Baby cows who fell from an unsecured transport truck on their way to slaughter are thankfully headed to a sanctuary.
The truck carrying the calves accidentally dumped animals on freeways in three different states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Although several animals died from the impact of hitting the road at high speeds and others were picked up and sent to slaughter, three calves have found refuge at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York.
According to Farm Sanctuary, the Holstein calves are at Cornell University’s Nemo Farm Animal Hospital, “healing from their time in the dairy industry. These calves were headed to a veal slaughterhouse.
Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s national shelter director, stated:
While most people oppose the cruelty of veal production, few realize that this industry exists because of the dairy industry. We’re thrilled to instead welcome these babies home for the holidays and watch their beautiful new lives unfold. These babies will serve as ambassadors for the millions of calves just like them who will pass through the industry unnoticed this year.
These calves will enjoy life at the sanctuary, where they’ll be free and cared for, but they’re among the lucky few. Many farmed animals desperately try to escape their cruel fates each year, with most having to return to the terrible system they tried to flee. And while these three rescued baby cows have found peace, millions of calves are slaughtered for veal each year, as a direct byproduct of the dairy industry.
Like all mammals, cows need to be pregnant or nursing to produce milk. Just like humans, cows give birth after carrying their babies for nine months.
Once born, calves are callously dragged from their mothers’ sides, because farmers want to take and sell the mothers’ milk. Often, calves and mother cows are kept in such close proximity that they can hear one another’s calls, but they will never meet again. Mother cows are known to bellow for days and weeks after this separation, crying for their stolen babies.
Most female calves are kept to replace older cows in the cruel cycle of milk production at factory farms. Male calves suffer a different fate: veal. They are often locked in tiny crates, sometimes even chained, for 18 to 20 weeks before slaughter. Most calves raised for veal in the United States are subjected to this intensive confinement and harsh deprivation.
An undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals at Buckeye Veal Farm in Apple Creek, Ohio, revealed baby calves chained inside two-foot-wide wooden stalls. These stalls did not allow calves to turn around, much less walk, run, play, or socialize with other animals. Calves could not breathe fresh air or see sunlight. They were unable to lie down comfortably or even clean themselves. These crates are so cruel they have been banned in the U.K. since 1990.
In Canada, shocking video footage obtained by MFA at a Delimax veal factory farm in Pont-Rouge, Quebec, led to the conviction of a worker for animal abuse and mistreatment. The graphic video at the major Canadian veal supplier exposed the worker kicking, punching, and beating baby calves; calves chained by the neck and locked inside narrow crates so small the animals couldn’t walk, turn around, or lie down comfortably; and animals suffering from open wounds without proper veterinary care.
The worker was sentenced to pay a $4,000 fine and was prohibited from owning more than five animals for a period of 15 years for violating the Quebec Animal Health Protection Act. As a result of the horrifying exposé, Les Producteurs de bovins du Québec (Quebec Cattle Producers) committed to banning veal crates in favor of loose housing at its member facilities by 2018.
Veal production is undeniably one of the most egregious forms of animal abuse. And please understand that the veal industry does not operate alone—the dairy industry supports it.
Thankfully, compassionate consumers can end their financial support of farmed animal abuse by rejecting veal and other animal products. And with new vegan alternatives to meat and dairy, it’s never been easier to switch to veganism. Click here to get started and be sure to follow our Pinterest page with hundreds of vegan recipes!