This week, international animal-rights group Animal Equality released harrowing footage it gathered last winter at Nebraska’s Summit Calf Ranch—owned by Tuls Dairy, a supplier of Bel Brands which produces cheeses under the Babybel and Laughing Cow brands. Investigators found that the 11,000-calf farm left many baby animals (aged one to 150 days old) in -12-degree Farenheiht temperatures overnight, leading to severe injuries and death. “My supervisor asked me to feed the calf with the frozen feet,” an anonymous undercover investigator said. “The hooves are now almost completely severed and you can see the bone. [He] mostly stays on the ground, but once or twice [he] tries to stand which causes the wounds to bleed.” In addition to repeated exposure to freezing weather, investigators found workers hitting the baby animals with sticks and rods, animals suffering from severe diarrhea and pneumonia, and calves being forced to endure medical procedures without pain medication. “Our investigation into Summit Calf Ranch revealed a shocking lack of meaningful care provided to baby calves,” Sean Thomas, Animal Equality International Director of Investigations, said.
“We documented sick newborns surrounded by their already dead pen mates in an area referred to as the ‘hospital’ where they were left to suffer for days and, in many cases, finally die.”
In June, animal-rights group Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) released its undercover footage revealing systemic abuse at Indiana’s Fair Oaks Farms—a dairy producer for the Fairlife Corporation which is distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. While the company operated under claims of humane animal treatment, in a series of videos—one that is more than an hour long—ARM uncovered workers beating, choking, stabbing, and burning newborn calves, among other extreme instances of abuse and neglect. Fair Oaks Founder Mike McCloskey issued several statements and videos in response, emphasizing that the abuse ARM found was an isolated incident.
These investigations, along with countless others conducted by groups such as Mercy For Animals and Compassion Over Killing, prove that animal abuse is not isolated to one farm but runs rampant throughout the entire animal agriculture industry. Both Animal Equality and ARM urge members of the public that are concerned about the welfare of calves and cows to go vegan.