The maternal instincts that we humans have are not dissimilar to those of other animals. All desire to be happy mothers!
In this respect, farmed animals are well denoted.
So, when it comes to any attempt at interference between a mother and her offspring, those who would dare – best beware!
As example, there are many accounts of a mother cow vigorously defending her calf when any threat is detected, such as the ear-tagging of “beef” calves or the separation of dairy calves from their mothers shortly after birth. Both of these cruel practices are standard in their respective industries.
These actions are heartbreaking to both mother and child.
As much as mother pigs desire to mother their offspring, they are sadly given zero options when it comes to exercising their natural instincts.
More than ninety-nine percent of sows used in the food system endure the ongoing nightmare of farrowing crates – an abominable invention that does not allow them to stand up or turn around. Instead, they are trapped on their side in torment, forcing their babies to nurse outside of the crate. Until one day they are taken away to be fattened up for the kill.
No mother deserves this kind of treament ever, and yet these poor souls endure this cycle time and again, until they to are finally sent for slaughter.
You are likely familiar with the phrase “mother hen” as one who sees to the needs of others? But sadly, there is extreme maltreatment of hens in the egg industry.
To wit: they are confined in cages which house them shoulder to shoulder (often times literally on top of one another). And their poor exhausted bodies are pushed to lay unnatural amounts of eggs.
These eggs represent chicks which they would nurture by virtue of nesting, hatching and mothering – given the chance.
The lost opportunities for these hens produce untold suffering and damage.
Here at Changing Hearts Farm, we have the mother/offspring bond represented in Rosebud and her calf, Cassidy. When they came to us, Cassidy was still nursing and continued to do so for many months, thereafter.
Cassidy and Rosebud are among the lucky few who were given sanctuary and allowed to remain together and fulfill their yearnings to deeply bond.
You can read their full story here.
This Mother’s Day, let us give pause to remember the ones who will never know this joy. And commit to doing our part in helping bring about awareness, and work to change the atrocities that steal these treasured moments away from them and their young.
Many often say that any day is a good day to acknowledge and express our love and admiration for mothers – of all shapes and stripes. We quite agree. So today and everyday… Happy Mothers Day.