100% NOT ok

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.

Cause Matters Blog

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.

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Agriculture ( in general), Baby Calf Care, Cows and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 100% NOT ok

  1. i have a friend who has a bunch of cows on her farm and she’s outraged too. i can tell from all your posts how much you love yours!

  2. This is why I read your blog. It’s so refreshing to see “the other side,” so to speak. It’s obvious how much you care about your calves and cows!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks Brie; I’m happy that you are interested and willing to hear ” the other side.” With fewer and fewer farmers I think it’s hard for many people to even find a farmer to ask about stuff like this. So I’ll do my best to share my experience.

  3. Heidi Nicole says:

    Oh, wow. I did not see anything about that video until you mentioned it. I googled it…not a good idea. I made it 27 seconds in before I closed out. That is just wrong, on so many levels.

    I agree with you – I’m definitely more upset and concerned for the person that was able to stand by and video tape what was happening. Seriously?! The people who do this as part of their “living” are not right in any way, but how do you stand by and video tape it? Yes, you need to footage to fight it, but how do you just stand by and actually see it with your own eyes?!

    I also disagree with the people that use this footage as an excuse to go vegan or vegetarian…not eating meat for this reason is not going to save the life of animals, it will put people who do this in a more dire state of mind (selling less meat, losing money, etc) and make the occurrence more common. I like my beef and such, I am going to continue to eat it, but I am more conscious of where it comes from!

    Thank you for posting this and you do an amazing job of being very upfront and honest about your farm – heck, I’m a farm girl and I learn things!

  4. Cassie says:

    Oh Lisa, I can feel your frustration, and I understand where you are coming from. I didn’t see the video, and I’m not going to look for it. Ugh….I know you love your cows. And your blog is a beautiful look into all the amazing farms and farmers out there.

  5. Jena says:

    I have not heard of this video. At first I thought I would look it up, then I decided not to. I don’t even want to see the cruelty.

  6. Kierstan says:

    Lisa – it is very apparent from your blog that you absolutely adore all of your animals! I’ve grown up around caring farmers and have had opportunities to visit large farms who take very good care of all their animals. It is unfair if anyone thinks these videos depict all farmers – unfortunately some people take things they see in the media at face value and do none of their own research. Lame.

  7. Pingback: Farmers who care about animals. « Ray-Lin Dairy

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