A report published in Welt am Sonntag newspaper revealed that up to 200,000 dairy calves are killed or die within three months of birth in Germany.

In the dairy industry, calves are bred for milk production. A mother must be impregnated to meet maximum supply requirements. But if she gives birth to a male, he is not fit for dairy production. And dairy breeds are not suitable for meat production. Farmers consider them too expensive to keep and a “waste of resources.” So they are killed instead.


Because half of the calves born are male, the numbers that are killed are quite expansive. In order to conserve resources, farmers often do not pay to slaughter or dispose of them. A veterinarian told the newspaper, “If a calf is not even worth €30 ($33), and you need €50 for the veterinarian, a farmer faces a dilemma. Many find it is too expensive to even pay €20 for the slaughter and the processing plant.”

Leaving calves to die is illegal in Germany. But many farmers find easy disposal the most cost effective method. Green Party leader Anton Hofreiter said the problem was partly due to the industry. Hofreiter said farmers are “victims of an irresponsible system,” that includes tough business models and low prices. He said that farm subsidies would help the problem.

This practice happens in dairy farms in England too. While Germany is Europe’s largest milk producer, dairy farmers told the Guardian about the practice in 2018. Time and money constraints affect farmers there too. One farmer told the Guardian, We have too many calves here. The space available on the farm [an 800-cow dairy herd] is only suitable for a maximum of 80. The less calves I have the better for the overall farm. This is a business and it has to be financially viable to make it worthwhile.”

Dairy has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects. Read more about some Common Health Concerns That May Disappear Once You Ditch Dairy and 10 Calcium Supplements For Healthy Living on a Dairy-Free and 10 Carrageenan-Free Non-Dairy Products! Not to mention, plant-based diets are known to help chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more!


Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, plant-based/vegan and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Read more about the harmful effects of factory farming on people, animal and the planet below:

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