Mothers love their babies. Even before the baby is born, she would have formed a bond with the baby in the womb for nine months. And when the baby is born, nature intended it to be so that what the baby needs can be provided by the mother for a while. And so, it is incredibly cruel to separate the baby from the mother.
This month, we celebrated mother’s day. During occasions like this, we often think of mothers who get to be the mothers they wish to be for their children, mothers who get to see their children grow up, mothers who have the luxury of raising and caring for the children. We don’t often think of the mothers who are grieving, the mothers who through no choice of their own, have had their children taken away from them.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all. Today, offer your practice to all the mothers who are grieving, who need healing, who have experienced loss, and who are forgotten.
One group of forgotten mothers, and the grieving mothers from which the report came about, are the severely abused mother cows of the dairy industry. They are forcefully impregnated, and for nine months, they carry their babies inside their wombs, just like human mothers. When their baby is born, they are taken away so their milk can be stolen and sold as products. One of two things can happen to the baby. If the baby were male, he would be killed right away to be sold as veal. If the baby were female, she would be part of the cycle of violence, forcefully impregnated just like her mother. The cycle repeats itself until such time that she can no longer get pregnant, and then she is discarded like a machine that is no longer useful. She is killed then. This is the dairy industry, an industry violent to mother cows.
Each person’s actions have the power to either perpetuate this violence between mothers and their children, or to stop it. If we wish to stop the violence, all we need to do is be vegan. When it comes to a mother’s love, there is no distinction among different races or religions or backgrounds or species, as it is with a mother’s grief. There is no such thing as a Buddhist mother’s love being different from a Christian mother’s love, just as a human mother’s grief is no different from a cow mother’s grief. Love is Love. Motherhood is motherhood. Grief is grief. It knows no species.
Let us not let mothers be forgotten. Let us not be the cause of babies being separated from their mothers. Let us choose kindness. Let us choose veganism.