Whether raised on a small local farm, family farm, or factory farm, the fate of a male calf in the dairy industry is always the same - veal. Theo comes to Peace Ridge via a small dairy farm in Maine. His mom was bred to be a machine that gives birth to cows simply so humans can steal the milk she produces for her babies. Immediately after being born, Theo was likely stolen from his mom within minutes, causing a great deal of emotional pain and anguish. She was then hooked up to pumping machines to extract as much milk as she can produce. Meanwhile, Theo was given some milk replacer and tossed into a small crate.
Since male calves are a waste product of the dairy industry, this farm sold them in their crates at the roadside for pocket change as "veal calves". A passerby saw what he considered a good deal, and bought Theo. For the next few weeks, Theo was kept in his crate among deplorable conditions and was starved. A good samaritan saw the plight of this poor baby and called the local authorities who visited the home and agreed that Theo was being neglected along with numerous other farmed animals. All of the animals were seized by the State Officers and Peace Ridge was contacted to help give this little calf a chance.
At 6 weeks old, he arrived at Peace Ridge emaciated - a mere 75 lbs whereas he should be 170 lbs. He was unstable on his feet since he was never given the opportunity to stand. With some encouragement and compassion, Theo is now enjoying his days grazing in our pastures, galloping, and playing as a calf should be.
Veal calves in typical crates. (photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary)