My connection and bond with my son started during pregnancy, while he responded to different sounds I made or sang, to small touches I gave him through my belly, tapping against his tiny limbs. For months I could feel him there growing inside of me.
When it came time for me to choose how I wanted to give birth to him, I chose the most natural birth possible. It felt natural to me to want to hold my baby as soon as he was born, to wait for his umbilical cord to stop pulsing before cutting it, and to feed him within the first hour of his life.
My urge to bond with him once he exited my body was profound and deeply instinctive; we had been physically connected to each other for nine months already, and he grew his whole body and life inside of me. My heart deeply wanted to stay close to him.
I didn’t choose or plan any of these feelings, they simply happened to me because I am a mammal.
All mammalian mothers have the instinct to connect with their babies, to stay close, and to nurture them. Cows have the same instinct. They too carry their babies for nine months, and there is no rationalization that will ever convince me that they don’t feel the same hormonal and physical response, even though they have been transformed into commodities and treated like inanimate objects.
Just like cows and all other mammals, I began producing milk when my baby was born, so I could nourish him. But in the dairy industry, babies are stolen away from their mothers, so humans can take their milk instead. Each mother exploited for dairy is robbed of the living being she grew inside of her, and with all her strength gave birth to.
No mother should ever have her babies taken from her, least of all so we can commodify the milk she produces to nurture them, and for which we have no need. There are abundant, kinder and more nutritionally appropriate sources of food for human beings. I will teach my son this as well— that we can thrive without using or abusing animals for food.