Posted by: savayla | August 19, 2010

Commercial Farming

Just thought I would share this story of our afternoon yesterday.  I took the girls to a place nearby  to play with their friends.  While I sat with the mom chatting, the kids , 6 of them, went off to the milking shed.  Which, was 700 metres, away, across a main road , across a river on a walking bridge, and then through the muddy roads.  The reason I know all this is I decided to go and see them when Jenny was going to put her baby down. I didn’t realize it was so far .  I loved the walk.  So beautiful, surrounded by mountains and green pastures,  and the weather was so sunny and crisp.  I eventually found them, only because I could see Ayla’s pink top.  What is so amazing is that it is so safe to just send your kids out into the countryside.  The oldest was Savannah at 9 ½ and the youngest 6.

Ayla was so excited because the calves had been sucking her hand.  I saw a cow with what looked like a new born calf lying down next to her.  She seemed exhausted.  Then the farmers arrived.  Two of them.  They roughly lifted the mommy cow and her calf up and then proceeded to manhandle them to another enclosure, except, they were being separated.  Mommy cow still had her afterbirth hanging from her uterus, and the baby still had the bloody, wet umbilical cord hanging.  It had not had one suck yet .  Obviously mommy cow did not want to be separated and was lowing , with the little baby trying to … well, not to low, but calling its mom.  The young farmer hit her, whipped her, even kicked her head.  Beating her.  But she was determined.  Unfortunately not as determined as the farmer and she went off to be milked of her colostrum with the other mommies that had given birth that day, and her calf was put into a shed with the calves.  Their hair was still wet and shaggy from the birth, and one calf was even trying to lick the concrete wall.

Savannah was so upset, and eventually started crying.  I asked the farmer why he was separating them so early and he simply said “Money “.  Well, that was that, hey.  The elder farmer said it was easier on them now than later.

I went into the one small paddock with a few day old calves.  They were so cute.  We would slip our hands into their mouths and they would suck hard on our fingers.  It was so sad.  They had a tiny row of pearly white teeth on the bottom.  So straight and beautiful.  To think that these babies would soon be turned into veal .  I told the girls a while ago that I won’t eat veal.  And this really cemented it for me.  Hell, I feel like giving up dairy products.  But where do you go from there ?  Eggs ?  Did you know that in commercial eggs, they kill the day old roosters .  And the hens are killed before winter as they don’t lay much due to moulting and the farmers don’t want to have to feed the hens during winter.  It is all so disgusting.

.  There has to be another way.  I thought that you lose your milk when you are depressed.   I did some research and found this one article.   http://oacc.info/Docs/AnimalWelfare/AWTF/Dairy_calves.pdf It shows that there is another way.

Commercial farming really sucks.    I won’t become a vegetarian, instead we will work towards eating our own meat which is raised and killed humanely.

Just some food for thought.

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