Video: Little Princess the Calf’s Story Brings Out the Vegan in Us All

Of all the compelling reasons to be vegan, nothing could be more motivating than the story of Little Princess, a terribly sick dairy calf who no one wanted to buy at auction until Animal Place Sanctuary stepped in and purchased her for $5. Sanctuary staff rushed her to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where veterinarians found that Little Princess had pneumonia, a condition that had gone untreated for at least three months — perhaps as long as five months. With 80% of her lungs full of pus, she was too far gone to save. Her new friends cradled Little Princess in their arms as she was euthanized.

Every day, dairy farmers dump unwanted calves like Little Princess at auctions, where the males are often sold for veal and the females as replacements for another dairy’s used-up, slaughtered cows. Once their milk production declines in a few short years, these females will also be slaughtered and replaced, in a continuous cycle of exploitation. One-week-old “drop” calves who aren’t fit for either veal or dairy generally fetch from $5 to $20.

All this suffering just so members of another species can drink a glass of cow’s milk.

Learn more at our Dairy Factsheet.

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About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009 to expose the food industry’s exploitation of animals and foster greater empathy for farmed animals. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he acquired a behind-the-scenes perspective on food branding and marketing. His new book, Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal Consuming Culture, reveals how popular culture uses a variety of fictions that condition us to consume animal products and perpetuate fasle perceptions of animals that make us feel better about exploiting them


  1. This is heartbreaking. I am glad I no longer contribute to this egregiuos industry. I have been a vegan 2 years this January. Mr. Grillo, thank you for educating us on the the dark underbelly of the farming industry.

  2. The culture of greed and meanness revealed in stories like this are beyond shameful. That living creatures are used up and thrown away or neglected to the point of death for human profit and pleasure is revolting. The churches who proclaim that human beings are the crown of God’s creation should take a second look at the sins and crimes committed against the innocent. Maybe if they weren’t so concerned about filling their collections plates they would speak out for the defenseless whom, supposedly, God also created. The ethical and moral issues here have been totally ignored. Laws have been virtually usesless. I don’t know what it will take to change things, aside from enough people who care.

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