Will Calf Who Cheered Up Sick Boy End Up at a Sanctuary or on a Skewer?

PETA Asks Upstate Dairy Farmer to Extend His Compassion to Nuzzling Calf and Her Mother

For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Albany, N.Y.

Today, PETA sent a letter asking Nathan Chittenden—the upstate dairy farmer who cheered up a sick Pennsylvania boy with a video of a calf nuzzling his ear—to send that calf and her loving mother to a reputable sanctuary, not butcher them.

“Any child who loves cows would be horrified to learn that calves on dairy farms are taken from their mothers and later artificially inseminated and used as milk machines until they’re sent to slaughter,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is asking that the lives of at least this calf and her mother be spared—if not for their own sake, then for this little boy’s.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—has offered to relocate the cows to a sanctuary at no cost to Chittenden.

For more information, visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Chittenden follows.

April 2, 2020

Nathan Chittenden

Dutch Hollow Farm

Dear Mr. Chittenden,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including many thousands across New York, in response to the video that you sent to a sick boy named A.J. that featured calves, including one who was licking and nibbling your ears. In honor of A.J., will you please allow us to relocate this nuzzling calf and her mother to a reputable sanctuary, where they could live out their days in peace?

I’m sure you realize that A.J. would be upset to learn that if these calves and their mothers remain on your property, they will presumably be artificially inseminated repeatedly and slaughtered when they no longer produce milk. Please, will you spare them—if not for their own sake, for that of the boy? We would make sure that they have a wonderful life at a sanctuary and would arrange their transportation if that helps.

We’re hearing from members, supporters, and others whose hearts go out to these calves and who don’t want to see them suffer. You must have observed how calves and their mothers on your farm are deeply upset to be separated from each other. Like elephants, cows cry real tears, and they bellow for days—as you will no doubt have heard—while grieving for the calves they love who are taken from them. They feel love, joy, pain, and fear, just as you and I do. They produce milk for their own offspring, not humans, and do not want to die.

Researchers have found that cows not only can figure out problems but also enjoy the intellectual challenge and get excited when they find a solution. They also understand cause-and-effect relationships. For example, they can learn from observation how to push a lever to operate a drinking fountain or use their horns to get a water pump going. Some have learned to press a button with their heads to release grain when they’re hungry.

We hope you and the Dutch Hollow Farm will extend your consideration for young A.J. to these other living, breathing, thinking, and sentient beings and accept our offer to send this loving calf and her mother to a sanctuary, where A.J. could visit them at any time. They’d be able to enjoy full, safe lives, away from the threat of the market and breeding on your property. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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