Prabhupada on keeping the cows together with their calves
Should the calves be allowed to drink as much of their mother’s milk as they want, and therefore – should they be separated from their mothers? That is one of the controversial topics in cow protection. But what did Srila Prabhupada say regarding this issue? We can learn about that from a room conversation that took place on August 2, 1976, in New Mayapur (a French farm).
Bhagavān: There was a question about the cows, that at what point should the calf be separated from the mother. Because sometimes when the calf is separated, the mother, she cries.
Prabhupāda: No, they should not be taken away.
Bhagavān: Shouldn’t be.
Hari–śauri: I think in all our farms they do that.
Bhagavān: I heard in New Vrindaban they took them away very early.
Hari–śauri: The problem is that the calves drink so much milk that they become very sick, so they have to separate.
Prabhupāda: Therefore they should not be allowed always. Once in a day, that’s all.
Prabhupāda: Not too much allowed, but once. At least while milking they should be allowed to drink little milk, and that will encourage the mother to deliver more milk.
Hari–śauri: Oh. At the same time they’re milking the cow, the calf can come.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They can bring it milk. And while milking, the calf may be standing before the mother.
Hari–śauri: They do that in India.
Prabhupāda: So she will not be sorry. Completely separation is not good. And after birth at least for one week the calf should be allowed. Because after this giving birth the milk is not fit for human consumption. The calf should not be allowed to eat more, but at the same time the mother must see once, twice, then it will be all right. Of course, we are born in big, big towns, we do not know, but I know this is the process. In Allahabad I was keeping cow, there was facility.
Bhagavān: I don’t think our farms are doing like that. In New Vrindaban they do?
Hari–śauri: What, letting the calves come? I don’t think so. You can write a letter to… The whole system’s so perfect, it’s completely satisfying in every respect.
Prabhupāda: And if you make others dissatisfied for your pleasure, that is sinful. You should act in such a way that nobody is dissatisfied. Then there is balance.