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Residents in Newbury, Mass. called police after hearing strange noises that turned out to be the cries of dairy cows who had their babies taken away.

According to the Newbury Port News, “Fisher said her department received at least four calls between midnight and 7 a.m yesterday morning regarding inhuman sounding noises, prompting her to post a quick message on its Facebook page yesterday: Residents in the area of Sunshine Dairy Farm may notice loud noises coming from the dairy cows at all hours of the day and night. We’ve been informed that the cows are not in distress and that the noises are a normal part of farming practices.”

Not in distress? It seems that the four callers (and anyone with a sense of compassion) would disagree with that statement.

Mercy For Animals, an animal protection group known for their undercover investigation work, stated in response, “Many people are unaware that cows must give birth in order to produce milk. So that farmers can collect the milk themselves and sell it for human consumption, newborn calves are ripped from their mothers’ sides about 24 hours after birth.”

The dairy industry wants people to believe that cows do not have emotion, so that people will drink milk and ignore the harm that comes to cows as a result. What happens to the calves that are taken away? Female calves will go through the same treatment as their mothers — constant impregnation to produce milk. However, since male calves born into the dairy industry can’t produce milk, they are sent to become veal in some of the worst conditions possible.

Send a message to the dairy industry by switching to a plant-based milk and cutting out cheese from your diet (see cheese alternatives here). Ask a friend to make the switch to plant-based foods with you to make an even greater impact.

Image Source: Mercy for Animals/Flickr