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Cows Dying on Organic Dairy Farm

Written by Michelle Kretzer | January 9, 2013

Update: The bank claimed ownership of the bankrupt couple’s property and wanted to sell the cows to slaughter. But the original whistleblower stepped in and saved the cows’ lives, this time tenaciously pursuing a deal with the bank to allow her to assume all responsibility for the animals’ care. Now the cows will live out their days in peace and safety, never to be harmed for milk or meat. The cows’ original owners still face cruelty-to-animals charges. 

Originally posted on March 6th:

Many people are still laboring under the illusion that animals are somehow treated better on farms that label their products “organic,” but a recent cruelty case that PETA was involved with shows that animals on organic farms often fare no better than those on non-organic farms.

A whistleblower alerted PETA to a dairy farm where hundreds of cows were starving and two or three were dying every week. The whistleblower had tried to get the owners of the farm to feed the cows, but the owners were bankrupt, and with no money to feed the animals, they had simply left them to die.


This cow was too weak to stand.

We contacted local law-enforcement officials and, with the help of the district attorney, got state veterinarians to go out to the farm. The vets confirmed that this was indeed a case of cruelty and neglect, and police arrested the owners and charged them with cruelty to animals. The owners were later released on the grounds that they had to do whatever it took to care for the cows or they would face felony charges. Some people in the community have donated food, and the owners are juggling their finances to make food for the cows a priority. PETA has confirmed that the cows’ health is improving.

While these animals are doing better, across the country, cows are still suffering on organic dairy farms. Often crowded into cramped sheds or onto mud-filled lots, cows are repeatedly impregnated and have their babies taken away so that people can drink the milk that nature intended for calves. Don’t let your friends and family be fooled—”organic” does not mean “humane.

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  • MJ Alciso says:

    I cannot believe that these people can do these to animals. Thank you PETA and to all those who support and help animals in any way they can. I hope all the actions you do will inspire more people to do these great things like you do.

  • susanna calla says:

    so sad! Hope the bank was reprimanded as well!

  • Virjune says:

    Aside the happy, “Got Milk” images associated with dairy products, in every purchase of milk, cheese, yogurt, and other such products is an extra cost incurred by the government’s dairy programs. These programs “set” dairy prices and subsidie dairy while largely BENEFITTING LARGE-SCALE, HIGH INCOME FARM OPERATIONS.”
    Obviously, this small organic farm didn’t see a penny from those moneys given away. Poor cows!

  • Khando says:

    Wow Thts a big victory .. U guys r really blessed who saved so many lives …

  • dorieta says:

    i don’t understand why so many are willing to ignore the abuse of animals. No matter what a person’s convictions about animals as food I don’t know why we just ignore their pain and suffering where they are being raised and fed. Evil lives and we should be resisting it vigorously!!

  • Patti Jensen says:

    WTF????? Do these rotters not have enough brain cells to call someone and ask for help??? Any animal humane society would have helped. This is just plain horrible abuse of these poor animals. They (the owners) deserve to be punished and fined so they never do this again.

  • ILIA P says:

    IMAGINE THAT, THE WAY SOME INDUSTRIES TREAT THOSE POOR ANIMALS (MONKEYS, HORSES, DOGS, GOATS TO MENTION A FEW). AND THEY WERE PUT ON THIS EARTH BEFORE THE HUMAN RACE. WE ARE INVADING THEIR SPACE AND THE WILL TO LIVE…TOO SAD

  • farm sheds says:

    I have not seen such scene of brutality with animals. There should be farm sheds for the safety of cows and at least something to eat for them.

  • Organic Farmer says:

    We don’t believe the real issue here is whether the farm was “organic” or not but like Melissa commented this farm failed to make the right business decision and sell before the animals suffered. We raise our animals using organic principles, our family owns an organic dairy and our neighbors an organic pig farm and all the animals are raised in harmony with their more natural behaviors. They are well taken care of!

  • Elizabeth Lanson says:

    This is horrible & this kind of treatment for cows must stop. And the abusers should have been punished!

  • Reidun Carstens says:

    I will repeat the words from Sharon Wakefield : thank the Lord that neighbors and friends have pitched in financially to help feed these starving cows. I hope that the same begins across the country for starving animals incl. horses , dogs, and cats. SPEAK UP! IF YOU KNOW OF INCIDENTS LIKE THIS, REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY AND ATTEMPT TO GET OTHERS INVOLVED TO SAVE THE ANIMALS!

  • gaura says:

    one thing i find diificult to understand is when people who have no idea of farming or cow protection ,say milk should only be for the calf ,1 the cow peoduces enough milk for a calfs needs and human and for them to be both left together if greed is not applied .also a calf can die through scour if it takes to much milk.i have kept cow and calf like this .and have had a cow milk without ever having a calf .all are protected not slaughterd.

  • Rajesh Kumar Karra says:

    i know humans are having very cruelty nature. defiantly i can sponsoring to PETA for more protection for my lovely animals.

  • Guy Cruls says:

    I only drink organic milk. I have been laboring under the assumption that the ‘organic’ label entailed ethical, caring treatment of animals. Having seen this, there is a strong case, isn’t there, for the ‘organic’ standard, where animals are concerned, to include a clause guaranteeing the ethical and caring treatment of animals.

  • Loula says:

    I really hope these poor cows make a full recovery, that is the very least they deserve. Such beautiful animals, denied the very least they needed to survive. At least someone has intervened and helped these cows. Good job to everyone who helped! Hope you live happily ever after mr/s moo cows.

  • KarinZoch says:

    Stop this cruel

  • Sarah says:

    Everyone, please, you have to take cruelty PUBLIC early so it can’t be hidden away or ignored. Take it public BEFORE the animals die.

  • Kiesha says:

    I cant seem to grasp that i breathe the same air as these people. This disgust me and makes me so angry. They deserved a lot worse. Lets starve them and see how they like it.

  • Melissa says:

    In regards to the comment posted by Doesn’t Matter. These cows did not suffer from ” chewing disease”. The owners couldn’t afford feed, had no hay and didn’t have the good sense to sell. People donated feed and the cows improved, people stopped donating feed and the cows deteriorated. Now does that really sound like “chewing disease” sounds like starvation to me. I aggravates me to no end when people like yourself will make excuses that are completely ridiculous when the evidence is right in front of your face. Thanks to one local farmer the cows are now doing well. They are being fed and don’t seem to be showing any signs of your so called chewing disease.

  • Melissa says:

    The owners at this farm got off completely from any charges of animal cruelty. They starved more than 200 cows before they were finally stopped. The cows were fed for several months by other local farmers and the owners took credit for the improvement in the cows appearance. When the public finally learned the truth to the situation,action was finally taken and the animals were removed. It was too late for most of them. I can’t believe anyone could get away with this but they did. They owners even posted a youtube video about their farm and their cows. Jubilee Organic Dairy is how it is posted. You should see the way they lied.