After the Animal Friends Croatia association put up billboards with the scene of an exchange of tenderness between a mother cow and her child with the message “I have milk not because I am a cow, but because I am a mother”, new posters appeared all over Croatia. To them, Animal Friends Croatia draw attention to the brutal fate of unwanted male calves in the dairy industry, which is first deprived of their mother, then their milk, and finally their life.

Namely, they explain that half of the offspring of mother cows on dairy farms are male calves. Since they cannot produce milk, the dairy industry has no use for them. They are not profitable for the “production” of beef and beef like those from genetically bred “meat breeds”, so they end up in slaughterhouses like veal.

Animal Friends Croatia adds that male calves, like their sisters, are separated from their mothers immediately after birth and locked in narrow individual cages, so small that they can hardly even turn around inside. They often do not even get colostrum (first milk) from the mother but through a feeding device. In lack of their mothers, calves desperately try to suck parts of the fence and even the farm worker’s fingers.

Mothers call their children days after separation. It is a common situation that they listen to calls and cries every day without being able to approach each other. Although they would naturally suckle for six months, after intensive fattening with substitute feed for three to four months, they end up in the slaughterhouse. Male calves never live to adulthood, while female calves, once grown, suffer the same fate as their mothers – a cycle of repeated fertilization, birth and removal of children, transformation into milking machines and, ultimately, death in the slaughterhouse.

“The dairy industry’s marketing campaigns cover up the truth about this massive injustice to male calves and cows. They openly deceive consumers by showing their victims in pastoral conditions, on green pastures lit by the sun, and even calling cows queens. They present cow’s milk as a ‘perfect natural food’, which it truly is – but not for us, but for the calves. Consuming milk of another species is completely unnatural because mothers of different species of mammals produce milk adapted specifically to the cubs of their own species until they transition to solid food. Contrary to the misleading marketing of the dairy industry, milk is not ‘produced’ by happy and healthy cows. Moreover, neither cows nor calves experience anything peaceful and happy in their short lives,” said Animal Friends Croatia.

Posters describing the entire arduous life of male calves in one sentence appeared in Zagreb, Vrbovac, Samobor, Zaprešić, Bjelovar, Koprivnica, Našice, Karlovac, Osijek, Vinkovci, Pula, Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik and other cities. They invite passers-by to try plant milk instead of cow’s milk. “Using plant milk literally saves lives. It is one of the most important steps an individual can take to reduce their impact on the planet and the environment and prevent animal cruelty. Within the large and varied offer, everyone can find something for themselves, and the possibilities for application and experimentation in favorite recipes know no bounds”, concludes Animal Friends Croatia.