Every year in New Zealand, millions of days-old ‘bobby’ calves – mostly males, but also females superfluous to requirements – are slaughtered.   It is the most tragic practice in an Industry that severely exploits dairy cows.

Fortunately there are individuals who rescue them.  They pay the farmer for them, look after them until they find a forever home paying for food and veterinary expenses, and sometimes they even continue to monitor them for the rest of their lives.

One of these individuals is Lynley Tulloch of the Starfish Bobby Calf Project.

Read Lynley’s article about New Zealand bobby calves here, first published by Vegan FTA.

(Featured image by Emere McDonald)




‘I’ve Seen You In The Meat Aisle’, by Emily Murphy

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I’ve seen you in the meat aisle

Seen you choosing what to eat

Eyeing up their body parts

In rows all nice and neat.

I’ve seen you grabbing bottled milk

That wasn’t made for you

And I know you never think about

The suffering they knew.

I’ve watched you fill your trolley up

With misery and pain.

Eggs and cheese, a leg, a wing

My heart just broke again.

You say I should respect your choice

That it’s your right to choose

Well legally perhaps you win

But morally you lose.

I don’t know how you do it

But you close your ears and eyes

To the slaughterhouse, the blood and screams

Their fear, despair and cries.

It doesn’t even cross your mind

You bite and drink and chew

And you keep yourself from knowing

They died because of you.

So no, I don’t respect your choice

There’s no respect from me

You are putting in your stomach

Someone you refuse to see.

The animals, they have no voice

Convenient for you


But have a heart and look at those



‘Like lambs to the slaughter..’ What choices will you make this Easter?

This weekend, families across the country and around the world will celebrate Easter with leg of lamb dinners and egg hunts.  The tradition of eating lamb at Easter has old testament roots, and was part of Jewish Passover observances before the birth of Christianity.  Similarly, eggs have been a symbol of rebirth and new life since ancient times, but it was Mesopotamian Christians who first adopted them as an Easter food.   

Read more about Easter traditions in these two articles: )

While eating  lamb and eggs at Easter reaches back to antiquity we should not in this, or in any other case, accept tradition  blindly.   While traditions are well and good – they give us a sense of comfort, pride and belonging –  they must always be revised and adapted in light of an ever-changing society.   If a particular tradition is cruel or harmful to sentient beings (as in many that involve other animals)  then it is immoral to continue with it, and it should be stopped.    As celebrated Animal Rights Activist Maneka Gandhi wrote in the article ‘Tradition is no excuse for Cruelty’, about a barbaric Indian rite of passage  ritual (Ukweshwama) where  a group of youths torment and slaughter a terrified bull with their bare hands:

 “While I respect culture, this bull-killing ritual causes extreme suffering to an innocent creature and has no place in the modern world. Tradition is not an excuse for cruelty, and many societies have ended or are working to end ‘traditional’ practices—such as slavery, cannibalism, infanticide, female circumcision, foot-binding, bullfighting, and fox hunting—that cause animals or humans to suffer”.

Is it acceptable now to eat the flesh of baby animals to commemorate the birth and death of Christ, himself called The Lamb of God because he submitted meekly to his persecutors ‘like a lamb led to the slaughter’.? Isaiah 53:7:

Is it acceptable now to eat the eggs of mother hens who are confined to tiny cages on factory farms for their entire wretched lives?  Even  free range eggs involve cruelty such as killing one day old roosters by shredding or suffocation.   I think the answer is clear.  The tradition of eating chocolate eggs can stay, but the practise of consuming eggs that involve extreme cruelty to sentient beings has no place in a progressive, compassionate society.

This Easter I hope you will remember the gentle lamb and the mother hen. If you still eat them, it will be an opportunity for you to reflect on the cruelty involved getting them to your plate, and to begin your transition to a harmless diet.

Sandra Kyle