“About Cold Island:
the Ethical Dairy and are trying a new approach to cow’s milk. They have “110-ish” cows that are hybrids of three breeds designed to create a more robust, productive and long-living animal. “Our cows look like liquorice allsorts – they are all kinds of colours and shapes and sizes,” explains David Finlay. “There’s a lot of bonuses that come from crossing, but they don’t look so pretty.”
For much of the past 25 years, the Finlays have been turning the milk from their cows into ice-cream, but they recently began to concentrate on making artisan, raw-milk cheese. But that’s not what is really radical about what they are doing. A couple of years ago, the Finlays started to wonder if they could make their farm work both as a business and an ethical enterprise that puts animal welfare at the heart of the operation. At the centre of the experiment was the idea to allow calves to stay with their mothers for five to six months after they are born. The cows are still milked during this period, but only once a day.
Some background might be helpful. In most commercial dairies, calves are taken away from their mothers soon after birth; organic farms are required to keep them together for a minimum of 24 hours. On the most intensive dairies, cows will be milked three times a day. In these industrial facilities many cows don’t survive to the age of five.
Targeted Age Group: General
Written by: Max Hertzberg
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After the experience of the East German political upheaval in 1989/90 Max Hertzberg became a Stasi files researcher. Since then, he has also been a book seller and a social change trainer and facilitator.
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