Commentary: Show compassion for all moms this Mothers Day: Go vegan – West Hawaii Today

Posted: May 9, 2021 at 1:50 am

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This Mothers Day, be kind to someone elses mom by going vegan. Farmed animals have mothers, too, after all.

Weve all heard the term mother hen used to describe someone with a strong maternal instinct. Thats because hens are doting parents who will even care for other baby animals as if they were their own. When not confined to filthy factory farms, hens lovingly tend to their eggs and talk to their unhatched chicks, who chirp back while theyre still in the shell!

But birds used for food never get to see their chicks, because they hatch in large metal incubators. The male birds are useless to hatcheries because they dont produce eggs and because theyre not bred to produce the excessive flesh desired by the meat industry so they are either suffocated to death or ground up alive. You heard that right: Fluffy yellow chicks are suffocated or ground up while still alive on a massive scale.

The female chicks are sent to egg farms, where theyre crammed into wire cages or confined to dark, crowded sheds and forced to live amid accumulated urine and feces. Part of the birds sensitive beaks are cut off with a hot blade and no painkillers because in their misery and frustration, the confined birds might peck at one another, causing injuries.

When the hens begin to lay fewer eggs usually when theyre around 2 years old theyre sent to the slaughterhouse, where their throats are slit and theyre often scalded to death in the defeathering tank.

Birds endure all this suffering just because humans like to eat their eggs. But its so simple to make great-tasting brownies, cookies and cakes, as well as breakfast scrambles and egg salad, without actually using any eggs. If youre planning to make or order a meal for your family this Mothers Day, why not do it without contributing to cruelty to animals?

We can spare gentle mother cows a world of pain and heartbreak simply by saying no to dairy milk and instead enjoying creamy beverages, frozen desserts, gooey cheese pizza and hearty lasagna made with vegan milk.

Like hens, cows are subjugated and their reproductive systems are hijacked and controlled. On dairy farms, female cows are artificially inseminated and kept almost constantly pregnant so that theyll produce a steady supply of milk for human consumption. Their babies are taken away from them shortly after theyre born. The male calves are commonly killed for veal, and the females are turned into quasi-milk machines like their mothers. They, too, end up at the slaughterhouse when their milk production wanes.

In An Anthropologist on Mars, Dr. Oliver Sacks wrote about a trip that he and well-known agriculture industry adviser Dr. Temple Grandin took to a dairy farm. They saw one cow in particular who was bellowing and searching for her calf, whod been taken away. Dr. Grandin noted, Thats one sad, unhappy, upset cow. She wants her baby. Its like grieving, mourning not much written about it. People dont like to allow them thoughts or feelings.

We should be a lot kinder than that. This Mothers Day, why dont we acknowledge that all animals are sentient beings who feel pain and suffer when treated cruelly and who mourn when theyre separated from their loved ones? Our own mothers taught us the Golden Rule, to treat others as we would like to be treated. So, lets honor all moms this Mothers Day and every day, by following that rule and opting exclusively for vegan foods.

Heather Moore is a senior writer for the PETA Foundation;

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Commentary: Show compassion for all moms this Mothers Day: Go vegan - West Hawaii Today

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May 9th, 2021 at 1:50 am

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