Two mums in NZ proved recently just how far they were willing to go to protect their babies, pushing and even biting a man that threatened them. Oh, did I mention that these mums were cows?? Find out more...
To summarise: a farmer tried to separate calves from their mums ... but the mums fought back to protect their babies! It's a good thing those cows didn't know "MOO Thai"!! Man, I love puns.
Like most mums, cows form very strong bonds with their young. One study suggested that this bond is formed within 5 minutes of giving birth! After birth the mum licks her calf all over, in a process that helps her learn the sight and smell of her baby. If they are separated, the mum will bellow frantically, and the calves appear frightened and confused.
Unfortunately, the separation of mum and baby happens on dairy farms all the time. See what happens right here in Australia for yourself. WARNING: this isn't easy to watch.
A TV show in England recently caused an uproar by showing the horrible truth, too - right during prime-time.
WARNING: this clip is really sad too :(
In Australia every year, over 700,000 bobby calves are killed as "waste products" of the dairy industry. Some are shot, but the majority are taken from their mothers and put onto trucks with other calves, bound for the slaughterhouse. There they will be killed ... after being alive for less than a week. That's the secret the dairy industry would rather you didn't know.
If you want to take action for bobby calves and their grieving mums - it's easy. You can simply ditch dairy.Delicious alternatives are in supermarkets and delis everywhere - milks, chocolates, yoghurts and icecreams. Have fun exploring and finding your fave!
p.s. my pick for best non-dairy ice-cream: Coco Luscious. Prove me wrong by telling me your pick below!
Herbie the bull is living what I would say is my dream life. He gets to run around outside on the grass all day ... and play with a ball. If you thought dogs were the only animals that loved playing with toys, then check out the love affair Herbie is having with his new ball!
Just like cats and dogs, cows have their own individual personalities. Rosamund Young (author of The Secret Lives of Cows), points out that cows "can be highly intelligent, moderately so, or slow to understand; friendly, considerate, aggressive, docile, inventive, dull, proud, or shy." They form friendships with other cows, and mother cows form strong bonds with their calves.
You may be wondering, "Where do the calves go? Do they get a ball like Herbie?" As much as that would make my day, the reality couldn't be any more different. After separation, the mother and the calf will cry out for each other for days but their chances of a reunion are next to none. Most calves will be killed as a "waste-product" of the dairy industry at just 5 days old. This includes all male calves because they can't produce milk, and any young females not needed to restock the herd of milking cows. Every year in Australia, 700,000 calves are killed like this as part of the system that puts milk and cheese on supermarket shelves.
Not a "feel-good" kinda story is it? The good news for you and for cows though, is that there are alternatives to dairy available in supermarkets and delis across Australia. So Good ice-cream, Tofutti Cuties, oat milk, and Notzarella cheese are all items you can sub into the fridge to replace dairy products. And those are just my faves. Not only do they taste good, they also help save cows and their calves from suffering. That's win-win for everyone!
When it comes to milk, are you Team Oat or Team Soy (or even Team Rice)? And what about desserts - So Good or Tofutti? Tell all in the comments below!
!Easter is just around the corner. If you're as loco for cocoa as me, you're probably already drooling over the idea of a long weekend devouring chocolate. But we couldn't wait that long... We're getting into the spirit of Easter early and are giving away a delicious cruelty-free Easter pack to one Unleashed member now. Read on to find out how this lucky person could be you ;)
While Easter can be a sweet deal for us, it's often a sour deal for animals. But it doesn't have to be. By going dairy-free you can be sure to have an awesome Easter while also being sweet to animals.
Most Aussies don't realise that over 700,000 dairy calves (called 'bobby calves') are killed as 'waste products' in the dairy industry every year. But going dairy-free means chocolate doesn't have to be a death sentence for dairy calves.
You might even be surprised how easy ditching dairy can be. Not only is there a great range of dairy-free chocolates in most supermarkets, we've got the (dairy-free)-cream of the crop in the Unleashed shop, to make it super-easy for you to get the perfect prezzies to put on your own wishlist this Easter!. Check out these goodies:
How amazing are they! And what's even more amazing is you could score one of these for free. Just tell us who you'd most like to share dairy-free chocolate with and why. Leave a comment below, and the best answer will score an 'Easter Chicken Gift Pack', including 2 delicious bonvita rice milk egg packs and an adorable chick adoption.
You know the dairy industry is on the defensive when they stop trying to sing the praises of their product and just scrape the bottom of the barrel for reasons not to drink dairy-free milk (like soy, oat or almond milk).
Check out this ad from the American dairy industry -- it's pretty funny in its desperation to sell milk.
Gosh, what a year it's been! Animal rights hit the mainstream in a big way in 2011. Check out this inspiring vid by Unleashed's big sister, Animals Australia for some of the highlights:
We just want to say a big 'thank you' to you for everything you've done to support our campaigns this year. If you attended a rally, wrote emails or letters, took action on our website, or did anythign else to support our work, then thank you for helping us have such a big impact for animals in 2011.
I've met lots of smart people. At least, they are smarter than me! But it's amazing how even among some of the smartest people I know there are some really basic things that seem to slip through the cracks.
Like, here's where most people think milk comes from:
1) The fridge
2) The supermarket
3) Magical fairy cows that automatically lactate for our convenience
4) All of the above (this was me)
I think these options pretty much sum up the images that you see in ads for cows' milk. Well, next week Animals Australia is going to do some advertising of their own, only this time, they're letting people in on a little secret -- the dark side to dairy that they *won't* tell you about in their ads. Click here to download the new ad, or sit back and watch this video to discover the truth:
If you think animals shouldn't be treated like 'waste products' then please share this vid on your Facebook and Twitter. And if you're cashed up you can even make a donation to help get Animals Australia's new ad in the newspaper next week!
What's the most disturbing thing you've discovered about where food comes from? We wanna know -- leave a comment!
Every now and then you see a clip that really makes you stop and think. This is undoubtedly one of them …
It's not every day that you'd get such a short vid that manages to get in so many shocking elements in such an effective way.
From the bacon slices to the roast chicken, the eggs, the milk and even the mayonnaise, this talented film maker has provided a voice for pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens and dairy cows in just 30 seconds. All the while flickering this important line "You may be blind to this but you're the only voice they've got".
And the final sound of an innocent sheep crying really brings home the point that we must use our voices to help end the suffering of these exploited animals.
Thanks so much to Brett Ludeman from Storybottle for creating such a haunting vid for Unleashed, and for showing others the reality of their dinner or their cup of milky coffee.
What do you think of this ultra short film? Do you know anyone who would be blind to this? You could share the video and help them open up their eyes and their ears and use their voice to help animals.
Unleashed Note: A little while
ago, 4_da_animals1 posted a thread to the forum describing her experiences doing part time work at a small dairy farm. Most of us already know that male calves (who obviously can't produce milk) are killed as a waste product
of the industry. But we were intrigued and disturbed to hear about
her day to day encounters, so we asked her to write a guest blog.
With all the dairy chocolate gobbled up at Easter, we thought this would be the perfect time to share her story:
Having recently turned vegetarian, I can now tell you one way to guarantee to become vegan is to work on a dairy farm.
Needing a job for the summer holidays, I was skimming through the country paper and saw an ad for a job on a dairy farm. Mum had been breathing down my neck to get a job; nothing much else was on offer; and to be honest I was curious to see how dairies treat their animals first hand, so I rang the manager to see if the spot had been taken. It hadn't.
I would be in charge of feeding gorgeous baby calves for a few hours a couple of times a week, and being paid for it. What could go wrong? Turns out being a calf feeder is not all I thought it would be. I had heard stories about the dairy industry being cruel - male calves taken from their mothers and trucked off to slaughter every week - but nothing really hits you in the heart more than seeing the kinds of day to day cruelty these poor creatures go through firsthand.
With images of gorgeous happy calves skipping up to me for a feed, I headed down to the farm with a smile on my face, and high expectations. These expectations, however, were crushed within a few mere hours.
The first thing I clearly remember from stepping outside the car was the smell. The smell of mass amounts of faeces. In front of me were hundreds of cows packed in a small iron pen, one by one being pushed through these huge machines with tubes being attached to their udders - a person behind them, making loud noises and hitting their behinds with a rubber tube, to push them forward.
I was told to throw some rubber boots on, and get in with the cows. The lady pushing the cows forward would be in charge of me, to teach me what to do. As I headed towards her, all I could see were piles and piles of faeces in the pen - so large that I would get stuck in it. The cows were forced to move through the sludge, which the workers called "mud" to get onto the concrete in front of the milkers. Some cows would trip and fall into the "mud" face first. Some cow's behinds were covered in sores and dried "mud", others were limping, but all were forced further and further forward to be finished by break time.
The one thing I will never get out of my head is the sadness in those cow's eyes. With hung heads, you could tell they could feel every hit, and if you tried to approach them, they would run off, with genuine fear in their eyes of you, the two legged being with a big stick.
Once a cow had given birth, a worker would take the baby away from the mother, and shove him into a tiny trailer attached to the back of the quad bike, awaiting a calf feeder to take him down with the others. Some calves were stuck in that cage for up to 12 hours.
The calves were placed 5 or 6 to a pen. To move a calf into a different pen, they were picked up and thrown over the fence, then left to gather their own feet. Standing in front of the calves' pens for the first time, I looked to my left and was faced with a pile of dead calves covered in flies being thrown on the back of the quad to be taken to the "death pit". In front of me, in the pens, were cute wobbly calves, covered in all different shades of faeces - from other sick calves and calves with the equivalent of diarrhea, which is lethal to a baby calf if not treated within days of getting sick.
It's a calf feeder's responsibility to separate the sick calves from the healthy, and tell the manager when more medicine needs to be ordered. If the manager isn't told, it doesn't happen, and the calves suffer and die as a result. This happened frequently, as the majority of workers just didn't care. They were simply there to get their hours.
Deprived of a mother to drink milk from at a leisurely pace, calves have two opportunities to drink milk per day, having to consume 2 litres of milk on both occasions. If a calf refused to feed from the plastic feeders on the fence, they had a tube shoved down their throat and were forced to feed, with a quiet moan escaping them as the tube slid in. As you make sure each calf consumes its 2 litres, you cannot escape the overwhelming wails of the mother cows that have just had their babies taken from them.
Every single male bobby calf, and any female that was born with a male as twins gets sent to slaughter. The female twins are included, as they have a higher rate of future miscarriage. Miscarriage means no baby, which means no production of milk. Every five days, the truck comes to take the bobby calves to slaughter and their miserable life comes to an end.
Needless to say, I didn't last long working there. And my time there has triggered my decision to go vegan. I do not know of many people who would agree to this treatment of such kindhearted creatures. This was a small country dairy, I could not possibly imagine the kinds of things big companies get away with.
I'm glad I can now give people a first hand account of how animals are treated on dairy farms. And I'll be taking every opportunity I can to inform others! We, as consumers need to show through what we choose to eat and buy that we do not agree with ill-treatment of other living creatures!
Want to uncover more dirt on dairy? Check out this video, tracing the life of a bobby calf:
World Water Day is brought to you by the United Nations to remind us that over 1 billion people don't have access to clean water. It's staggering to think that nearly 4,000 kids die every day as a result. 
And this got me thinking… A lot of us have water restrictions affecting out gardening or our shower time, but these savings aren't even a drop in the ocean compared with what is used in the meat and dairy industries every day.
When I was at uni, we went to a cattle feedlot in Tungali in rural SA. I nearly fell over when the guide told me that in summer, a cow can drink up to 80 litres of water in a day. There were 3,000 thirsty cows jammed into this feedlot! That's almost a quarter of a million litres of water used a day just so people can eat unhealthy hamburgers made from the bodies of unfortunate cows in just one of the many feedlots across Oz.
Now while I wait for you to find your feet again, I'll let you in on some other scary stats:
To produce just one kilo of chicken meat takes 3,500 litres of water. 
To produce a kilo of beef takes 100,000 litres! 
And wait for it … over 12% of all the water used in the world is used to produce … milk!  Yep, dairy is undoubtedly the biggest guzzler of water in the world (not to mention one of the cruellest industries to boot)
So, if you're serious about saving water, you could refuse to shower for an entire year, let your garden dry up into a dust patch, and never ever wash the car. OR, you could join me to go vegan and reward yourself with some amazingly delicious cruelty-free food!
How will you be saving water on World Water Day (and every other day)?
There's a daring ice cream maker in London whose latest offering is made from human breast milk. Yep, you can now buy Baby Gaga icecream for £15 a scoop...
Eternal attention seeker, Lady Gaga (yes, she of the disgusting meat bikini) calls it "nausea-inducing". I can't quite see how she wasn't nauseous getting ready to attend the Grammys in a dress made of muscles from dead animals, but there you go!
I wonder if Lady Blah Blah has ever thought about how nausea-inducing drinking cows' milk really is. I know she's done some pretty crazy things but surely it's not natural to suckle from the udder of a cow who has recently given birth and is producing milk for her baby.
I'm sure dairy cows would agree -- because cows don't automatically produce milk. In fact in order to milk cows for the massive dairy market, the industry sends bewildered newborn baby calves to their deaths by the hundreds of thousands. Watch their story.
So call me crazy, but ice cream using breast milk from perfectly willing mothers who get to keep and nurture their children, who don't get killed, sounds a whole lot better to me!
Now The 7PM Project is jumping on the bandwagon too! This will be some of the biggest exposure bobby calves have ever had in Australia - making it a show not to be missed. So tune into the program tonight (2nd Feb) - on Channel 10, at ... hang on I just have to check what time it starts ... ;)
Most people would be outraged to know that 700,000 baby calves are sent to slaughter each year as a routine part of the dairy industry. And they have a right to know! So get all your family and friends to watch too!
Afterwards, tell us what you thought of the show in the comments below!
PS. Want to win some dairy-free chocolate goodness? Want to do a good deed for the calves? Great... then head over here to help bobby calves on MooTube …I mean YouTube!
It'll come as a shock to most Aussies to learn that every year in Australia over 700,000 calves are killed as 'waste products' of the dairy industry. What may come as even more of a shock is that the dairy industry is now pushing for legislation that would allow calves to be starved of feed for the last 30 hours of their lives, before being killed at the slaughterhouse!
This proposed new standard is under 'public consultation' at the moment. Did you know you were being consulted? No? Neither do most people, because the government and industry conveniently neglected to let the public know!
But just because they don't want to tell the public the truth, doesn't mean we can't do that for them! After all, people have a right to know what they are buying into if they drink dairy.
So today Animals Australia is running the above ad in major newspapers across the country. Make sure you grab a copy of one of these papers and show the ad to all your family and friends:
Sydney Morning Herald
Want to make your voice heard too? Great! Click here to check out the video that exposes dairy's dark secret, and to get tips on how you can make a difference for calves - including the chance to win delicious dairy-free chocolates!
Have you already spotted our ad in your local paper? What did you think?
WOW! I just saw the video for P!nk's latest (sure to be) hit! And it's made me love her even more :) Never one to shy away from controversy she has hit the nail on the head with this film clip, tackling topics that really tick her off! (And me! And you!)
It starts with P!nk giving a bull fighter a taste of his own medicine, with a magnificent bull watching on. Good thing places like Catalonia in Spain are waking up to the disgusting cruelty of this 'tradition' …
But the scene that's going to expose a few home truths to millions of pop fans watching this video might seem a little absurd at first...
But it really does outline the crazy hypocrisy of a society that thinks it's ok to drink milk that cows are producing for their own babies. While P!nk lovingly bottle-feeds a beautiful newborn calf litres and litres of milk, we then see what the milking machine is hooked up to…
If you think that's strange, don't you also think how weird it is that humans drink the milk of another species? (Gross!) And in doing so, support an industry that considers newborn calves as 'waste products'; tearing one million innocent babies away from their grieving mothers to be slaughtered? I know I think that's strange …and unjustifiably cruel!
Unjustified because, like P!nk, soy milk rocks! And almond milk, rice milk, oat milk and all the other cruelty-free dairy alternatives on the supermarket shelves. Why would anyone even want cow's milk?
A friend of mine recently said "Milk is stealing from babies" …So true! And nice of P!nk to give a little of it back!
Did you know that June 1st is 'World Milk Day'? Or, as I think it should be called, WMD? I think this acronym is more than suitable because milk is a Weapon of Mass Destruction -- for cows, calves and the environment.
On WMD, let's remember the 1 million bobby calves who were taken from their grieving Mums, only to be slaughtered as 'waste products' of the dairy industry -- so that the milk nature intended for them could be fed to humans...
On WMD, let's spare a thought for the struggling Murray Darling Basin. It takes 200 litres of water to get one glass of milk. Not only is this the driest inhabited continent in the world -- our river systems are at record lows. But I'm taking shorter showers while the dairy industry is draining our waterways!
On WMD, let's think about how we can change things for the better. What better day than World Milk Day to mark the day you ditch dairy?
P.S. Did I mention, "Milk is for babies"? Check out our new WMD-inspired banner! Show you care by slapping it on your Myspace, or uploading it to Facebook :)
Click here to download the banner, or copy and paste this code to your Myspace:
<a href="http://www.unleashed.org.au?tr=1026"><img border="0" src="http://www.unleashed.org.au/images/banners/280_dairy.gif" alt="Milk is for babies! unleashed.org.au" title="Milk is for babies unleashed.org.au" height="250" width="280" /></a>
This week the 7:30 Reportran a story on the dangers of milk. According to the program, regular milk may be linked to a long list of diseases including: heart disease, diabetes, autism and even schizophrenia!
Should we really be surprised that a drink intended for baby calves isn't ideal for adult humans? As Dr. Michael Klapper said: "The human body has no more need for cows' milk than it does for dogs' milk, horses' milk or giraffes' milk."
So milk might make you sick. But what the report didn't mention is that it's also making the environment sick. It takes about 200 litres of water to produce just one glass of milk. That's almost as much water as many people use for all their household activities in a day!
But perhaps the darkest side of the dairy industry is what happens to the animals. Cows do not automatically produce milk – just like humans, first they need to have a baby. So what happens to the calf? Every year in Australia, 1 million baby calves are slaughtered as 'waste-products' of the dairy industry. Their flesh may be sold as pink veal, their bones may be crushed-up and made into designer dog biscuits, and the lining of their stomachs may be used in the process of making cheese.
Now that's enough to make anybody sick!
Fortunately, enjoying milk without such sickening side effects is a breeze! Next time you're at the shops, why not try one of these fantastic cruelty free milks?
Soy milk – My personal favourite. It's high in protein and fibre. My recommendation? Try out Sanitarium's So Good Lite if you like that milky taste. But then if you asked Karen, she'd tell you that Vitasoy's Soy Milky Lite is the way to go.
Rice milk – A favourite for some in cooking. If you've got a sweet tooth, this may be the option for you as it's known for its sweeter taste compared to other milks. Vic Unleashed Street Team Co-ordinator Rochelle's recommendation: go get yourself a carton of Vitasoy.
Almond milk, Oat milk, and the list goes on... If you're feeling really adventurous you can even make your own, for example this recipe for cashew milk.
The neat thing with all of these is that not all soy/rice/almond/oat milks taste alike. So there's one to suit everyone's taste. On the flip side, it might take you a little exploring to find the one that suits you. So if at first you don't succed, try another brand ;)
And don't forget to comment below and share which one's your fave?
If you're as obsessive about a mug of scalding hot liquid as I am, you'll understand why I'm giddy with delight at discovering Di Bella's coffee today...
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with coffee shops... only because you still occasionally find one that's stuck in the dark ages and hasn't heard of soy milk—so I was reminded this morning (thanks a bunch, Brewbakers). Fair to say, these places tend to lose a lot of customers (like me). But when you need a coffee, you need a coffee. Right?
Seriously, we live in a topsy-turvy world where most cafes try to squeeze an extra 50 cents out of you for a dash of soy milk, when it's no secret that the dairy industry is a vastly inefficient machine, squandering precious resources, damaging the environment—and not to mention—causing immense pain, suffering and death to countless innocent cows. In the end you can't really put a dollar figure on the damage (or absurdity) caused by people drinking milk meant for baby cows.
But Di Bella's didn't stop there. Their brews are all fair-trade, AND they also give out free vegan Belgian spice biscuits with their coffees! What more could a coffee lover hope for??
What's your favourite cup? Or, what's the lamest coffee shop experience you've had? Share your comments below!
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.