Press release on the occasion of the Mother’s Day

PRESS RELEASE

On the occasion of the Mother’s Day,

It’s time to wake up to the misery of billions of voiceless mothers!

The Mother’s Day is celebrated in order to help us spare a thought for mothers. Unfortunately, our thought has been limited to only a subset of all the mothers. It excludes billions of mothers who undergo a lifetime of enslavement and torture (including rape and killing of babies), before meeting with a premature death. For them, a pain-less day itself, let alone celebration, is a distant dream! In case you are wondering how this is possible, and why someone hasn’t reported these atrocities, these gross violations of human rights, well, the operative word here is “human”. The (only) crime of the mothers who get tormented day in day out is that they belong to other species. They are cows, hens, pigs and other animals. And, when the mothers happen to be non-human, we call these atrocities “dairy”, “poultry”, “hatchery”, “animal farming” and so on! Not only do we condone these atrocities; we actually commit them by consuming milk, eggs, meat and other cruelty-laden animal products/services.

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The animals raised for food, clothing, etc. are (artificially) bred into existence. In other words, the entire animal industry is built on abusing very basic reproductive rights of animal females, including the right not to get raped into a pregnancy, the right to decide when to mate, and the right to decide who to mate with. Just like their human counterparts, animals suffer hugely when any of these rights is violated. We even take babies away from mothers, despite the fact that the mother-baby emotional bond is immensely strong among non-human animals too. It’s high time we put an end to this species-ism, this enslavement & torture of innocent voiceless beings on the morally irrelevant basis that they belong to a different species. Like humans, animals too feel pain – both physical and emotional – very acutely. Why, then, should justice and kindness be confined to humans?

comic36We want to further illustrate the plight of animal mothers with a quick fact-check on milk & dairy products. For any dairy – be it is small or big, rural or urban – to be economically viable, the cows need to be repeatedly forced into pregnancies (either through rape by a common bull or equally torturous artificial insemination). Moreover, they are injected with bovine growth hormones that cause her painful stomach cramps. When the mother yearns to feed her baby, the milk that nature exclusively tailor-made for baby cows is stolen by us, adult humans! As if all this is not cruel enough, male babies, who have no commercial value for a dairy, are starved or sold to slaughter houses. And, the female ones become milk producing slaves, and suffer the same lifelong torture that their mothers did. After every drop of milk is sucked out of a cow, she too is transported mercilessly for slaughter. Our dairy consumption also causes a lot of emotional misery. Mothers are seen crying frantically for weeks after being separated from their babies. (A must watch 5-minute video).

We also need to debunk a couple of myths here. Cows don’t need to be relieved off any excess milk! Think about it, cows in the wild don’t need the services of humans to take off any excess milk! Nature ensures that every mother produces milk just enough for her baby. There are also people who claim that they only take milk after the calf has had her full share! Any breast-feeding woman would testify that no mother is ever sure that her baby has had enough milk, and she can make ice-cream out of the rest!

Moreover, milk/dairy consumption is also unnatural and unhealthy.No species in nature drinks the milk of another species or any milk at all after infancy! But we humans somehow refuse to grow up, and stay on a diet of milk even till the age of 60!

Another huge set of animal mother victims is chickens raised for eggs and meat. They are subjected to de-beaking (the chopping off of their beaks to prevent them from pecking), forced breeding and other barbarities. In ALL egg hatcheries, including the “free-range” ones, male baby chicks – who are useless for eggs as well as meat – are brutally killed. The hens bred for eggs too are slaughtered in full view of fellow birds, after they stop being ‘commercially viable mothers’.

There is also the fundamental issue of consent, which is absent during every animal “use”. Would a free cow in the wild ever let us milk her? No, she would kick us away. Given a choice, no animal would let humans dictate his/her life. And, robbing a being of the freedom to make her own choices is in itself a grave form of cruelty, even if she is not kept physically tied/caged. This is why we abolished human slavery, rather than opting for ‘humane’ treatment of slaves. Only when the slaves are animals, we resort to the humane myth, despite knowing deep down that there’s absolutely no justification for consuming anything derived from an animals. To sum up, there are no happy cows, no humane milk, no cruelty-free eggs, just like there is no humane rape/murder.

Finally, there’s a simple way to stop your contribution to the unspeakable suffering of these most tortured & helpless mothers (and their young ones). It is vegan living, defined by the avoidance of ALL animal products. In addition to being cruelty-free, the vegan lifestyle is also critical for environmental survivability and human health. It’s very easy-to-follow too. Ice-creams, tea/coffee, cheese, paneer, curd, chocolates, cakes, sweets and every other dish we are used to can easily be made or bought vegan! Here are detailed practical pointers for living vegan. Everyone is also welcome to join the rapidly growing Facebook group ‘Vegans in India’ [Open not only for vegans, but anyone interested].

Contact: Sejal Parikh (7893225500, 7893165919, sejalrparikh@gmail.com)

Signatories (a few of the many vegans and animal lovers who endorse this):

  • Dr Nandita Shah (Renowned doctor, Auroville)
  • Chinmayee Hiremath (Google, Hyderabad)
  • Dr Arun R (PhD, IISc, Bangalore)
  • Raghav H V (PhD student, IIT Madras)
  • Pulkit Parikh (software engineer, Microsoft, Hyderabad)
  • Abhinav Srihan (Fauna Police, Delhi)
  • Jay Thakkar (Software engineer, Bangalore)
  • Shikha Jain (lecturer, Ahmedabad)
  • Sonal (CEO, WhiteCub dairy-free ice-creams, Gurgaon)
  • Aruna Kapoor (teacher, Mumbai)

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