Cow and Calf

The word barn sounds so cozy and inviting, almost like an animal sanctuary. When you visit these animals, however, and see how they live, it can be very far from this picture, especially for the new-born calves.

In Norway, most farmers separate calves from their mothers as soon as they are born. The calves are put alone in a small box or sometimes together with other calves. In despair, the cow mother cries to her newborn calf who also cries back in despair. The calf and mother are in the same barn but unable to be together; it is heartbreaking to hear each other’s cries. Longing for her mother, her warmth, love and teats, the little calf begins to suck on other calves and surroundings, like the cage.                   

Most cows are tied in a barn for ten months of the year with extremely limited movement, usually only a small step forward and back. The pain they suffer is deep. Due to the strain the calves and cows go through, they begin to roll their tongues and do unusual things that conveys the deep pain they are suffering. A farmer can go in and out of the barn as he wishes, while the animals are tied inside the building for months on end.                                                            

                                                                                                                                                   Cows are bred to give excessive milk. This high milk production, combined with their enlarged udders, can make the cows easily exposed to mastitis and other inflammations and diseases, as well as makes them extremely tired. The high milk production also affects their metabolism and gives ketosis, all pain and suffering that can be avoided if the animals live as they were naturally intended to. In addition, the fodder that farmers feed to the cows is often so strong that the cows have chronic diarrhoea which they have to stay on daily.

Photo: A new-born calf on a concrete floor.

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