Give a warm and hearty welcome to the truly happy bovines - Douglas and Linus! These two adorable calves were saved from slaughter, along with three others. I know you will fall in love with them as much as I have already.
The five calves are the discards of the dairy industry - the male calves. Stripped at birth, Douglas and Linus never nursed from their own mother. Instead they ended up at auction, sold for a measly $5 bucks a head. The individual who bought the five calves stuffed them into a dirt pen so small, they could barely turn around.
A neighbor complained - compassion in action - and Santa Cruz Animal Services was called out. Officer Todd Stosuy became immediately concerned when he saw the calves, noticing their painfully protruding ribs. One calf could barely stand. A veterinarian agreed, and the five calves were swiftly confiscated and taken to the shelter.
One of the five calves rescued...safe for life!
The man was raising the calves for slaughter. Male dairy calves are either killed at a young age (3-16 weeks) for veal or sold at auction for $3-20 and killed for their flesh. They know such little compassion, that when we received the call, we had to help.
Few animal control agencies take cruelty to farm animals seriously, so we work tirelessly with those who do. We agreed to take in two of the calves, while another sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary, took the remaining three.
But we had to wait while the individual who starved them decided whether to take the issue to court or relinquish all five calves. We cheered when he chose the latter and, more importantly, declared he probably would not be raising calves for a long time (we hope that means forever).
I am happy to report that Douglas and Linus, along with the three other calves, are slated for sanctuary, not slaughter, that their lives will be long and happy. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the millions of other male dairy calves who are born each year. They face the same fate as Douglas and Linus...they are the dirty little secret of the "happy cow" industry.
There is a solution. Next time, at the grocery store, skip the milk aisle and check out the wide variety of alternatives available - soy, almond, rice, oat, the diversity is impressive! Add the new "milk" to cereal and let your tastes buds adjust. Then try different cheese alternatives, yogurt, cream cheese and sour cream.