Mother’s Day is just two days away—this holiday is a wonderful reminder to celebrate our own moms, but it’s also a nice time to reflect on the special bond between the mothers and children of all species.
I’m always especially touched by the stories I hear of dairy cows’ attempting to protect their young. Dairy cows, like all mammals, produce milk for their babies—though dairy cows on factory farms are artificially impregnated to begin their milk production. Then, very soon after the calves are born they are taken away—sometimes so early that their umbilical cords are still attached. Mother cows have been known to pace, wail, and ram their bodies into the bars of their pens as they panic over losing the child they carried for the last nine months—the same length of time as human pregnancies. Meanwhile, the calves are separated and fed a milk replacer rather than the wholesome milk from their mothers, which is instead shipped off to market for human consumption. Female calves usually stay in the dairy industry, while week-old male calves may be sold to veal farmers, condemned to fourth months in intensive confinement and malnourishment before they are slaughtered.
These mothers deserve better. And fortunately, we can stand up for cows each time we sit down to eat—simply by choosing dairy-free foods. It’s easy! With the abundance of plant-based milks, butter, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, and even award-winning cheese available today, the options for delicious, dairy-free meals are endless!
This Mother’s Day, try these recipes to show your mom you are just as compassionate as she taught you to be: