 January 2011
OMG  I hate being human!!!!!!!!  Why oh why must we be so cruel.  I watched this video and from the very begining and to the very end and after I cried even more.  This is just so sad.  Why is your Government not prepared to help stop this mindless slaughter and cruelty??? This is so evil.  Well I for 1 will be going dairy free from now on.  Because it is dipicable.  Those farmers must be treat the same way, and see how they'd like it.  Oh but we can't do that it's not Politicaly correct, plus you'll cauuse outrage with the Human Rights brigade!!!!! WHAT HUMAN RIGHTS , they don't deserve it.  WHat about the rights for those poor calves, they are warm bloodied animals, therefore they deserve respect. They don't ask for much.  If the want the milk so bad, why breed the cow??? Then their precious milk would be safe!!!!!!!! THEY ARE ALL BLOODY GREEDY, FROM THE FARMER TO THE PURCHASER. ashamed2
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Kimberley1 Kimberley1 28 January 2011
Perhaps you could time this a little better. Most of the dairy farmers in Australia are still reeling after the floods and may not recover financially from that. Now this is really kicking them when they are down, I just got off the phone after speaking to a farmer. She was crying. She said they love their animals. She is getting call after call of people questioning the way they treat their calves.So yeah sure, better conditions for animals... a great thing but our farmers need some respect too. They have been feeding this country for a long time now. I understand that bobby calves need protection but farmers do not need hatred directed at them, ever, especially not now.
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Jesse Jesse 28 January 2011
Hi Kimberley, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The timing of this campaign was dependent on the deadline for the public consultation - a date set by the government.

Animals Australia has not directed hatred at anyone with this campaign. We have simply ensured that the public were made aware of the new proposed standards and the consultation period - something that the govt and industry  should have done by now.

Our heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the floods.
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gaz gaz 29 January 2011
hi 2nd part below


                  Bobby Calves  they are just babies

We are Australians we condemn the Japanese for slaughtering whales and dolphins and the Canadians for the slaughter of the baby harp seals, yet we allow these little calves to be butchered for Dairy by-products??? it is wrong and should be stopped we should hang our collective heads in shame!!!These Dairy Farmers are the same ones that hold their hands out in times of trouble and expect the tax payer to help them out I have lost total respect for these people they have no right to be called Australians it is very UN-Australian what they have been allowed to get away with.These baby are the same little animals that we allow our children to cuddle  when the animal nursery comes to our pre-schools!!These People if that is what you can call them should be stopped from doing this barbaric practice and our politicians should stop it immediately let these so call farmers find other ways of keeping the their cows producing milk but stop them from butchering baby calves just to keep the milk flowing (To the Editor Please print this article so people can no the truth Please)
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gaz gaz 29 January 2011
Hi do something like i did fire off this  email below  to any one you think of Politicians TV Shows Eg. A current affair   the 7.39 report  anyone at all i sent this to all of them i hope a a response I HOPE!!!!   I to hate being a human being we are such a cruel being  I had to break up my email as it was to long for 1 comment so i have broken it up into 2

                               Bobby Calves
I write to you in absolute shock i saw an ad in the courier mail last Thursday about Bobby Calves so i followed the links in the  Animals Australia web site and was stunned by what I saw, all Australians should be shocked we Australians allow such a hideous brutal industry  to continue to take away babies and that is all they are is babies some only 5 days old away from their mothers to be slaughtered just days after being born is just not right and should be stopped!!!!!  We are Australians we condemn the Japanese for slaughtering whales and dolphins and the Canadians for the slaughter of the baby harp seals, yet we allow these little calves to be butchered for Dairy by-products??? it is wrong and should be stopped we should hang our collective heads in shame!!!These Dairy Farmers are the same ones that hold their hands out in times of trouble and expect the tax payer to help them out      sad sad sad sad
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Marian Marian 29 January 2011
I'm a dairy farmer because I love the animals and the land, not because I'm greedy, babs (believe me, it's a real challenge to break even). Maggie, nobody wants to starve a baby animal. It's so demoralising to see the comments from a couple of the people here.

Jesse, Animals Australia has not simply been providing a source of balanced information for the public. Go to your home page and re-read this stuff: "The dairy industry enjoys a carefully crafted public image that leaves many consumers with visions of happy animals and green rolling hills. In reality this tenuous image masks a history of animal abuse, which continues unabated due to a lack of public awareness."

Unabated history of animal abuse? That's a horrible thing to say about farmers. It does send a farmer like me a message of hate.

"What dark secret could be lurking in an unassuming glass of milk?" What can I say?

"The dairy industry has long operated under a veil of secrecy. They know that many consumers of milk would find the callous treatment of bobby calves completely unacceptable and rethink their financial support of the industry." I don't know what you mean. There's nothing secretive about what we do. Anyone is welcome here any time. Unfortunately, most urban people don't know any farmers and have lost a feeling for what farming is all about.

I wish organisations like AA and farmers could work together rather than behaving this way.

Wildlife docos make me cry (watch Shamwari on ABC for the news to find out how few baby animals make it to adulthood and are instead devoured by predators or starved to death).

Farm life takes its toll on us as farmers (financially, physically and emotionally) but it does make me very proud to teach my daughter how to do the right thing by creatures and the earth.

It would be lovely if Animals Australia would balance some of its blurb by recognising that Australia's dairy cows - free range, well fed, well regulated, hormone-free - are some of the best cared-for animals in the world.
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ukgaz ukgaz 30 January 2011
poor inocent animals always suffering because of Heartless Human !!!!!!!
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gaz gaz 30 January 2011
Hi this is still churning over inside of me not in my wildest dreams did i ever think that this is being done to these babies JUST to keep the milk flowing?? furious Surely there must be some other way to keep the milk flowing??  What about other countries, what of Sweden and Countries  like that that seem to have a higher moral values what do they do ?? These little calves are just babies!!!!!!!!! how sick a species are we and why has this kind of heinous way to make a living .On the home page of Diary Australia A Man hold a little boy in his arms portraying  some kind of clean great way to make o dollar what a joke that is  why has this subject been not brought out into the open before????  I feel so sad and yet helpless to do something about it ??? why do politicians allow this to happen???    furious furious
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Marian Marian 1 February 2011
Why is it okay to take puppies and kittens away from their mothers to keep us company but not okay to separate calves from their mothers? We leave them with their mothers until they are strong enough to run and have had plenty of colostrum.

The calves don't get carted off by themselves in dark pens, BTW, they live together in large, airy pens of 3 to 6. They have constant access to water and calf muesli and   - whether we can keep them or have to sell them, we feed them colostrum every 24 hours. They thrive on this.

The calves we plan to keep are kept in the pens with fresh sawdust bedding for 10 days until we are sure they are growing at the right rate and don't need any extra TLC.

After that, we let them out into a sheltered grassy paddock with 10 to 30 others of the some age. It really is pretty nice to see and kids who come to visit always ooh and aah over the whole situation. Not what you'd imagine from visiting this website, that's for sure.
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Jesse Jesse 1 February 2011
Hi Marian, thanks for sharing your perspective on this issue.
It sounds like you take an interest in the welfare of your animals. That's nice to hear.

Out of interest, is your dairy farm a large scale operation, or a smaller farm?

I'd also be keen to know, as someone who is cares about the welfare of your animals, what do you think of the new proposed standard to permit calves to be off feed for 30hrs before slaughter?
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Marian Marian 1 February 2011
Hi Jesse,

Yes, we love all our animals, whether they are dogs, horses, cows or calves - we live with them, after all, and appreciate all their own unique personalities.

Our farm is almost perfectly average, according to industry statistics. We milk 250 to 260 cows on 500 acres without irrigation in Gippsland and the farm has been in the family since the 1920s.

I think the most critical thing is that the calves are sent when they are strong enough to run about and have adequate access to water.

As I mentioned above, our own calves do extraordinarily well and behave very contentedly on a 24 hour feed cycle at that age.

So, I think the bottom line is that, strictly so long as they get fed 4 litres of colostrum (which is incredibly rich and sustaining) before they leave the farm and get regular access to water so they don't get dehydrated, they can cope with 30 hours off feed without suffering.

I couldn't put my name to that as anything other than an absolute maximum though.

As an aside, I'm grateful for your polite question on what is a very emotional topic.

I respect AA for asking questions and challenging the status quo but have been dismayed by some of the nasty stuff written about farmers - particularly in the comments that follow one of the other blog postings on this site.

It makes me feel sick to be branded cruel, a "low life", "disgusting" and so on. I'm not and neither are any of the other dairy farmers I know. Given the ferocity of the personal attacks we're being subjected to, it's not surprising that so many farmers have so little to say. I've encouraged other farmers to post some comments but they don't believe anyone is prepared to listen.

Why can't the debate be more positive so that farmers can be less afraid to join the discussion?
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Caty Caty 6 February 2011
Hi, I'm new to this site.
Marion, a farmer has written about the excellent treatment of her animals, which I'm sure is so, but the  concern I have is the need to send 5 day old calves away to be slaughtered.
Why can't they be allowed to graze for 6 mths before they are sold - all new life should be able to expect that much.  How can an animal be made to produce offspring & never allowed to experience motherhood? How can the newborns be loaded onto trucks & as the video showed us, some actually stumbling - such a heartbreaking scene, as they begin their final journey?
If we continue to turn a blind eye to what is obviously occurring, we belittle ourselves as human beings. Our family consumes good quality cows, goats & sheep products, but unless I can find reputable sources, we will not buy anymore dairy products.  I've found 1 reliable, humane goat dairy so far.
When making enquiries, I'm always sensitive towards the farmer I'm addressing, but the dairy farmers need to accept that we, firstly as human beings & secondly as consumers do genuinely have the right to question.
I've cried many tears over these 'accepted' practises in the dairy industry & I'm hoping to find a cow dairy which does not have 'bobby calves'. I do appreciate that there is not enough pasture on some farms, but if this is the case, I suggest the dairy needs to operate on a smaller scale.
I read somewhere that 'in each glass of milk is a little meat' & that is sometimes the case.
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Kels Kels 12 February 2011
How can people be so selfish and blind? If anyone can look at this video and not cry or feel something then they aren't human. I'm ashamed of my species
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Pegs Pegs 25 February 2011
Yeah, ever since I've seen that, I've stuck to Soy milk!
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valda valda 12 March 2011
Marian ,if only all farmers were like you,unfortunately they are not ,we have seen the videos how some of the calves are treated,they are just babies ,it is so cruel ,then there are the ones that are kept for veal,confined to a pen ,they can't turn around ,or lay down ,their muscles kept flabby so as the meat will be tender,how any one can eat baby animals I can't understand,baby pigs,lambs,goats etc.their death and way of dying is just horrible ,whether it is the cruel Hallal ,having their throats cut ,laying dying in agony in their own blood or the equally horrible 'stunning'hit on the head with great force with some object,we humans are so inhumane to the animals.yes I am vegetarian .
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DLB53 DLB53 10 June 2011
I can't watch the footage - it breaks my heart, but in one week I've given up meat and dairy products. I won't be part of this and it shocks me that I've never thought about the "by-products" of milk production - the bobby calves.
Just awful...I don't have the answers, they'll always be a market for milk and meat, but this week has been so upsetting, I'm making some major changes to my diet and I plan to support these campaigns. I've switched my brain onto animal welfare, better late than never...
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Moo Moo Moo Moo 10 June 2011
Im glad Im lactose intolerant I sorta help the cows cry
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Eloka Eloka 3 December 2013
I know this is old but I have to say this.

Marian why should we be positive?

The whole industry has lied to us, over and over again! Why should we spare your feelings when farmers have not only hidden the truth from us but fabricated it? Where are the farmers feelings for the animals? Where were the farmers feelings for the consumers?

In WHAT way is it ethical to:

Continuously and forcibly impregnate an animal?
Make her give birth every year?
Steal a mothers baby?
Steal the milk for her baby?
So that an industry of abuse and slaughter can thrive?
They are left with debilitating mastitis and from the painful swelling that results in lameness in the cows?
After the mothers bodies are "spent" they are also slaughtered usually after 5 years, a cow's natural lifespan is 25 years?
When it isn't even a necessity?

Is that the ethics of the farmers?

I am very sorry you don't like people being upset at being lied to or at people finding out that animals are being treated
like fodder, but the simple fact is Marion, you engage in that behaviour, if you don't want people to be mad at you for it, don't engage in it. Simple.

Why is it different for dogs and cats? Because they aren't given
to their new families until they are weaned, and they aren't stolen from their mothers then slaughtered like waste.

Farmers want compassion? Well they will get as much compassion as they show other living beings from me.
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