London, UK - Ahimsa Milk, meaning milk produced without harm to any living being, is from cows that are played music and massaged as they are milked by hand.
The pasteurised milk will be sold for £3 a litre in shops around Harrow, London, where there is a large Hindu community.
However monks are already in talks with Asda and Sainsbury’s about making the milk available across the country.
Bhaktivedanta Manor was gifted to the Hare Krishnas in 1973 and has recently spent £2.5 million to set up the “Hilton of farms”.
Sita Rama das, Director of the Lotus Trust that runs the farm, said even organic or free range dairy products are from farms where animals are mistreated and eventually slaughtered.
Ahimsa milk will be the first produce available for Hindus, whose religious beliefs mean they cannot harm any living animal. Also ‘lacto-vegans’, who eat dairy but only from animal treated in a human manner.
“This premium milk will offer consumers the chance to avoid buying from an industry which is based around slaughter and suffering, and instead buy from a fresh, new and compassionate alternative,” he said.
The dairy has 44 dairy Short Horns and Meuse-Rhine-Yssel cows producing 1,000 litres of milk every week, although they hope to expand as demand is already outstripping supply.
Instead of slaughtering bull calves, the animals live a “full and happy live” drawing the plough across fields or the mill to grind corn.
Cows are milked twice a day in a shed where ancient sanskrit prayers are played over a loud speaker, unless they are suckling calves. Massages are given to calm any skittish heifers.
All the animals are given herbal medicine in a special animal hospital when they are ill and a full Hindu burial when they die of natural causes.
The new farms will be officially opened by 30 saffron-clad priests and Dominic Grieve, the attorney general.
Dairy farmers welcomed the initiative but argued that ordinary farms already have a high standard of welfare.