Thursday, October 15, 2009

Episode 1 Crafar Bobby Calves

Episode 1 Crafar Bobby Calves

Welcome to the first episode of Coexisting with nonhuman animals. This will be my new podcast, where I release all animal rights related episodes. If you havnt listened to my older podcast, Jay Wont dart's podcast, there are still plenty of interesting animal rights related episodes. I'll link to those on my blog, you can see all episodes of Jay Wont darts podcast at , with direct download links. Or, you could get the episodes from iTunes, by searching for " jay wont dart ".

Im going to leave all previous episodes alone, but this podcast, Coexisting with nonhuman animals, will be where all future episodes about animal rights will be released. Perhaps you would like to subscribe to both of my podcasts, my general topic podcast, and this podcast you are listening to now, covering Animal rights.

This episode, the story of starving dairy cows in New Zealand, at a farm owned by Allan Crafar. The Crafars are currently New Zealands largest individually owned dairy group.

This shocking story was broken by, so I'll play back their initial report.

To go over facts from the clip, the Crafar's farming operations quickly grew, they took on debt, and this particular farm was so poorly staffed that the animals were not taught to drink milk from a trough, an unnatural behaviour for animals. In New Zealand, we have the term "bobby calf", for baby male cattle, calves that are sold at a few days old, they are taken on a truck to be slaughtered. Of course, cows need to be have offspring to produce milk, and males are a waste, since they cannot produce milk. They are a liability, like Roosters, they are just discarded. Reading from ( a year on the farm .co .nz, ) the term bobby calf could be from a historic price of each calf being sold for a bob, one pound. The same site says that nowadays, Bobby Calves will sell for about 10 to 20 NZ dollars each, thats how much their lives are worth, about the same as a couple fast food combos.

These poor baby calves have plastic tags stuck through their ears identifying what farm they are from. People have been so angry and upset by this incident, but what is the difference really, these are animals that are only kept alive to be killed somewhere else, at a few days old, for people to eat. It shouldnt be difficult to realise, that we are responsible for creating the demand for milk by drinking their mothers milk, males are sometimes born. These males are not useful for dairy production, you only need female cattle. You cant have milk without a baby.

Heres a second clip covering the story, from Close Up. The reporter questions farm staff, including Allan Crafar himself.

The staff in that clip were very rude, and didnt really seem to know what to do. The woman in the clip threatened the reporter a couple of times. Alan Crafar in the Close Up clip said about having to kill all the baby cows, as soon as possible. Crafar said they "are only worth a dolllar, and will probably cost 7 dollars to feed them and muck around with them. In theory you should kill every calf you dont want at birth", saying it wasnt worth the effort to feed them. BUT, when it came to starving cows to death, he gets emotional thinking of cows suffering. Well, the point of farming the poor cows is to sell them for slaughter, which sure counts as suffering to me!

heres another clip explaining the situation better.

<8pm dairy live clip>

and finally, my last clip for this episode. Alan Crafar returns.

<6pm crafar farm clip>

Alan Crafar blames all sorts of other people, for what has happened on his farms. The Crafar's have polluted rivers, borrowed huge sums of money from bankers, over 150 million NZ dollars, and have been caught letting cows starve to death. That last clip mentioned Alan Crafar blaming compliance costs and being prosecuted for having to sell his farms. Not once does he admit to having done wrong himself, its the fault of the people who set rules about NOT dumping waste into New Zealand rivers, and who disagree with starving cows to death.

Ive talked to friends overseas, who have been shocked by what has happened with these calves. There are genuine fears that New Zealands image, of being a clean green country, has been badly hurt by the videos that have gotten out of the Crafars farm.

As far as Im concerned, incidents like this must be happening all the time. People get very upset when the media covers animal welfare concerns, but then the story soon fades away. Many people will have been shocked by the Mike King story with New Zealand Pork, I bet that many thought of eating only "free range/organic/washed in unicorn smiles" pig meat. How many of these people have stuck to that idea, that they could buy more expensive meat and hope the animals were killed "humanely"? Really, the issue here is demand, people want animal products, and so they are created by farmers. Most people, it seems, dont want to think about how the animal gets to their plates. We need to be promoting veganism, using creative resources. I hope my lame little podcasts can help spread a greater message, of being an aboltionist vegan.

I hope you've enjoyed the first proper episode of Coexisting with Nonhuman Animals. You can find the blog at coexisting with nonhuman animals, . Episodes from Jay Wont dart's podcast are also linked there, so you can hear my earlier episodes about Animal Rights, before I decided to do a separate podcast for that topic. If you'd like to contact me, my email is , or you can find me on twitter under jay wont dart.

Thank you for listening.


bobby calf term


  1. This is wonderful Jordan, great job :-)

  2. I mean you are wonderful,what is going on that you are talking about in this episode is not wonderful.

    However with more voices like yours we are representing their rights, and the more people who join us then we will start to see a shift in thinking. Thank you so much for doing this podcast.

  3. Good one J. Almost as high-tech as mine!!


  4. Well done Jordan! I didn't know that's why they called them "Bobby Calves"... because that's how little they're worth: a bob.

    From what research I've done there is a global glut of dairy products... Here in the states the farmers have "retired" 300,000 "extra" milking cows. And I hear that in Europe farmers are pouring millions of gallons of milk to the ground in protest of declining profits. I'd like to think it's all us vegans driving the demand down... Please, no one burst my illusion!

    But your story about the Crafar farm really illustrates the economic crisis they've gotten themselves into - Feed so high that they have to starve the "livestock"... It's just sickening from beginning to bitter end.


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