While the pictures on milk cartons in the supermarkets usually show a soft yellow sun cresting over rolling green hills, very few dairy cows actually live the scenes depicted on the box. In fact, most dairy cows live out their lives in scenery that is perversely antithetical to the idyllic pictures we see stamped across most dairy-based products.

Contrary to popular belief, dairy cows do not produce milk just for the sake of it, they make it for their children. This often overlooked fact, sadly has fostered much pain and suffering within the dairy industry. In order to produce milk for human consumption, baby cows are ripped away from their mothers at an incredibly young age. If the calves are female, they will be raised to follow in their mother’s footsteps. However, males are viewed as “waste” in the dairy industry and are typically sold to become veal.


Life for a dairy calf is filled with untold cruelty and sadness, and many of these animals will never get to lead the life they deserve. Thankfully, there are a number of organizations working to change our perception of these animals – one such being Farm Sanctuary.

In one incredible instance, this rescue organization was able to give a male dairy calf named Carlton a second chance at life after a farmer’s neighbor took pity on him and called Farm Sanctuary.

Rescuers found Carlton chained to a fence by his neck. He was hobbled and malnourished. 

Rescuers immediately took Carlton to the Nemo Farm Animal Hospital at Cornell University where he would be rehabilitated.

The doctor informed rescuers: “[Carlton had] contracted flexor tendons, which cause the joint above the hoof to stay bent under, making Carlton walk on his fetlocks instead of his feet.”

So he had to do a little rehab at the animal hospital. He was not too happy.


But after all was said and done, he was able to walk again. And he got a stylish new cast.

When he got to his new home at Farm Sanctuary, he met his surrogate mother Val.

They took a liking to one another.

And after a little while . . .


Carlton got his cast off!

He is loving the wide open spaces, the grassy fields. . .


And the food.



We love happy endings – especially when they are this adorable. For more stories like this, you can check out Farm Sanctuary’s website and learn how you can help animals like Carlton find homes. Another easy way to help these baby cows is to ditch dairy and opt for an alternative instead!

All image source: Farm Sanctuary