Many people around the world view dairy farming through rose-tinted glasses. It’s often associated with bucolic images of rosy-cheeked farmers out of children’s books. But the reality of the industry is mostly hidden from view.
Throughout the world, there are more than 270 million cows producing milk for human consumption. A growing number of these live in factory farms. In order to produce milk, cows must first have a baby. They are artificially inseminated every year from the age of two. Each time, they have their newborn calf taken from them, often within 24 hours, so that their milk can be “harvested” for human consumption.
Mother cows often cry and out bellow for days after their calf is gone. Conditions like mastitis and lameness are common in dairy cows. When they stop producing milk, farmers take them to the slaughterhouse.
The ethical costs of the industry can take a toll on farmers, and many have decided to ditch dairy for good and turn vegan. Two of these farmers are Jay and Katja Wilde from Derbyshire in the UK. Jay said he felt like he was “betraying” his cows by sending them to slaughter, and decided to give his animals to a sanctuary.
Find out more about his farm, as well as four others, in the video below.