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The public outrage and reaction to the video below depicting animal abuse at the Fair Oaks Farm which supplies milk to Coca-Coala United States subsidiary fai1life farms has been predictable with the basic thread being one of “I hate humans!”
The video and the abuses therein made me think of the recent firing of Port Elizabeth Radio Personality Daron Mann from Algoa FM after his comments on the Dairy Industry as being ‘horrific’.
At the end of the day our entire society needs to shoulder the blame for the many abuses that take place every minute in the farming industry – basically fueled as a result of our insatiable demand for animal products that are cheap and readily available.
In terms of the above the cold hard reality of life is; “Short cuts WILL be taken.”
“Watching this video broke my heart and created a sadness that I will have to endure for the rest of my life. I am sorry and I apologise for the footage in this video;” said Dr Mike McCloskey owner and founder of Fair Oaks Farms.
The video that McCloskey is referring to the one featured below made by undercover Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) investigators exposing widespread animal abuse and statements far from the truth by Fair Oaks Farms with regard to their policy of supposedly not supporting the veal industry.
Filmed between August and November 2018 the video below shows widespread and continuing animal abuse on the dairy farm:
Richard ‘Kudo’ Couto, Founder of Animal Recovery Mission says; “Fair Oaks Farms has stated many, many times that they don’t send their calves to veal. Coca-Cola, fa!rlife and Fair Oaks Farms are liars. They are stating now that there bull calves do not go to veal. Is that true? Where else are they going to send 80-90 dead calves per day? I would love to get a straight answer out of Michael McCloskey, out of Coca-Cola.”
According to Couto; “Without the dairy industry there would be no veal industry!”
The video above shows calves being delivered to Strauss Veal Feeds and is being dubbed as the ‘clearest proof yet of the link between the dairy industry and the veal industry’. Men are shown punching, pushing, throwing and dragging calves. Calves are force fed from bottles and beaten with them or stomped on their heads when they don’t drink. Calves are shown left to die in 100-plus degree weather, burned and beaten with branding irons. Dead calves stacked in piles and the men take the ‘back roads’ to hide them from public view. Calves are then thrown into crowded trucks and secretly sent to be slaughtered for meat.
Fair Oaks Farm owner Mike McCloskey claims he had no idea that his calves were being sold for veal saying; “Due to a lack of communication between the general manager in charge of livestock sales and myself, I was unaware that we were selling our calves to the veal industry and apologize for the unintended false claim made previously. Our bull calves will no longer go to veal.”
McCloskey was once a contender as President Trump’s Agriculture Secretary and is a co-founder of the fa!rlife milk (beverage) brand – part of the Coca-Cola Corporation in the United States and Canada.
The apology from Mike McCloskey:
McClosky says that three of the four workers ‘fingered’ in the video were fired for ‘animal abuse’ three months before the video surfaced and the fourth terminated immediately after the video went public.
“I am committed to never again having to watch a video of our animals suffering the way that they suffered. It is a commitment that I guarante you that this will not happen again at Fair Oaks Farms,” concluded McCloskey.
Dr. Michael J. McCloskey was awarded his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1976 from the University of Mexico, after which he completed a two-year postdoctoral study in Dairy Production Medicine at the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. McCloskey is a board member and officer of the National Milk Producers Federation, chairman of the Sustainability Initiative of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and is the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine.
As part of the Fair Oaks farm operation, McCloskey has also been involved in pushing the business toward more sustainable practices. According to Fortune, he has been the leader of the farm’s innovations in “recycling the cows’ waste by turning tons upon tons of manure into an energy source – as part of a quest to reduce his business’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
On 7 January 2019 – before the release of the undercover video and after the undercover investigation by Arm concluded in November 2018, Fair Oaks Farms Co-Founder Sue McCloskey said in the video below; “No one cares for the land, animals, and the safety and affordability of the food they produce for their family’s and neighbor’s dinner tables as much as a farmer. Fair Oaks Farms is a place where our guests can have their questions or concerns answered with complete transparency, where they can make the connection between a farmer and the food on their table.”
Sue said that it was important for the public to be able to come and see how farmers look after their cows and treat their animals saying that “in order to earn the trust of today’s consumer we need to feed their curiosity.”
One is sure that Sue did not expect that the public’s curiosity was about to be fed with a sensational video highlighting abuse on her very own farm.
Mike and Sue talk in their 7 January 2019 video:
Fair Oaks Sue McCloskey also said; “Consumers really had a lot of growing concerns about where their food was coming from, and rightfully so. Is it healthy, how do we treat the environment, where the animals protected? Whilst farmers had growing concerns about limited resources with the growing population.”
Fair Oaks Farm supplies milk to Farilife Farms which is a Coca-Cola affiliated dairy farm – the ‘horrific abuse’ of these calves has forced Coca-Cola to suspend delivery following the investigation. According to Coca-Cola, Fair Oaks Farm supplies less than 5% of it’s milk to the fa!rlife brand.
The apology from fa!rlife on Twitter:
In a section on the fa!rlife web site on Animal Welfare, fa!rlife say; “Our commitment to animal welfare is a key part of our pledge to provide you and your family with safe, highly nutritious products. This is a commitment that we share with our supplying farm partners. We understand that providing cows with great nutrition, along with maintaining clean, safe, comfortable environments, is not only important to their overall well-being, but leads to great-tasting, high-quality milk.”
In a statement Coca-Cola said that they took the following steps as fa!rlife to make this right:
- fairlife immediately discontinued the use of milk from Fair Oaks Farms. No milk from any Fair Oaks Farms locations is being used in fairlife products.
- fairlife conducted independent audits at its supplying dairy farms using auditors from Food Safety Net Services Certification and Audit, LLC (FSNS C&A). These audits concluded in July and did not report evidence of animal cruelty or abuse.
- The Coca-Cola Company conducted its own independent, third-party audits of fairlife’s supplying dairy farms using auditors from Validus Verification services, who reported that they did not witness any acts of animal abuse at any of the locations.
In the aftermath of the video four lawsuits have been filed against Fairlife, Coca-Cola, Mike McCloskey and Sue McCloskey in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia, accusing the companies of consumer fraud and deceptive marketing.