Day of action – 29 August 2016
Help us raise awareness and change attitudes by taking part in our Animals Are Not Freight day of online action. Thousands of unwanted calves (and other animals of course) are sent off to markets, auctions or exported from the UK every year.
Animal transport is an inevitable part of animal farming but people often forget that dairy cows and calves suffer as much as animals raised for meat. Calves that are not raised to replenish the herd or killed at birth - about 150,000-200,000 male dairy calves yearly - are sold either to dairy or veal farmers. Calves may be sold when they are just one week old and this is an extremely stressful event, resulting in many health problems. ‘Shipping fever’ - a term used to describe a range of diseases caused by respiratory viruses – is one of the main causes of calf deaths. Calves less than two weeks old are particularly susceptible and more than one in five dies following transportation.
And if they survive this trauma, life is not rosy for any of these gentle animals. Female dairy calves are raised to be impregnated every year and have their calf taken away after birth so their milk can be sold. Male calves sold to veal farms in the UK are raised to produce ‘rose veal’. These calves are fed a diet that just about allows normal development of their bodies, resulting in the natural pink flesh colour. Rose veal production means about eight weeks of solitary confinement for the calves at first, followed by group housing. Rose veal calves are slaughtered at around six to eight months of age.
The UK also exports calves to the EU where the majority are raised for white veal. White veal means that the calves are kept in solitary confinement for longer (16-20 weeks) and fed an insufficient diet so they become anaemic and their flesh is very pale in colour.
Whether raised on the farm, transported to markets or shipped overseas, lives of these animals are extremely stressful, full of fear, discomfort and confusion. Stop supporting this pointless suffering and cycle of death. Go vegan!
Change your social media cover image for the week of 29 August 2016 to show your support to the international initiative Animals Are Not Freight!
And why not pledge to go vegan to mark the occasion? Even if you already are vegan – show solidarity by adding your name: www.whitelies.org.uk/dairy-free-pledge
For inspiration go to www.viva.org.uk/30dayvegan and www.veganrecipeclub.org.uk