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New Revolutionary Dairy - Case For Support

We are all familiar with the stark array of graphs that detail how we are sapping the Earthís vital resources, and we are also familiar with the fact that in high income countries we are living as if we have an extra planet (or two) at our disposal. We have a footprint five times greater than low income countries and continued growth on this trajectory will no doubt have severe consequences, some of which we have all witnessed in recent unpredictable weather patterns.

Reading such forecasts can be depressing, but we can make a difference through the choices we make. At Ahimsa Dairy Foundation we cannot say we have all the solutions for changing the trajectory, but we do believe we can contribute towards making a substantial difference in the way we farm.

The journey to producing slaughter-free milk has not been easy, we had no money, no land and little support; we struggled with quality, we struggled with untimely deliveries and we struggled with many circumstances but our conviction for ethically produced high welfare milk did not change.

We are still here, our driving force has been to realise the unattainable dream of making slaughter-free milk a reality. Although there have been many challenges, there has also been much learning. At heart, we are idealists wanting to see a better and fairer world for cows.

We would like to thank you for your loyal and on-going support of our work, your faith in what we do and trust in our aspirations. Though you may not consider it major, you are one of a few hundred people who have walked this path with us, journeyed with us through thick and thin; this is true resilience, an example of community supported agriculture where peopleís beliefs show that food can be produced in a clean and pure way.

We are writing to say that although we have slaughter-free milk, we do not have milk produced to the very highest ethical standards by our own measurement, here at the Foundation, we believe we still have some distance to go. We went to Commonwork hoping to achieve these but there have been limiting factors, their objectives are not the same as ours and circumstances are now dictating that the time has for us to demonstrate what a true Ahimsa sustainable dairy should look like.

A community in Leicester have offered us 50+ acres of land (the present site of our sanctuary), rent-free for three years and a minimum of 25-30 acres on an on-going permanent basis.

In the presentation below, we make the case for transitioning into the ideal set up for cow, bulls and the land, a truly Ahimsa set up which fully reflects our core values. An opportunity has arisen and we would like to request you to give it due consideration. We believe the time has come for us to take the next bold step.


Help us realise the Ahimsa Vision of a Revolutionary Dairy

  • The Ahimsa dairy is Britainís first slaughter-free dairy where no cow or bull calf is killed

  • We have been working with Commonwork, a large organic farm in Kent for three years and they have bred all of our cattle

  • We are very grateful to have been associated with them during this time but we now want to move even closer to our revolutionary vision for dairy farming in Britain

  • Our unique system of dairy farming is not possible within the Commonwork framework as their objectives are different
  Present Practice
(within Commonwork framework)
Ahimsa Vision
(to be implemented in Leicester)
Cows in calf Previously every two years,
now annually
Every 3-4 years
Calves with
Mothers
5 days with no further access Continual access until 6 months
Conception Bull for first pregnancy followed by
artificial insemination (AI) for
future pregnancies
Natural insemination by bull
Milking method By machine Mainly by hand
Names Just numbers Each animal has a name
Treats None Carrots and other vegetables
Land
management
By tractor By ox-power
Total herd size 100+ 36-40 (maximum)

 

An Opportunity

  • We now have land in Leicester where we can establish a dairy farm run entirely to our own principles. A key aspect will be meaningful employment of bulls, this being the key to the sustainable success of the project, bulls cannot simply do nothing and be maintained by income generated from the sale of milk / milk products.

  • We have secured an excellent project manager, one of the top hand-milkers and oxdrivers in Europe. He has over 15 years of experience running and developing a successful smallholding in Hungary. We therefore wish to shortly relocate our entire operation to Leicester.

  • Our envisaged system and herd size is entirely manageable and sustainable both in the short term and for the future

  • We can establish a holistic mixed farming system growing a variety of crops and employing bulls (oxen) for farm-work and running a dairy alongside. We will continue to work within an organic system using no chemical inputs and managing the land optimally for wildlife and the environment

  • Every day we receive messages of support from people who are full of praise for what we are trying to achieve but we know we are not fully there yet

  • We now have this wonderful opportunity to realise all of our ambitions and would ask you to help us in making our vision a reality
Our Vision is for a sustainable organic dairy where no cow or bull calf is ever killed and all can live out their lives until their natural end.

We see our cattle as more than commodities and want to respect and engage with them as
sentient beings.

 

How You Can Help Support Us

  • Our goal is to raise £135,573 towards setting up and first year transition costs after which the farm will be self-sustaining (A full breakdown of costs can be found at the foot of this page)

  • We are looking to secure the initial £54,000 towards this goal within the next month from our present Ahimsa Dairy Foundation customer, sponsor and well-wisher support base – we would like to invite you to select one of the options below and join us on the achieving the next step:

    • 15 people to give £100 a month for 1 year = £18,000
    • 30 people to give £50 a month for 1 year = £18,000
    • 40 people to give £25 a month for 1 year = £12,000
    • 50 people to give £10 a month for 1 year = £6,000

      Total = £54,000

  • And over the summer, from Jude, Gopi and friends (our team of young Ahimsa fundraising champions) - £6,000

    Grand Total = £60,000

Please consider being a part of the future of a
more compassionate approach to dairy farming

 

Words of Support

‘I am full of admiration for the Ahimsa project.’

Satish Kumar, Editor-in-Chief of Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine
‘This wonderful initiative represents the pinnacle of animal welfare and a shift towards recognising the importance of being nonviolent to nature and to animals in the production of food’

Patrick Holden , Director of Sustainable Food Trust
(Former Director of the Soil Association)
‘if cows are treated according to the high ethical principles of cow protection, where no cows are slaughtered, their milk provides unlimited benefits for human health and I am delighted to support Ahimsa Milk …’

Chrissie Hynde - (The Pretenders)
‘ALL YOU WHO CARE ABOUT WELFARE of COWS must see this. It IS Possible to produce slaughter-free milk. Follow these guys!’

Brian May (Queen guitarist)

 

Breakdown of Costs for Set-up and Transition to Leicester

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