The Guide > Food & Drink > Dairy & Chilled > Milk
In order to produce milk, dairy cows have to give birth to a calf every year. Most baby ('bobby') calves are separated from their mothers within 12 hours of birth. Every year 700,000 calves as young as five days old are sold, to be killed and processed as young veal for human consumption, hides for leather and pharmaceutical by-products.
  • Media on RSPCA's campaigning against an industry proposal to let calves heading for slaughter go unfed as a cost cutting means. Sydney Morning Herald
Things you can do:
  • Choose products from companies that have animal welfare on their agenda, such as Elgaar Farms, Barambah Organics or How Now. Elgaar Farms
Features: Cruelty free
Brisbane-based Organic dairy farm who have a policy that involves keeping all bobby calves.
Manufacturer: Barambah Organics
Features: Organic
Tasmanian Organic dairy farm with significant animal welfare policies. Retire dairy cows to grazing the paddocks for the rest of their natural life. Let calves suckle naturally on their mothers for an extended period of time (2 to 4 months). Let the calves run with the herd (and therefore their mothers) from then on. Do not use animal derived rennet in the production of cheese. Package milk in returnable glass with deposit system. Only available in Tasmania
Manufacturer: Elgaar Farms
Features: Calves stay with their mothers
Small family-run farm in Northern Victoria who milk, process and distribute the milk themselves. How Now doesn't separate the calves and cows and they don't send the calves to slaughter. "The average cow will produce 20 litres of milk a day - but a calf only drinks around seven litres, so we only use what remains." To reduce the number of bobby calves born, artificial intelligence is used to produce predominantly females using a more expensive type of semen that has about a 90% success rate. Based in Victoria.
Manufacturer: How Now Dairy
Features: Slaughter free, cruelty-free, certified organic, free-range
A small sustainable cow profit dairy model run by two Australian families in Victoria. Profits go towards their Cow Sanctuary where mother cow, daddy bull and calves are protected for their entire life. Slaughter free, cruelty free, free-range and grass fed cows. See their website to find a stockist near you.
Manufacturer: Mother Cow Dairy
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