Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Indiana is billed as being a family-friendly place – an agricultural amusement park that offers families the chance to get up close and personal with the animals raised to produce meat and dairy for humans to eat. It lets children and adults alike connect with their food and learn more about the species themselves.
Fair Oaks might seem family-friendly at first glance. In one room you can see dairy cows giving birth!
This gives children the opportunity to experience the miracle of life by witnessing it firsthand. What children don’t realize is that they’re present with the cows as they see their calves for the first time, as well as the last.
If the calves are male, they’ll head off quickly to the veal farm, where they will be deprived of their mothers’ affection before being slaughtered at only a few weeks old. That way, children can enjoy the milk that was intended for the calves.
Female calves, like males, only spend a short time with their mothers before being moved.
The females are quickly moved to a dirty patch of ground and are fed a milk replacement instead of their own mothers’ milk. If they’re cold, they can go inside the hutch. If they’re hot, they can come out. That’s about it.
Once they grow up and are able to be forcibly inseminated by a farmer, they can upgrade to these luxury conditions:
Once they’re with the other cows, they’ll get to walk around daily on hard concrete muddied with their own feces between milkings – again, taking the milk that was supposed to go to their calves. But humans can’t live without cheese, right?
The cows may be sad that they can’t keep their babies for more than a few hours, but maybe the pigs at Fair Oaks have a bit of a better deal.
Gestation crates allow mother pigs to stay with their piglets for a few weeks while they grow to market weight. Of course, the sows cannot do more than stand up, sit down, and shuffle forward or backwards an inch or so (It certainly makes the calf hutches seem spacious), but they get to keep their babies – unless, of course, one of those babies is too small to be profitable for the farm. On some farms, one method of disposing of these runts is for farm workers to hold the piglets by their back legs and slam their heads against the concrete floor. It’s sometimes necessary to do this more than once, or else you have a concussed pig running around the factory floor. Of course, this is often done in full few of the mothers. It’s unclear whether Fair Oaks allows its visitors to witness how they dispose of these low-value animals.
Not part of the tour is the loading of market weight pigs and spent dairy cows onto trucks, where they will be crammed to the point of crawling on top of each other, sloshing around in their own urine and feces for days, going without food or water for the entirety of the trip, and then brutally murdered in front of their friends.
All for cheese and bacon.
Thankfully, some people have seen through the lies. Read a testimonial from someone who visited Fair Oaks Farm:
Going to Fair Oaks on a family trip is actually what started me to think about going vegan.
It was obvious that there was more farm than what was shown to the public.
Also they said “Our dairy cows are free to roam” and literally showed us cows that were locked in a sort of building of sorts and sure they weren’t chained to one spot and we free to roam about that shelter space but even I could tell that was bullsh*t.
The thing that really got me…
Was they had a theatre where you could watch a calf be born.
One mother had twins, and at first I thought omg that is so sweet/cute! (I am a mother so I just immediately empathised with that Momma cow)
But almost immediately after they were born some human came in and shoved a bottle in the calf’s mouth. (Something similar happened to me at the hospital when a nurse told me I couldn’t breast feed.)
And that just broke me, and I started to see all the lies they were telling.
When you exit the theatre, there were these tiny pens that told us (not in so many words) “this is where the calves go after we take them away from their mother.”
And then the pigs
I used to be one of those “I think pigs cute but BACON.”
They didn’t even try to sugar coat the pig stuff like they did the dairy cows.
They showed us pregnant pigs in cages so small they couldn’t move.
They showed us where the mother pigs and her babies were kept, it was only slightest bigger than the sows, there was a weird bar that kept the mother in one spot.
The piglets, some were cute but some had started to chew on each other. Some were fighting each other.
And then they had the male pig in a room with a weird chain device on him.
All of this was on display btw, I didn’t have to sneak around, it’s what they show you.
So bring your kids to Fair Oaks Farms and pay money to see animals tortured right in front of you. Hold your children close and be glad that you weren’t forced to give them up at birth like cows are, because someone decided they liked gouda more than they cared about mothers having a sliver of bodily autonomy.