From Diane St. Clair’s The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook: Recipes and Reflections from a Small Vermont Dairy (Andrews McMeel, 2013):
We also eat meat, and we raise all of the meat that we eat on the farm. There is no milk and cheese without lactating animals, and many people do not realize that lactating animals must give birth in order to be milked. These calvings or kiddings (if one is milking goats) take place each year and produce more animals, half of which will be male. Unfortunately, there is not much of a role for the male of the species on the farm. They do not give milk, and you only need one of them if you are using them as future breeding stock. Therefore most male calves are shipped to auctions soon after birth, going to the meat market.
We try to avoid that for our calves whenever possible. We keep our bull calves for from 4 to 6 months, feeding them milk and hay and letting them run around and be calves. We want to give our bull calves a life as free from suffering as possible, acknowledging the reality that they will not be with us for as long as our female calves. Whenever possible, we have our male calves slaughtered on the farm, thus avoiding the stress of a trip to the slaughterhouse. This “baby beef” becomes our meat, raised humanely and with respect, for the animal and for the food it later becomes.
— pp. 93–95