The Stolen Generations...of Milk Calves

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The Stolen Generations...of Milk Calves

By Jenny Moxham
Geelong Advertiser 20/10/10

A German company has just patented "night milk", claiming it helps improve sleep.

Munich based firm Milchkristalle says the milk - taken from cows between 2:00am and 4:00am - contains high levels of melatonin which causes drowsiness and lowers the body temperature.

Brilliant! so now cows are to be woken up every night just so humans can get an undisturbed sleep!

Is there no end to the things humans will come up with to satisfy our species wants and tastes at the expense of other species?

Surely the gentle dairy cow suffers enough without, additionally, having her sleep disturbed each night!

Although it may seem, to some, that the dairy cow leads a contented life, the reality is that she suffers enormously. Being forced to produce 10 times more milk than nature intended puts a massive strain on her body.

The great weight of her udder often causes painful stretching or tearing of ligaments and frequently causes foot problems. Dairy cows are also susceptible to infections of the teat and udder - which can be extremely painful.

It is the loss of her calf, however, which causes her the most anguish and distress.

In order to produce milk, cows must give birth to a calf each year and each year their calf is taken from them - usually within 24 hours.

The distraught mothers will do everything in their power to try and prevent their babies from being taken. Some try to fight off the kidnappers and some try to shield their calves with their own bodies. Some cry pitifully and some chase frantically after the truck that is taking their baby away. Some go trustingly with the farmer, only to return to an empty stall.

They all beg for their babies in language that requires no translation.

They bellow, they cry, they moan. Many continue to call for their babies for days and nights on end. Some stop eating and drinking. They search feverishly and some withdraw in silent despair. Many refuse to give up and will return to the empty spot again and again.

Professor John Webster of the British Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council said the removal of the calf is "the most potentially distressing incident in the life of the dairy cow. The cow will submit herself to considerable personal discomfort or risk to nourish and protect her calf".

One cow was reportedly so desperate to find her precious calf that she broke out of her paddock and trekked through eight kilometres of paddocks and rivers to find her.

Tragically, the concern that cows have for the well-being of their calves is well founded. Each year, in Australia, one million of these tiny, bewildered babies are brutally and terrifyingly slaughtered before they are even one week old.

Why do we treat cows so callously when we know how heart wrenching it is to lose a child, and when we know that, for a mother, this is the very worst loss? If we feel pity and sympathy for human mothers when they tragically lose a child, surely we should feel pity and sympathy for these other mothers who are continually - and deliberately - forced to suffer this loss?

No mother deserves this.

Forget the dairy industry propaganda that would have us believe that it is necessary for us to consume the baby milk of a bovine in order to meet our calcium requirements. Cows get their calcium from plants and we can too.

Just as human milk is intended solely for human babies, cows milk is intended solely for cow babies

Believe me - nobody else needs it!