Isaiah 49:15 asks, “Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?” A mother’s incomparable, unfailing love for her babies isn’t specific to humans—God imbued the animals he tenderly created with the same wondrous gift. Surely, it saddens Him to see humans take away these mothers’ precious young ones, denying their right to nurture them and causing extreme distress. As an appeal to compassionate Christians to honor the mother-child bond and let families stay together during the holiday season and beyond, PETA LAMBS has placed this poignant billboard in the midst of several churches in deeply religious Birmingham, Alabama:
Birmingham is known as an “enchanting, magical” Christmas town, and PETA LAMBS’ timely plea will stay there through the holiday season.
Cows form strong maternal bonds with their babies and go to great lengths to protect them. But on dairy farms, calves are typically stolen from their mothers within a day of birth so that the mothers’ milk can be sold for human consumption. Male babies are abused for veal, while females are commonly sentenced to the same sad fate as their mothers. Mother cows cry out for their calves for days after these traumatic separations, and many have been known to escape from their enclosures and travel for miles in search of their lost offspring.
Mother pigs often sing to their young while nursing, and newborn piglets learn to run toward the sound of their mother’s voice. But piglets are torn away from their distraught mothers just a few weeks after birth to be turned into pork chops, sausage, and ham.
In previous eras, hens were viewed as embodying the essence of motherhood. The ancient Roman historian Plutarch admired their maternal instincts, writing that he had observed hens “drooping their wings for some [of their chicks] to creep under, and receiving with joyous and affectionate clucks others that mount upon their backs or run up to them from every direction; and though they flee from dogs and snakes if they are frightened only for themselves, if their fright is for their children, they stand their ground and fight it out beyond their strength.” But hens used by the meat industry are denied the opportunity to raise their babies, too.
1 Corinthians 16:14 tells us, “Do everything in love.” There is no loving way to tear animals’ families apart and abuse and kill their members for our own selfish desires. PETA LAMBS urges Christians in Birmingham and around the world to honor God this Christmas by celebrating a cruelty-free holiday and to carry the peace and goodwill of the season with them throughout the coming year.