My journey to motherhood was arduous. My pregnancy was grueling and labour was agonizing, but my love for my child was instant from birth. And the joy since that moment, inexpressible. A mother will endure any and all obstacles for that moment. A year after giving birth to my son, I was shocked to learn that cows used for dairy are slaughtered just as cows used for meat are. Equally dreadful, I learned that we kill their babies by the hundreds of millions globally. How could I as a mother knowingly continue to fund such an inhumane system, all so I could eat some cheese?
Mother cows, like us, produce milk only to nourish their young. That we take and kill those babies, and take their food to make ice creams and lattes from their mothers’ breast milk, is incomprehensible to me. Yet our society not only ignores the inherent cruelty, but celebrates the products made from it. All while denying the mothers of another species what we treasure most. It’s heartbreaking.
Six years on, I still experience indescribable shame for my ignorance and participation in this industry. My only consolation is the changes I made that day. Now, when I look at those mothers, at those gentle, placid souls, I cry. I touch their faces. I tell them “I am sorry.” And I tell myself, “no more.”