Calf anti-suckling device is essentially cruel as it prevents natural behaviour

“This device prevents babies from drinking their mother’s milk, all so humans can take it for themselves.” That’s the tweet but it is not the complete story actually. This anti-suckling device makes weaning the calf from the mother more efficient. It creates a 2-stage process. The calf can be with their mother but not suckle. This is a first stage of artificial weaning as I see it. It makes the separation of calf from mother less traumatic. Farmers often just separate them at birth to keep the milk for humans.

The calf can’t suckle which makes the weaning process smoother. The farmers say that it is better than simply tearing the calf away from their mother, which is cruel by any standards.

The device we see is a plastic flap over the mouth. The way it is fixed through the septum of the nose looks horrible to me. Other devices are spiked. These can irritate the mother causing her to kick. The calf is in danger of being harmed. Either device looks cruel to me. How does the calf feel on being prevented from suckling?


We have to presume that calves have emotions of some sort. This anti-suckling device must cause frustration and confusion at least. It may be very distressing for all we know. How does the mother feel? Is she aware that her baby can’t feed? If so, how does it affect her emotionally? I guess farmers don’t know and don’t care.

The whole dairy product business is underpinned with animal abuse of some sort and often it is plain cruelty. And humans shouldn’t be drinking cow’s milk or eating cheese from cow’s milk anyway as it is meant to be drunk by cows but ironically, they are prevented by cruel humans from doing it. It is a sign that the world is upside down.

How many humans are bloated by cow’s milk without realising it (see article below)! They drink it all their lives without realising that the stomach bloat from which they suffer is due to their intolerance of cow’s milk (lactose intolerance).

Mother cows have a deep connection with their calves.

The farmers say that the anti-suckling device are good as “two-stage weaning strategies are low-stress methods that mimic ‘natural’ weaning by dividing the process of weaning from milk and the physical separation of calves and cows into two stages.”

But it is unnatural and essentially cruel. Yes, it might mimic natural weaning in a shallow way but it speeds it up and in doing so it is unnatural and does not truly mimic the natural process.

The farmer’s objective is to wean the calf as soon as possible to ensure all the mother’s milk is available for human consumption. The calf is a necessary nuisance. They have to exist to get the mother to produce milk but after birth the calf is often a burden to the dairy farmer depending on their gender.

In the UK, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) estimates that of the almost 400,000 male calves born on dairy farms each year, 60,000 are killed on-farm within a few days of birth, so the practice is clearly still widespread. Females are kept alive to produce milk when adult.

Here is another video on dairy farming. It is about the competition between making as much money as possible and animal welfare. Guess which objective wins?

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful Note: I will donate 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment made over the next three months on pages where comments can be made.
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Post Category: Cows > calves