COWS & THEIR CALVES LIVING TOGETHER –‘HAPPY COW’ MILK How Now Milk is about being able to enjoy drinking milk, without the guilt. Our mission at How Now Dairy is to rid the world of “Bobby Calves” – the 5 day old calves that are essentially a by-product in the commercial world of Dairy Farming. With very few exceptions the calves are separated from their mothers within a day or two.
Some are kept on the dairy farm to become the next generation of milkers. Most of the rest of the calves (roughly half a million each year) are taken to abattoirs. This is just the ways things are mainly done today as dairy farmers struggle against large dairy companies and the pressures from the large retail outlets (you know, the unsustainable $1 a litre milk!). We empathize with the pressures placed on current dairy farmers but we also believe things can be done differently.
At How Now, we do things differently…. We raise ALL our calves and will continue to do so. But here’s the big thing – they stay with their mums from the moment they’re born – NO SEPARATION. Often they even come on into the dairy with Mum for a look around while she gets milked. Our attitude is, we are sharing the milk. There’s plenty to go round. But before I continue with what we are doing, let’s go back to the beginning….
To tell you our story about ‘Happy Cow’ milk or ethical, kind, cow-centred milk¬ we need to talk about milk production generally. Producing milk is fairly straightforward: a cow has a calf and then produces milk. This milk is then diverted via the milking process and ends up in our fridges. That is the simple version. There is a lot more to producing milk than this – the hard work of dairy farmers milking day and night; the need to ensure quality feed and grazing to make the cows happy and healthy; the milk production process including milk tankers traversing the countryside to collect milk from the diary farm vats and deliver it to the milk production factories for processing, packaging and distribution.
There are many people working hard to get that litre of milk to the retails stores and supermarkets. Now Dairy and Dairy farming is a lot more complex and many changes to the industry also shape industry practices, such as the decline in family farms and the rise of large-scale corporate dairies more aligned to “factory farming”, the closure of small-scale dairy processors and the growth of mega-processors, the ultra-competitive environment that leads to various ‘efficiency’ techniques such as the use of pesticides and fertilizers on crops for feed, hormones and drugs used on the cows, and the additives placed into dairy products.
We are not part of this and want to provide an alternative to this faster, larger, mega and ultra mantra. At How Now we milk our herd, pasteurize the milk and bottle it all right there on the farm. It’s the ultimate in paddock to plate! No food miles here. Our approach is focused on an ethical cow-centred approach that is more humane. Being cow-centred means we are focused on starting our thoughts with the cow and then working on ways that we can achieve our objective (milk) that does the least harm by taking into account the ways to keep cows happy.
Taking away their calves is not one of these ways. We are told that (very occasionally) cows abandon calves (we are yet to see it), and naturally sometimes calves are too sick to survive. But that doesn’t mean we have to remove every calf so we can get as much milk as possible from the calf and not be over-burdened with calf rearing. So we don’t remove them. But that is just the start and we can now talk about our HAPPY approach.
H – humane, applied ethics by being cow-centred. Calves stay with their mothers 24/7.A – (artisanal) additive free production and processing with none of the hormones and other additives commonly used.P – provenance of products with a closed loop process. Paddock-product-plate. No interventions.P – production of milk and dairy products right next door to the dairy shed.Y – yummy. Yes it is not as technical as the others but its true.
More natural, more tasty. Our cream is done the same way, we separate cowside (big companies just can’t get within a bull’s roar of this), then this amazing cream – cream like you have never tasted before – and the remaining skim milk go off to follow the same path as our luscious full cream milk. We’re not messing about and trying to be more clever, we’re just keeping it super simple and getting our milk to you almost as fresh as the suckling calf gets it.
Our cows are located on an amazing, 370 acre farm near Shepparton. It has trees in every paddock, with a creek running along the back of the property. We have a dairy and just nearby a cheese factory. We are small, family owned and fiercely independent. But our dreams are big (massive in fact) and with enough people coming on the journey with us and demanding Kind Milk we think we’re onto something that’s going to change dairying around the world.
We hope you will join us….See Also: Do Brown Cows Make Chocolate Milk
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.TTA VHS is opposed to rodeo because most rodeo events involve the use of fear, stress or pain to make animals perform. There is also considerable risk of injury or death for the animals. These risks and the suffering the animals endure are especially unacceptable, given the unnecessary and frivolous nature of rodeo as entertainment. Virtually all animal welfare organizations in Canada oppose rodeo, including the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the Humane Society of Canada.
Rodeo is banned in the U.K., Holland, and several other U.S. and European jurisdictions. It is opposed by the American SPCA, the Royal New Zealand SPCA and the Australian SPCA. In Canada, the City of Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver have banned rodeos. Changing public attitudes – reining in rodeo in Vancouver and Surrey, BC Rodeo is not illegal in most places. However, if other animals, such as dogs, were subjected to the same treatment it is likely charges under the Criminal Code of Canada or provincial statutes would apply.
For example, if a dog were to be chased at speed, lassoed, jerked backward and slammed to the ground it would likely meet the Criminal Code’s description of cruelty as “wilfully or recklessly caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal…” Rodeo events are not covered by Canadian animal cruelty laws because historically they are considered “generally accepted practices of animal management” for the treatment of livestock.
This de facto exemption, curiously, applies to rodeo even though it is merely an entertainment. Without the protection of current federal or provincial law, rodeo animals can only have their treatment mitigated by municipal bylaws, which can prohibit certain types of business, activities or events within their boundaries. Otherwise it is a matter of rodeo organizations voluntarily making changes to their events (usually under pressure from public opinion).
VHS has been successful in curtailing rodeo in B.C. The Abbotford Agrifair rodeo was cancelled in 2016 after a VHS campaign, as was the Luxton Rodeo on Vancouver Island in 2015. In May 2006, after representations from VHS, Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to prohibit a number of rodeo activities. As these activities are central to a professional rodeo, the prohibition effectively bans rodeos from the city.
However, certain common rodeo events, such as barrel racing, were not listed in the bylaw so these activities could be performed minus the listed events. Events such as horse racing and equestrian competitions are not affected by the bylaw. VHS has also raised concerns over the Cloverdale Rodeo in Surrey, BC, which is the largest rodeo in the Lower Mainland and one of the largest in Canada. VHS made strong representations to Surrey City Council, which owns the rodeo grounds, about the treatment of rodeo animals.
In 2007, following the death of a calf in a calf-roping event, the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association announced that it would discontinue four key events: calf-roping, steer-wrestling, team-roping and wild cow milking. These events are considered by many to be the most offensive in terms of animal welfare. The elimination of rodeo in Vancouver, and its partial curtailment in Surrey, Abbotsford and Vancouver Island, speak to the changing public attitudes to the treatment of animals.
A 2015 survey by polling company Insights West found that 66 per cent of B.C. residents are opposed to rodeo (63 per cent across Canada). The arguments and evidence against rodeo that VHS has employed rest on a simple premise: that rodeo is cruel to animals because it unnecessarily subjects them to fear, pain, stress and the risk of injury or death for the purpose of human entertainment. Rodeos take place across North America, with the same competitors taking part in rodeos in Canada and the U.
S. This video of American rodeos shows what really happens to the animals:[embedded content] Why is rodeo inhumane? Fear, pain and stress: Animal protection groups argue that rodeo exploits animals’ reaction to pain, fear and stress. This becomes obvious when one asks questions such as: Why would a calf or bull charge at full speed out of a chute into an arena full of people? (Answer: they are kicked, have their tails twisted or are even given electric shocks.
) What makes rodeo horses and bulls buck? (Answer: A device called a flank strap is tied around the animals’ hindquarters, causing irritation and stress until the strap is released.) Were such methods used to motivate dogs at dog agility competitions, there would be a public outcry. Even without physical coercion, the noise, alien surroundings and stress of being chased can cause extreme fear. The distinguished animal behaviourist, Dr.
Temple Grandin (who designs slaughterhouses for the meat industry), has argued that fear is “so bad” for animals that it is worse than pain. Injuries and deaths: Rodeo animals are injured or killed in rodeos regularly. The death of the calf that prompted changes at the Cloverdale Rodeo in 2006 had been preceded by the death of a steer in 2004 (a cowboy broke its neck during the steer wrestling event).
It is difficult to get accurate figures on rodeo deaths and injuries but anti-rodeo activists have compiled a list of deaths and injuries at the Calgary Stampede – July 2009 Final from the Calgary Stampede, which gives a representative picture of rodeos risks to animals’ health and well being. It should also be noted that many painful injuries go unnoticed and unrecorded because bruising and internal bleeding are difficult to see.
Condoning of violence and animal abuse: Aside from what rodeo does to animals, there is also the question of what it does to us. That is, what message does rodeo give to the public, especially children? Most civilized societies rank kindness to animals amongst the highest behavioural values of humankind. From St. Francis of Assisi to Gandhi to the Dalai Lama, great moral figures have cited compassion toward animals as an essential human virtue.
No one could argue that rodeo demonstrates kindness or compassion to animals. On the contrary, rodeo explicitly condones and glorifies violence and brutality toward animals. The only message that rodeo can therefore give to society is that it is acceptable to treat animals brutally. For children, this is surely an undesirable moral lesson. Specific rodeo events The criticisms of rodeo (and the defence of rodeo) revolve around the specifics of each event.
Following are descriptions of the main rodeo events. Calf-roping (also called tie-down roping): In this timed event a calf is goaded (often includes tail-twisting, kicking or knocking the calf’s head against the bars; electric shock devices are sometimes used) into the arena, followed by a horse and rider. The calf, which runs at speeds averaging 27 miles per hour, is roped around the neck and jerked to a sudden stop.
If the animal struggles to his feet he will be lifted up and thrown down to the ground by the rider, who then ties three of calf’s feet together. The young age of animal, the in-chute abuse and the impact of the sudden jerking on the calf’s neck make this perhaps the most offensive rodeo event. Cloverdale’s decision to drop roping events followed a calf breaking his leg in this event, which resulted in the calf having to be killed.
Chuckwagon racing: Invented at the Calgary Stampede in 1923, the chuckwagon race involves several teams of horses pulling wagons in a figure eight course and racing down a track at high speed to the finish line. Several other rodeos in Western Canada have adopted this event. More than 60 chuckwagon horses have been killed at the Calgary Stampede since 1986, mainly due to crash injuries and heart attacks brought on by stress.
The considerable risk of injury and death to horses has made this event highly controversial but it remains one of the main attractions at the Stampede. Team-roping: In this event two mounted cowboys attempt to rope and immobilize a steer in the least amount of time. The lasso is thrown around the steer’s neck by one rider and the other ropes the hind legs. The steer is then pulled from each end and stretched to bring him to the ground.
Sometimes the steer is stretched so violently that all four feet leave the ground and he is suspended in mid-air by the neck and rear legs. Steer wrestling: Here, a rider jumps from his horse on to the head and neck of a running steer. He then twists the neck of the steer until it falls to the ground. This can result in neck injuries – a steer’s neck was broken at the 2004 Cloverdale Rodeo and the animal had to be killed.
Wild cow milking: This timed event involves three cowboys chasing a roped cow, grabbing and twisting its head to stop it long enough for one cowboy to take milk from the cow’s udder. Extreme stress can be observed amongst the cows as they attempt to escape from the men chasing them. Bronc-ridingBareback riding/bull riding: Riders compete to see who can stay mounted on a bucking horse for a set time.
Despite claims by the rodeo industry, bucking is not a natural activity for a horse. Hence a “flank strap” is tied around the horse’s sensitive hindquarters to make him buck. The horse will buck until the strap is released. The horse is clearly being tormented by the flank strap and the desire to get the rider off. A flank strap is also used in bull riding for the same purpose. Arguments defending rodeo A number of arguments have been put forward by the rodeo industry to defend rodeo.
Following are some of the most common, with counter arguments: Rodeo animals are valuable, so they would not be mistreated or put at risk. This is like saying that race car drivers would not put their valuable cars at risk in motor racing. Of course they do because the financial rewards outweigh the risk. The same is true in professional rodeo, which offers large cash prizes and generates significant revenue for those involved.
The animals are valuable because they are put at risk. It is the violent, physical nature of the events that provides sensation and suspense that rodeo fans enjoy. Rodeo animals are just like athletes in other rough sports. Except that rodeo animals, unlike human athletes, have no choice in the matter. Is it likely a calf or steer would choose to be roped and thrown to the ground? Would a bull choose to be goaded into an arena of thousands of screaming people with someone on his back and a belt tied around his groin? Rodeo is a valuable part of our western heritage and tradition.
In fact, most rodeo events bear little or no resemblance to real ranch practices, historic or modern. For example, why would a real cowboy ride a bull? Why would a real cowboy want to make a horse buck with a flank strap? A key issue is that rodeo events are timed, whereas real ranch practices are not. Timing makes these events faster, more stressful and more dangerous to the animals. Real calf-roping on ranches is a far more gentle practice in which calves are roped at slow speeds.
Rodeo animals are big and strong, with thick hides. Just because an animal is large or has great strength doesn’t mean it can’t suffer. The injuries and deaths sustained by many rodeo animals make it obvious they are subject to violence, which in turn must cause pain. A thick hide, although it might obscure bruising, does little to protect animals against broken limbs, the pain of tail twisting or the hard kick of a cowboy boot.
In any case, as has been stated by animal behaviourist Temple Grandin, it is likely that fear may be more stressful for animals than pain. The animals are going to be slaughtered anyway. The fact that some animals will eventually be slaughtered for food is not a justification for abusing them before they die. Rodeo has been termed “a cruel detour to the slaughterhouse.” While we slaughter millions of animals every day for food, no one would suggest putting it on show, timing it and awarding a prize to the fastest slaughterhouse worker.
Rodeo is popular and is treated as family entertainment in many places, so how can it be wrong? Just because an activity is popular does not mean it is morally acceptable. Many activities that were considered popular and socially acceptable in the past are no longer tolerated, such as: circus freak shows featuring disabled and deformed people; black and white minstrel shows; cock-fighting; bear baiting, etc.
As society seeks to become more civilized many such activities are banned. It should be remembered that in our own history many people routinely attended public executions. Links Animal welfare organizations – positions on rodeoCanadian Federation of Humane SocietiesBritish Columbia SPCA Ottawa Humane Society (pdf file)American SPCAAustralian RSPCARoyal New Zealand SPCA (pdf file – see 6.4)Humane Society of the United States Animal advocacy organizations working to abolish rodeo>SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) – U.
S. animal protection organization specializing in rodeo investigationsPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Resources and mediaUK television programme investigates rodeoUS news programme investigates rodeoCalgary Stampede heritage myth