Mother cow and her calf in a field

Mother’s Day is an opportunity for each of us to celebrate our own mother’s selfless love and its role in our lives. God recognizes the strength of the unique bond between mothers and their children when he assures us, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13).

Humans aren’t the only animals whose mothers love and care for their young, so why don’t we celebrate all mothers? Instead, many of them are abused and exploited every day of their lives, including on Mother’s Day.

Mother cows produce milk to feed their offspring just as human mothers do, but on dairy farms, their milk is stolen and consumed by a different species: humans. They’re forcibly impregnated using a device the industry calls a “rape rack,” confined to cramped stalls, and separated from their calves within hours after birth. This separation is traumatic for both the mothers and their babies, and both often cry out in fear and confusion. Mother calves have been known to bellow for their calves for days and to do everything they can to be near them. 

If the calves are female, they’ll likely be condemned to the same suffering endured by their mothers. Male calves will end up in cramped crates or on barren feedlots before they’re sent off to be slaughtered for veal or beef. Once mother cows’ bodies have given out and they can no longer give birth, they’re sent to slaughter, too.

Things are just as grim for mother pigs on factory farms, where they’re confined to crates so small that they’re unable to turn around and their babies are stolen from them when they’re just a few weeks old. Piglets’ tails are cut off, their teeth are often clipped in half, their ears are mutilated, and males’ testicles may be cut off—all without any pain relief.  Calling parts of pigs’ bodies “ham,” “pork,” or “bacon” is nothing more than an attempt to mask the fact that they are pieces of someone’s mother, father, or baby.

Can you imagine spending multiple pregnancies confined to a cramped stall or a crate so small that you couldn’t even turn around—just so someone could take away your babies? Could you bear the suffering that’s being inflicted in this way on mother cows and pigs every single day ? 

In Exodus 20:12, God commands us to honor our mothers, and in Proverbs 12:10, He declares, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals,” which includes mother animals. Surely, He means for us to respect all mothers, and Mother’s Day is a great time to start! The good news is that we can help end the needless suffering of mothers today by not supporting animal abuse and by adopting a vegan lifestyle. Download our free vegan starter kit for healthy, delicious recipes and tips for adopting a lifestyle that benefits mothers of all species .

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