- Dairy Cows can only produce milk after they have given birth to a calf.
- In order to make them pregnant, they are usually artificially inseminated.
- Dairy cows have been bred to have very large udders, producing up to 10 times more milk than any calf would ever need.
- The calf is separated from the mother after a few days or weeks. The separation of cow and calf causes enormous distress to both animals. A video here illustrates the distress caused by separation.
- Male calves born to dairy cows are not profitable as they cannot be bred for beef and are either slaughtered at birth, starved and left to die, or exported abroad for veal where they are slaughtered while still young.
- Dairy cows are slaughtered for meat as soon as their ‘useful’ lives are over – usually around 4-6 years of age. Beef cattle are slaughtered at around 2 years of age. The natural lifespan of cattle is 15-20 years.
- Cows and bulls (depending on the type of breed) may have their horns removed in order to reduce accidents as a result of aggression, and bulls are castrated. See: ‘cattle mutilations‘.
- Many cattle are transported for slaughter abroad. The live transportation of cattle is extremely stressful for these animals.
- Cows are individuals with their own personalities and are capable of experiencing a range of emotions.