mourningcows
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.”

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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, ForksOverKnives.com, 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.

View all posts by Amanda Just →
  • 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.

      • farm family

        Do you realize that setting domestic animals free from a trailer would be a death sentence of starvation, disease, attacks by predictor animals, and death by auto? Not to mention feral hogs are prolific breakers, aggressive toward humans and other animals(they will kill and devour a baby goat or a small child). They will destroy an entire field of crops(even if they are not genetically enhanced) overnight. Please think even just a little bit before you suggest something this stupid!

      • farm family

        Spell check! Predator animals, prolific breeders.

  • 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

    POOR COWS… STUPID PEOPLE!

  • 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

      • Shelley

        industry would still collapse if everyone supported small farms, eat locally.

      • Shelley

        vegan is a great way to be healthy, but most are not willing to give up their meat. Yet even eating vegan doesn’t protect animals from dieing, we need to stop supporting big industry and start to support small farms, who grow food in a way that is good for the environment. Organic and non-gmo, and natural fertilizers.

  • 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.

  • http://www.lizzdelicious.com/ 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.

  • hayleys30

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    • Rennie Miller

      You suck pus. Get a life.

  • 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.

      • Shelley

        you must not have children yet because you don’t seem to care about this beautiful planet we live on. It’s so important that we take care of the planet for our future generations. We are not mere animals because we have the ability to understand what is right and what is wrong, we are self aware. So we have the great responsibility of being the caretakers of this planet, sadly many abuse their human ability to create and are in the process of raping and destroying this planet through mass industry. But because we know better, we are solely responsible for the care of this planet, and everyone of us can make a difference. If even 10% of the people on this planet chose to make decisions to support sustainability the whole planet would benefit, and I know that we would be able to influence many others along the way to make better choices. We are all in this together, doesn’t matter what someone decides to eat, either vegetarian, or vegan or eating meat, there are healthy and sustainable options for all to benefit.

      • ihatedavidjay

        I have children – we are just animals – get over yourself. You do you, stop trying to change others. Planet is going to be fine even after all the people are gone …

      • ihatedavidjay

        Do have kids. Not so arrogant to think that we have any way to break or fix the planet. Guess what, someday the ball of gas we call the sun is going to Super Nova. – Poof, all gone! Get over yourself, we the people on this planet don’t make any difference to nature at all. 20 years after the last human is gone, the earth will have consumed all evidence of us.

    • Shelley

      the real answer is small farms… because even in large scale produce (veggies and fruit) industry, animals are killed. Because of the tractors and other practices that don’t take into consideration the creatures that inhabit their fields. Also the pesticides and herbasides and fertalizers that are polluting the earth to promote the growth of the produce. When we were living on a small farm, we grew our own veggies and had chickens and goats. We used the chicken manure to fertilize our garden once the fertilizer had matured, and we also put sea weed and eel grass on our gardens to enrich the nutrients, we never used pesticides, although we had pests, but there are natural alternatives. Small scale is the answer. There are many people in the cities who are growing their own food as well in micro-gardens, lots of great ideas out there. Also go to the local farmers markets and buy locally, support the local economy.

  • 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.

      • Shelley

        Vegan is good for sure. But not the only way. We’ve raised animals and give them lots of love and a healthy environment to enjoy. There are alternatives. But we all need to make those choices, and stop supporting big industry.
        I choose to support local farmers, eat local veggies and meat from farms that I’m familiar with, who treat their animals with love and care. Yes there are options. We can’t push our particular ideals upon others, but we can educate them and encourage them to make different choices that benefits the Earth and all who are on it.

      • Coby Carwile

        Even if and that’s a big if animals are given love and are free to roam they still end up in slaughter houses where they are abused, terrified, tormented and caused suffering. Happy exploitation does not exist. Nobody needs meat, it is just a selfish desire.

      • blessthebeasts

        Sorry Shelley, love and raising animals for food don’t go together. Don’t kid yourself.

    • Shelley

      you are not speaking the truth. We had goats, and the first time we were with another couple who did it by the books… they took the babies away from the mothers, and the mothers cried and cried and cried for their babies, YES they do mourn the loss and it’s WRONG to take the babies away from the mother… there are other ways to do this… when my husband and I were on our own we got goats again and this time left the babies with the mother, they did not cry and cry like the other ones did, but they were happy and joyful and were loving their babies. It’s so sad to see the hearts of human beings becoming so calloused so as not to feel for a mourning mother for her baby. This is so wrong and disgusting and very cruel.

  • 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.

  • Shelley

    we raised dairy goats, and we knew that the practice was to take the babies away from the mothers at birth, both my husband and I felt that this was so wrong, so we prayed and asked the Lord to give us a way to leave the babies with the mother and also enjoy some of the milk for ourselves as well.

    We felt to leave the babies with the mother for the first weeks while they benefited from the colostrum and became strong, after that, at night we would put the babies together in a separate stall with an older female goat who was not milking, but they were still next to their mothers stall and in the morning we would milk the mother and leave some milk for the babies, then we would let the mother and babies out together for the rest of the day. This worked amazingly, and the babies drank milk all day. The mother was completely empty by evening, and full in the morning for us and the babies. They were all very happy and so were we :)

    • blessthebeasts

      What gives you the right to enjoy the milk of a goat that was meant for its babies? Haven’t you heard of soy, almond or rice milk? You should pray to the Lord some more and ask for compassion.

      • farm family

        Soy beans, almond trees, and rice do not grow well on my self-sustaining, beef and hay producing small farm. How many beans do you have to milk to make a gallon?

      • blessthebeasts

        I hope you don’t expect anyone to believe that everything you use or consume is produced on your “self-sustaining farm.”