Chilling undercover footage recorded by an investigator from the animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) reveals dairy farm workers abusing young calves. In the biggest undercover investigation into a dairy farm, the investigator spent three months between August and November 2018 at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana as a calf care employee.
Fair Oaks is one of the largest dairies in the United States and produces dairy products for the Fairlife milk brand, which is marketed and distributed by the Coca-Cola Company. According to ARM, the only training the investigator received was to “take the back roads” when transporting dead baby animals.
Using surveillance equipment to capture the normal daily routine of workers and managers, the investigator assisted in bottle-feeding newborn calves, loading transport trucks, and disposing of the dead. The investigator described what he saw as “by far the worst abuse to baby animals” that he had seen “in any investigation in the world.”
On virtually a daily basis, Fair Oaks Farms employees engaged in appalling abuse:
- Slapping, kicking, punching, pushing, throwing, and slamming calves
- Stabbing and beating calves with steel rebars
- Hitting calves in the mouth and face with plastic milking bottles
- Kneeing calves in the spine
- Burning calves in the face with branding irons
- Subjecting calves to extreme temperatures
- Depriving calves of proper nutrition
- Denying calves medical attention
ARM described the rampant abuse as not “one or two bad apples” but instead “everyone at Fair Oaks Farms that we came into contact with.” They also said that the devastated mother cows whose babies were stolen away called out so intensely that many were losing their voices.
Unsure of where male calves were being transported, ARM investigators followed the male-calf transport trucks. What they found was shocking. In spite of the many written statements from Fair Oak Farms that their male calves were not sent to veal farms, the transport trucks arrived at MidWest Veal. More deception was revealed inside, where calves were still being housed in cruel crates, a practice the company claims to have done away with. ARM states that the dairy industry is doing “nothing but deceiving the public.”
The Coca-Cola Company claims to have a progressive stance on animal welfare, but their relationship with Fairlife runs counter to that point. One of the best ways to show corporations and the dairy industry that this kind of abuse is unacceptable is to vote with your money.
With so many delicious plant-based milks and other products to choose from, there’s never been a better time to move away from dairy foods. Learn more about plant-based living and receive easy vegan meal ideas and recipes by ordering a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide today.