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How Much Blood Was Spilled For Industrial Dairying Today?

In collaboration with groups across Aotearoa commemorating Bobby Calf Day this weekend, Climate Justice Taranaki visited Federated Farmers and chalked the streets of New Plymouth on Friday. There will be demonstrations at large meat and dairy processors on Sunday to remind the community of the multiple harms industrial dairying has on animals, the planet and our communities.

“Around 2 million calves are killed in Aotearoa every year just so we can take their mother's milk for sale. Until a few years ago many of our provincial kids grew up earning a ‘bob’ or five bucks for each newborn calf they killed. The law now says the calves must be trucked to the abattoir at 4 days old but essentially nothing’s improved for animal welfare or worker's mental health, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. If anything, it's got worse,” said Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“Rarely do we comprehend the scale of harm this industry causes, which essentially comes down to companies putting profits before wellbeing.”

“The long history of harm from industrial dairy began with land theft at gunpoint or the trickery of a lawyer’s pen or a merchant’s credit book. Then forest and bush clearance, wetland drainage, filling in of small waterways and disruption of ecosystems and communities due to fence lines. Animals are trucked or shipped in stressful conditions. They endure enforced semen extraction and impregnation and are sometimes forced to ‘clean out’ paddocks by being left to eat through their own faeces and urine down to the mud, where many calves are born, only to be taken from their exhausted mums by exhausted farm staff. Surviving calves are raised to follow their exploited mum’s into the milking sheds or males castrated, with horns burned off and fattened up until eaten. A lucrative fetal blood serum health industry has recently emerged, requiring unborn calves to be bled alive while in the womb."

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"Big dairy in New Zealand is an industry built on harm and violence, which permeates through our communities with high levels of sexism, domestic violence and self-abuse from meth and alcohol. The industry has the second worst rate of suicide amongst workers and is the country's biggest single climate polluter. This is not our future. We don't even consume 5% of the dairy produced in Aotearoa, as nearly all is for export. We need to end big dairy and shift urgently to regenerative and ethical agriculture providing for local communities' needs," concluded Bailey.

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