A Meat and Dairy Article from All-Creatures.org



A Letter to Mothers Everywhere

From Charity Kahn, ClimateHealers.org
May 2024

How can we, as mothers, rationalize buying into a system that exploits mother animals? How can we, as feminists, support a structure that abuses, rapes and incarcerates millions of female cows every day, and kidnaps their children over and over? How can we, as women who demand bodily autonomy for ourselves and our fellow humans, enable the breeding, imprisonment and stolen motherhood of billions of female hens every single day?

nonhuman mothers

“From the bosom of the devaststed earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, Disarm!"
~ In 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for a 'Mother’s Day for Peace', dedicated to the celebration of peace and the eradication of war.

Mother’s day is complicated for me. On the one hand, it’s a celebration of my amazing kids and mom, and a day to bask in gratitude for these relationships, for these opportunities to grow and learn and love in this lifetime.

It’s also a day where I take time to meditate on violence, inspired by Julia Ward Howe, who in 1870 called for a “Mother’s Day for Peace”, dedicated to the celebration of peace and the eradication of war. As expressed in what is called her “Mother’s Day Proclamation” from 1870, Howe felt that “mothers should gather to prevent the cruelty of war and the waste of life, since mothers of mankind alone bear and know the cost.”

We are, as always, in the throes of war. Not just in the Middle East, but also in Colombia, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, and Ukraine. Humans are killing, maiming, torturing and enslaving other humans in service of principle, power, fear, control, religion, patriarchy, and a myriad of other justifications and rationalizations. Humans are acting out their own trauma on others, as we are known to do. Mothers are losing their children to death or trauma every day. In all of these places, governments and organizations are using US-made bombs to carry out the violence.

And as horrifying and unspeakable as this is, there is another pernicious and ubiquitous war raging under our very noses, rarely reported on by mainstream media, in which human participation is virtually universal. It’s happening on our farms, in our slaughter houses, in our shopping carts, on our plates, and in our bellies every single day. This war goes largely unnoticed, unexamined, unchallenged by even the most ardent lovers of justice, freedom, equality and inclusion.

I am speaking of the constant rape, torture, incarceration, family separation, traumatization and killing of non-human animals in service of human beings’ desires, comfort, traditions, conditioning, and convenience — aka animal agriculture.

The collective loss of human life and trauma caused by the current human-on-human wars likely numbers in the hundreds of thousands — staggering, unimaginable, unacceptable.

The number of cows currently imprisoned in the dairy industry, today, repeatedly raped, having their children stolen from them, and eventually being killed for meat after they’re too old to “produce” anymore, is around 270 MILLION at any given time — staggering, unimaginable, unacceptable.

The number of hens, right now in this moment, living in worse-than-hell conditions for the sole purpose of producing eggs for human consumption until they die of disease or are slaughtered is more than 33 BILLION — staggering, unimaginable, unacceptable.

How are we not in the streets decrying this violence, too? How do we remain asleep as billions of mother and child beings suffer the worst imaginable fates?

Yes, I am equating the worth of human lives with the worth of animal lives. As a human committed to identifying and uprooting hierarchy and injustice in all realms, I see speciesism (“the assumption of human superiority leading to the exploitation of animals”) as the final frontier in the justice movement. Speciesism is an oppressive, coercive system we’ve all been brainwashed into, and it’s literally destroying our planet and our ability to embody the compassion needed to snap us out of the delusion of violence at whose feet we currently worship.

How will we ever end human-on-human violence unless we address the horrors of our systemic control over and exploitation of non-human animals and the Earth and all life? Can we work on both these movements simultaneously? Can we fight for justice for oppressed and marginalized humans (who, by the way, are disproportionately harmed by the animal agriculture industry), making choices in service of ending their oppression, while ALSO fighting for justice for non-human beings and making similar choices to end their oppression?

To me, this is logic.

And I believe this is what’s being asked of us in these harrowing yet potent times: to tear down the walls, smash the binary, dismantle coercive hierarchies, and stop clinging desperately or unconsciously to views and delusions that inevitably result in othering and more violence. If we can see, truly see, the ways we believe we are superior to other life forms, the ways we “other” non-human animals, the ways we justify eating them and their secretions as necessary and sometimes even “humane”, we might have a chance of transforming our world in all the ways that matter.

So I ask: how can we, as mothers, rationalize buying into a system that exploits mother animals? How can we, as feminists, support a structure that abuses, rapes and incarcerates millions of female cows every day, and kidnaps their children over and over? How can we, as women who demand bodily autonomy for ourselves and our fellow humans, enable the breeding, imprisonment and stolen motherhood of billions of female hens every single day?

What if all the human mothers went vegan? What could our world look like then?

It’s my 12-year vegan anniversary today. If you want to join me on this journey, please reach out. I want to be your friend on this glorious adventure of compassion and awakening. Every baby step counts. Small shifts matter. Going slowly, at capacity, is OK. Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones is OK, too. All in all, it’s a joyful, wonderful, healing, inclusive and hopeful journey where we trust and listen to our hearts, follow and speak truth, and keep kindness in service of all life as our deepest intention. After all, isn’t this what we’re trying to teach our kids to do? And isn’t it said that actions speak even louder than words?

I love you.
~ Charity 


Posted on All-Creatures.org: May 13, 2024
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