Greetings from Minnesota. Snow was falling from the sky this morning, later switching to rain, and now the sun is peaking through. What a day!
As you know, I’m a dairy farmer, and I have a pretty serious commitment to what I do. It’s not just about long evenings and weekends at the farm, it’s also about the deep attachment I have to our dairy cows.
I see many of them born, watch them grow, and even see them have calves of their own. We milk, feed, and care for these cows every single day – rain, snow, or shine. Because dairy farming is such a 24/7 lifestyle, you’ve simply got to care deeply about cows.
If you haven’t heard or seen it in the media yet, today an animal abuse video was released showing cruelty to calves. As a farmer, and also as a person, I am saddened and sickened by the images it contains. It is NOT ok. The thought that any farm would treat their calves in this manner is incomprehensible to me. And the big question ringing in my mind is why?
On our farm we also raise calves, so I can tell you from personal experience that we do not operate in this manner. We take great care to raise our animals well and keep them comfortable and healthy.
On a logical note, I can’t understand why any farm would want to harm their animals. You need calves to grow up strong and healthy if they’re going to someday have their own calves and produce milk.
And the biggest problem…
I feel sadness and near disbelief when watching a video of extreme animal abuse, regardless of what the circumstances were and whether the video was staged or an honest representation. But I have an even bigger problem with these videos. If someone is on a farm where they are seeing and taking video of animal abuse, why aren’t they going to the owner or farm manager immediately to report it and put a stop to it?
The timeline on many of these videos is such that they aren’t released until weeks, months, or more after the video was taken. Someone gaining employment under false pretenses often takes video footage, leaves, and reports nothing.
If the video-taker really cared about these animals, they wouldn’t look for and watch while animal abuse happened. They would report it and hopefully put an immediate end to it.
I know this is a heavy topic, but I simply can not stand by and say nothing. I need to express my outrage at the abuse. I also want to let you, my readers, know that we care well for the cows and calves on our farm . If you want to hear another perspective on this, I highly recommend checking out the Cause Matters blog post about this issue. I’ve linked to her before, and she writes well with a clear perspective.
A powerful point and quote she makes at the end is this. “Do prostitutes represent all women? Animal abuse videos also aren’t representative of dairy farm families.”
And on that note, I’ll leave you with a few photos of our farm. I know I’ve shared most of these before, but if you’re a newer reader I thought you may enjoy this brief look around our farm.
Or better yet; check out my mini-tour from a few months back.
I can’t guarantee I have all the answers, but feel free to ask questions about dairy cows and farms. If I don’t know; I can likely find out.