Organic milk from cows that will be retired to a sanctuary once their milking days are over is starting its first deliveries this week in north London and surrounding areas, bringing about a revolution in milk production.
No cow, calf or bull will ever be slaughtered to bring this quality product to the breakfast table and they will instead be protected for life, ensuring families can be confident no animal suffers to bring them milk.
The breakthrough has been made possible by the Ahimsa Diary Foundation (ADF) working in partnership with the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative (OMSco) and one of their supplier farms in Kent, Commonwork, which seeks local and global sustainability.
At present the milk, which costs £2:25 a litre and 15p for doorstep delivery, is being distributed in North-West London and parts of Hertfordshire, although national distribution is being explored and subject to demand it might be possible to do drop-offs in other areas. Other products such as butter and cream will also be available in the future.
Sita Rama das, director of the Ahimsa Dairy Foundation, said: “There is so much suffering in the production of conventional milk. Cows are killed years before their natural time having been milked to death, male calves often destroyed at birth or sold as veal, and bulls are slaughtered for meat. We believe this is no way to reward the generosity of the cow on whose milk people are so dependent.
Patrick Holden, former director of the Soil Association said: “I am delighted that Ahimsa Slaughter-Free Milk is now on the market and very much welcome the initiative. As a dairy farmer myself I am inspired by this example. It is setting a benchmark for farmers around the world and proves they can farm without exploiting their cows.”
“None of our cattle will ever face the abattoir and we are exploring new ways of sustainably and productively working with bulls. We think people will really be able to taste the difference in the milk we sell.”
The Ahimsa Dairy Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. It takes its model of caring for cows from the farm at Bhaktivedanta Manor, where a herd are kept to supply the Hare Krishna Temple.