by Amanda Just
Categories: Animals, Causes.

A lot of “strange noises” were coming from the Sunshine Dairy Farm in Newbury, Massachusetts, earlier this week, causing some alarm among nearby residents. Concerned phone calls came into the police department between midnight and 7AM reporting “inhuman” sounds, but callers were told not to worry – they were just the moans from mourning cows who recently had their baby calves taken away from them.

Newbury police Sgt. Patty Fisher said that it’s the annual separation of cows and calves, and the cries and moans are all part of the process. “It happens every year at the same time,” she said.

The concerned phone calls over the sounds prompted Sgt. Fisher to post a message on the police station’s Facebook page:

“Residents in the area of Sunshine Dairy Farm may notice loud noises coming from the dairy cows at all hours of the day and night. We’ve been informed that the cows are not in distress and that the noises are a normal part of farming practices.”

“Not in distress”? These cows carried their babies in their womb, gave birth to them, and then had them taken away from them. Now their milk, which was intended for their calf, is going to be pumped away for human consumption while their calf is destined for either a similar fate of a dairy cow if it’s a girl, or a short life of confinement while it’s fattened up and immobilized for a future veal dinner, if it’s a boy. All those moans and cries AREN’T a sign of distress? ON WHAT PLANET?

Hopefully those concerned citizens who heard those cries and moans are making connections that these “normal farming practices” are cruel and unnecessary. Cow’s milk belongs to baby cows!  Currently, there are only a few comments on the short news article, but the majority of them are calling shenanigans on the police officer’s brush-off of a statement.

One commenter posted: “…They would not be crying out if they were not in distress. Any mother who had her baby taken away from her would be distressed.”

Another reader posted: “It doesn’t take many brains to know when an animal is in distress. Cows have very similar feelings to any other creature (including humans) that bonds with its offspring. This is inhumane.”

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About Amanda Just

Amanda Just is a longtime vegan who loves to promote compassionate living in fun, creative ways. As a writer, she has contributed to This Dish Is Veg,, and many other blogs, websites, and newsletters. As an activist, she champions many causes, from veganism and animal rights to environmental protection and human rights. Amanda resides in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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  • Nancy

    wow i’ll bet the residents of newbury were put at ease by police telling them not to worry about the moans from the cows. their babies have just been taken away. such comfort.

    • montauknellie

      seriously. sarcasm does little, no, nothing to help. what does your comment accomplish? make a plan or be silent. we all need some real suggestions that makes some sense to get people doing the right thing. lets write our congressmen. lets teach by example. lets get humane classroom activities initiated. lets do something. if we see a truck loaded with pigs or cattle, lets do something. set them free.

      • jude arsenault

        what we need is vegan education(how to live a healthy life without exploiting animals) and a serious long term plan for any rescued animals.they need a lot of care and can live a long time.

  • ihatedavidjay

    Stop playing with your food. Nothing to see here folks … move on.

    • bobbah

      This is the trouble with the world – stupid people and abused animals.

      • ihatedavidjay

        Sorry, but do you all get upset when a lion separates a baby zebra from the heard? We ARE just animals, nothing more, nothing less – and just like the lion eats the lamb, we eat meat (As do hundreds of other animals), if you eat meat or wear leather, you are no different, you just hide and shake your head. And if don’t do either of those things you are fighting thousand of years of evolution. (Or if you don’t believe in science, God gave us the tasty animals). Yes stupid people are the issue with the world and you are surely one of them.

      • mojoe757

        Fighting thousands of years of evolution??? No, kind soul, we are not fighting evolution; we are embracing it. We are fully able to get our nutrient from sources that don’t exploit animals. That IS EVOLUTION!!!!

      • ihatedavidjay

        Who cares? Not I. Feel free to stop eating meet, die of malnutrition for
        all care, fact is animals are food, if not for us, then for other
        animals, get over it. Eat or be eaten.

      • Rogers

        it is obvious how ignorant you are about nutrition just based on your comment. there are more Olympians becoming vegan and outperforming their meat eating competition. t is time you educate yourself before you lose your gallbladder if you haven’t already. and cows are not wild animals and because of humans who think like YOU lions are becoming extinct along with other wild animals. did you not know wild animals are becoming extinct? they are not the future. factory farming is today and it is inhumane. many people wouldn’t have problems with factory farming if it was done humanely,. like Temple Gradin said, “”we raise them for us; that means we owe them some respect. nature is cruel but we don’t have to be.” cows milk are for cows. most people become lactose intolerant in their life time. hmmmm…if it is so good for you HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE! the meat industry pays millions on ads to lie to people like you. they are in the business to make money not make you healthy. you keep making them rich. i choose not to give them a dime to pollute our waters, lands and my body!

      • ihatedavidjay

        Bwhaha, you should hear yourself … Eat whatever you like … but meat is food … get over it

  • Nanette Valencia

    So sad ~ those baby calves cry too

  • Emily Paredes-Maurer


  • Vicky Chrisikou

    Poor animal friends in the hands of soulless people who try to feed agony and pain the throats of more ignorant and stupidly ‘smiling’ people who NEVER wonder about anything. Mourns are “mechanical sounds” just as the lives of people are mechanical ways of living. I am sorry for my sentient friends who suffer untold pain so that some can be stuffed with money and others stuffed with ‘food’……all based on HORRIFIC PAIN and ENDLESS ABUSE. WAKE UP folks. It is easy to get free from the nightmarish circle by stopping being clients of the industry who insults your mental abilities.

    • jude arsenault

      go vegan and the industry collapses

  • Scotty

    I haul cows for a living. Get over it. It’s supply and demand. Cattle are a source of food that’s the way it is and will be.

    • Nancy

      scott, i personally don’t care what you do for a living. you can continue to haul cattle for a living, i could care less. but you are not going to tell me to get over anything and my feelings towards an animal.

      • ihatedavidjay

        Who cares? Not I. Feel free to stop eating meet, die of malnutrition for
        all care, fact is animals are food, if not for us, then for other
        animals, Eat or be eaten.

    • Robin

      Cows are a completely unnecessary “source of food” and in fact more and more people are turning away from meat and dairy. I can now find soy and almond milk in gas stations for instance. The tables are slowly turning so maybe you need to “get over it” and open your eyes. The breeding and slaughter of billions of animals so people can drink milk made for a cow or eat a hamburger at McDonalds is immoral and causing environmental and health damage to everyone, never mind the suffering of the animal being exploited. You wouldn’t raise and butcher your dog for food, so why is a cow any different? Both are sentient beings with their own interests and needs.

  • Fashion Icon

    “Sunshine” Dairy Farm.

  • Lizz Clements

    They’ve closed the comments. Guess they couldn’t handle people being appalled by cows in pain.

  • Pattyshenker

    How any sensitive person, especially women, can participate in this horrific cruelty to other mothers & babies is beyond me! Cows’ milk is a perfect food- if you are a calf born at 70 pounds who needs to grow to 700 pounds. Milk is NOT good for us, contrary to the brainwashing done by this cruel dairy industry. Please, people, go vegan! For these poor animals & our wildlife desimated for ranchers, for the hungry people and for our Mother Earth.

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  • Guest

    ihatedavidjay, read what you’re saying. Do you know that rape is common with a lot of animals, and perhaps for evolutionary reasons? How can that ever justify rape in humans? Stop hiding behind this evolution bullshit and face the simple fact that be it for standing up against animal cruelty or (if you’re silently a psychopath) for environmental reasons or (if you’re that and also want the world to deteriorate, be polluted, get resource-scarce and unsustainable- wait, then you wouldn’t be concerned with evolution) – for your own health (yes, your intestines really, really, don’t like meat), there’s no legitimate reason to necessarily consume dairy, eggs or meat except for somebody else’s commercial benefit which essentially keeps this culture of largely invisible cruelty and denial alive.

    I agree there’s too much responsibility on the consumer and too little on the producers, but that’s no reason to start justifying one’s clearly misguided choices.

    • ihatedavidjay

      The earth will be just fine after all the animals are gone… us included, we are just that Animals.

  • Wisconsin

    I don’t know why any dairy would breed all their cows at the same time, beef cattle, sure, but not dairy. All the cows would be “dry” at the same time then also. I don’t believe this article has any bit of truth. And if indeed it was a time of separation between cows/calves, I don’t believe the “moans” was caused by the separation itself. We have over 300 cows, and I have never once heard a cow moan in distress over a calf aside from the obvious birth pains. I believe there is another situation causing the commotion, if there is in fact commotion at all.

    • Coby Carwile

      You must be PR from a “Sunshine” Dairy Farm. Happy exploitation is a crock and the people who do this to animals and support it obviously have no compassion nor any morals. Totally inhumane. Go vegan. It’s the only way to stop the torture of animals and the only way to save the Earth.

  • ihatedavidjay

    By definition you are incorrect …

    An omnivore /?omn?v??r/ meaning ‘all-eater’ (Latin, omnes, omnia, meaning “all” or “everything” and vorare
    meaning “to devour”) is an animal that CAN derive its energy and nutrients from a diet consisting of a variety of sources that may include plants, animals, algae and fungi.[1]
    Omnivores often are opportunistic, general feeders which lack carnivore or herbivore specializations for acquiring or processing food, but which nevertheless consume both animal protein and vegetation.

    Whatever you eat you are still an omnivore because you CAN eat meat even if you don’t.