World Milk Day on the 1st of June

From the perspective of Gut Aiderbichl

The value of milk

World Milk Day has been celebrated on the 1st of June since 1957. The aim is to remind people that milk is a natural and healthy drink. Milk contains vital calcium for building bones and amino acids needed for building body cells.
Despite consumer education by animal welfare groups and people who eat a vegan diet, perhaps the change in thinking among most consumers has not yet been fully achieved.

Dairy cows and their calves

Long gone are the days when the farmer had perhaps three cows in his barn. With their milk, he provided for his family and every two to three years a cow was slaughtered. Today, a "turbo-milk cow" lives no more than 5 years and then it's over with the calves and the milk production - the last road leads the cow to the slaughterhouse.

In order to produce milk, nature has come up with something special: cows have to give birth to a calf. As long as the calf drinks from the udder, the mother cow produces the milk. If the calf stops drinking, production stops.
Thus, cows in the dairy industry are actually permanently pregnant.

The pain of separation after calving

Nature never intended a calf to be separated from the cow immediately after birth. Calves without a mum to cuddle and suckle are nervous, make more noises, stick their heads out of the barn looking for something, etc. The separation from the mother naturally has an impact on the health and social behaviour of the animals. In large barns, the bond between the cow and her calf lasts a few days at most, then the animals are separated. Too many calves still spend their short lives in a so-called calf igloo, from which they have no contact with their mother. In the igloos, the animals are also exposed to all kinds of weather: Heat, cold - not very conducive to a healthy existence.

How many litres of milk does a calf need?

By nature, a "normal" dairy cow produces about 4 litres of milk per day. A turbo milk cow produces up to 28 litres of milk per day over a period of 10 months. Milk powder is fed to the majority of calves as a substitute for their mother's milk.
Actually, this is grotesque when you know that a calf needs between 5 and 8 litres of milk a day in the first months of life. The first four months daily, then the calves are supposed to be slowly "weaned" from the cow and drink every other day from their mother.

Dying for consumption

Dairy calves are slaughtered at about six months, cut up and sold as veal. Many of them have not felt grass under their claws or cuddled with their mother.

Our Ruby has been taken in with quadruplets. Many pregnant cows found a forever home at Gut Aiderbichl and are allowed to spend a life together with their calves.

Pet a cow, talk to it - with every glass of milk and every other dairy product, think of how a cow's fur feels and think of the calves' big eyes with their long eyelashes. Put yourself in the mind of an animal transporter.

Thank you for your rethinking,

Your Gisela.

Paws Icon white

godparent are used for all cattle

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