Animal rights organization Animal Aid has created an awareness raising film about dairy farming.
The aim of the film is to dispel some of the myths surrounding the 'wholesome and friendly' portrayal of dairy, as currently being extensively marketed via social media to the UK public during the month of February.
The film includes sequences of recently captured investigative footage juxtaposed with illustrations that could be from a children's story book focusing on farming.
Animal Aid Campaign Manager, Tor Bailey, said: "Farmed dairy cows and calves suffer enormously.
"Cows do not automatically produce milk all the time as some consumers believe.
"They are usually artificially inseminated at around two years old and many are considered 'spent' by just six years old and sent off to slaughter, just a fraction of their natural lifespan of 20-25 years.
"Adopting a vegan diet is the very best way for consumers to mitigate this cruelty."
According to Animal Aid, dairy cows have been bred specifically to produce ever larger quantities of milk.
After bearing around four offspring in quick succession, they are likely to be lame, infertile or suffering from mastitis or another ailment that renders them 'not economically viable'.
"Infertility was cited as the most common reason for culling an animal, the irony being that some animals going to slaughter are actually in calf," says the group."
Male calves may be shot at just a few hours old or exported to the continent to be reared in lower welfare veal units. Female calves are more often reared in ‘calf hutches’ to go on to become ‘replacement milkers’ in the herd.
Campaign Manager Bailey added: "The cow-calf separation is often highly stressful for both cow and calf, with some cows bellowing for hours or days for their lost child."