I came across the following image via social media. It depicts a poster placed in the window of a British cafe. The text of the poster reads:

This Is Why We're Ditching Dairy...

In celebration of Mothering Sunday, and so, in celebration of all mothers across the land, from this Mother's Day forth, we shall no longer sell coffees with cow's milk.

This poster will explain why we are doing this. There are alternatives, full of flavour and calcium; we can even pour hearts on your lattes with them.

Milk is of course a product of motherhood; until recently, we had not made this connection, and saw nothing wrong with using good quality milk.

In order to make milk, all animals, whether human or cow or otherwise, must have a child. Cows are pregnant with theirs for nine months, just as we are. The milk they produce is for their calf; in order for us to get it, the calf is taken away or killed, usually within a day or two. Free-range and organic, it doesn't change that fact. After several months of milking, her milk production drops, so she is made pregnant again. This will happen from the age of two to the average age of six, at which point most dairy cows become too exhausted, ill or infertile and are slaughtered for meat.

This is standard practise in the UK.

So from March 26th 2017 this cafe will have a completely vegan menu. Our intention is to make veganism delicious, convenient and accessible.

As far as I can tell, the poster makes several claims that can be empirically verified, so without further ado...

1. Are alternatives to cow milk as nutritious for human beings?

2. Is a cow's calf taken away or killed shortly after its mother has given birth to it?

3. Is the process that the poster describes above standard practice in the British dairy industry?

4. Is the process described above changed at all by organic or free-range methods?

PS. If someone could create the veganism tag for me, it'd be much appreciated. It's distinct from vegetarianism and I can see it being popular for as much as, if not many more, questions.

poster in shop window of British cafe

closed as too broad by Oddthinking Apr 3 '17 at 7:15

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Welcome to Skeptics! There are at least four different big questions here. Please cut this down to one of the claims. – Oddthinking Apr 3 '17 at 7:16
  • Also, is this notable? Do many people believe it? – Oddthinking Apr 3 '17 at 7:17
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    @Oddthinking: I was halfway toward completing an answer. And the claim in the poster is almost 100% correct (and, thus, noteable). Perhaps apply a bit of caution with that one-vote closing. – DevSolar Apr 3 '17 at 7:18
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    @DevSolar: The alternative is waiting until someone posts a quarter-answer, and then gets upset when the question is changed to be more focused. Better to get the question fixed before the answers start coming in. – Oddthinking Apr 3 '17 at 7:24
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    @Oddthinking: As I said, I was in the process of completing a full answer, because I did not think this question to be "too broad". Three of the four claims in the question are directly from the source, and closely related, so I don't see how the question could be much narrowed down. And then all the work was for naught because you thought there couldn't be a good, concise answer, and closed the question without even so much as an advance warning. – DevSolar Apr 3 '17 at 7:27

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