"Bobby" calves rescued from the dairy industry
"We could could only choose two" ...Noah and Winston's rescue story.
Back on 17th December 2017, FAR Vice President Carol and the FAR Outreach Animal Advocacy team went to the Woodford sale yards on an ordinary sale day for livestock.
That day, the pens were jammed with 'spent' dairy cows, who after a fraction of their natural lifetime and having experienced multiple pregnancies in order that they produce milk, were now being sold for slaughter. Most had been identified as low milk producers or for having treatable illnesses such as mastitis. Carol sensed their anxiety and panic, made obvious immediately by the racket of cows crying out in distress. She could feel their confusion and panic.
In pen 21 were two babies, Noah and Winston, just days old. As males, Noah and Winston and hundreds of other male calves there that day, were also being sold for slaughter. They had been taken from their mothers so they did not consume the milk which was to be sold for human consumption. Never being able to produce milk themselves, they were considered useless.
Not having his mother's milk, food or water for some time, Winston was weak and had collapsed in his tiny pen. Noah, who possessed a fighting spirit so unusual in one so young, had the strength to stand and fight for his life. He eyed us, however, wary and frightened. When we placed a gentle hand on his back to pat him, he winced in fear having never experienced the kind hand of a human.
Carol and the FAR team negotiated with the owners of Noah and Winston, and he decided they could choose two calves as a goodwill 'Christmas' gesture. As thrilled as we were by this outcome of saving Noah and Winston, we were also heartbroken by being only able to save only two.
We wanted to save them all.
We bundled Noah and Winston into our vehicle and onto a bed of soft straw, and took them immediately to the vet, where they received life saving electrolytes and a check over before coming to sanctuary. Winston still had his umbilical cord attached.
Noah and Winston were saved and live a cherished life at Farm Animal Rescue as ambassadors for all male "bobby" calves in the dairy industry.
Noah and Winston are lifelong buddies, each with unique, cheeky and sometimes feisty personalities. They will live each day at pasture, footloose, free, but protected and out of danger, for the rest of their lives. We have made a silent promise to them that when they no longer are enjoying life due to illness or pain, but only then, will we release them from suffering with dignity and without fear, because this is the least we can offer them. Noah and Winston teach us that 'bobby' calves are anything but useless. Each and every one of them deserves and will fight for a rich and full life just as they choose, to feel sunlight, eat nutritious food, have freedom to roam freely and feel safe. And the amazing thing is that although Carol and the FAR Advocacy team had to choose only two calves to save that day, we all have the power every day to save them all, by choosing to consume plant based dairy alternatives.
Watch the video of their rescue here