Most people aren’t aware that in order to produce milk, dairy cows are kept almost continuously pregnant. Unwanted male calves (known as ‘bobby calves’) are sent to slaughter in their first week of life so that their mothers’ milk can be harvested for human consumption.

Barry White (left), Jack Black (middle), James Brown (right) and when they were calves.

Barry White, James Brown & Jack black are just three (gorgeous) faces of the 700,000 calves discarded by the Dairy Industry as “waste products” of milk production each year in Australia. At just four months old, their life has been a tumultuous one.

Born into the dairy industry to mothers who knew them for only five days, these three were destined for slaughter, but found a temporary reprieve through being purchased by a petting zoo.

Jack Black when he was a calf.

With the best of intentions and a love of animals, people often don’t realise that the animals in petting zoos, as fragile babies, are often subjected to a lot of unnatural stresses. The stress of being taken from their mothers is often enough to lead to illness in young animals, and sure enough little Barry White struggled through two cases of pneumonia, stunting his growth such that he was the same size as his 3 month younger friends, James & Jack.

James Brown living his best life today.

Whilst it’s easy to see the appeal of petting cute baby animals from a human perspective, the reality from the perspective of the animals is often a grim one. These animals face many potential stresses such as travel trauma, mishandling, unsatisfactory care, denial of natural behaviours, and once they start to grow into adults they are sent off to the sale-yards (where their fate is usually a grisly one) and replaced with younger, ‘cuter’ versions.

Jack Black and his friends now.

Arriving at Little Oak at around 4 months old, these little boys were still as gorgeous to us as they possibly could be.  Here they will be valued for who they are, not whether or not they produce milk nor only for their fleeting youth. These boys will be beautiful advocates for their beautiful brothers in the dairy industry, and for all of those animals exploited in petting zoos.

These boys have endured so much purely because of the demand for dairy products. The power to make a difference is in your hands, please learn more and choose wisely.

Author:
Little Oak Sanctuary

Little Oak Sanctuary works to promote the idea that compassion is an action word that should have no boundaries by its very definition. As a sanctuary for farmed animals, they provide refuge for animals who have come from abuse, neglect or abandonment, those who have nowhere else to turn. If you would like to donate to their work you can do so here: littleoaksanctuary.org/donate

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