In a natural setting, cows will drink from their mother for several months, or longer — and generally stay close to their mothers, if they’re allowed to stay together.
Cows are doting, and protective of their calves. They’re such good mums, that they’ll even look after other calves in the herd if needed — like Aunties.
But she won’t get to.
To produce milk for humans, a dairy cow must keep giving birth to calves. Her calves are normally taken away in the first 24 hours of their life, so that the milk she is producing to feed her newborn can be bottled for human consumption.
The dairy industry doesn’t let cows do what they do best — be mums to their calves.
There are more than one million cows in the Australian dairy industry today — every single one is a mother. If they could have one thing this Mother’s Day, can you guess what (or more accurately, who) it might be?
Calves like Valentine belong with their mothers.
Clarabelle lived on a dairy farm. She had endured many Mother’s Days without her calves, who were all taken away so that her milk could be sold. But she will be sharing this Mother’s Day — and many more yet — with her beloved Valentine, who was born after Clarabelle was rescued by Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary. After giving birth, Clarabelle hid her calf in long grass — unaware that, for the first time in her life, this calf would not only be safe — but allowed to stay by her side for the rest of her days.
Show some love to mums this Mother’s Day
As long as the demand for dairy milk continues, mother cows and calves will continue to suffer as a result. The most powerful thing you can do to help dairy cows is to make the switch to dairy-free milk. Do something nice for the mother of another this Sunday 10 May and try a dairy-free alternative. With so so many delicious dairy-free options these days it’s never been easier to be kind to cows and their calves!