By Nate Martinez

In our lives, there is one person who holds a special place in our hearts. She gives us unconditional love and showers us with affection. She always wants to make sure we’re okay. Her presence in our lives is priceless, which is why we celebrate her on Mother’s Day every year in May.

On Mother’s Day, we express our gratitude for the mothers in our lives.

However, as we celebrate the joyous occasions with our mothers, millions of other moms suffer. They go through physical and emotional pain in human hands. They were forced to become mothers, only to have this very motherhood stripped from them.

Let us take the time to meet these mothers.

When cute puppies come from abused mommy dogs

In a 2019 article for 11Alive, Rebecca Lindstrom and Lindsey Basye shared the story of Victoria, a German Shepherd who was used as a “puppy factory” for ten years. Victoria spent all those years giving birth to an estimated 150 puppies in Pennsylvania, but was then discarded after showing signs of a terminal illness called degenerative myelopathy, the canine version of amyotrophic lateral disease. Her rescuer said that she had “never seen a dog who was that shut down and shy, and scared of growling. And she was 91 pounds in a crate that was suitable for a twenty five pound dog.”

Unfortunately, Victoria’s story is not an isolated incident. It happens to millions of dogs around the world, especially in puppy mills. According to a 2018 article published in Breeding Business, there are breeders who push the limits of their dogs, causing them many health issues.

Dog breeding is considered an industry, and just like in any other, there will always be those who prioritize profit above ethics. Breeding Business says that in order to maximize profits, female dogs are bred as much as possible with little to no recovery time in between.

“Adopt don’t shop”

It’s a catchy phrase that doesn’t only help an animal get adopted, but also becomes a powerful stance against puppy mills.

Puppy mills will continue to exist for as long as people continue to buy the animals they breed. Besides, dogs and cats are not objects, and they shouldn’t be purchased as such.

If you would like to add a furry friend to your family, visit shelters that rescue animals instead. Always remember, the best breed is “rescued!”

Juvenile moms in the animal kingdom

There are many female animals who become mothers at such a young age, way before they usually prefer to reproduce – and they are often forced into motherhood.

Female pigs, for instance, are selectively bred to produce as many piglets as possible. A female pug becomes a mother when she’s as young as eight months old, and her life as an adult begins once she’s impregnated.

She then lives in a small cage which is not even big enough for her to turn around. She won’t be able to move about. And when she’s due to give birth, she is transferred to a birthing cage.

Female moms like her are often forced to deliver their piglets while lying in their own waste. Pigs are clean animals – a momma pig, for one, may like to clean herself but she can’t bathe. And just like other pigs, she may want to have friends, but she can’t. She’s trapped in a cage, and all her life, she will only know pain and suffering.

While she can interact with her children during their first three weeks with her, metal bars keep them apart, providing just enough space for her to feed her children.

“The story of mother pigs in factory farming is a sad one. Tens of millions of pigs spend their entire adult lives in a space no longer than a fridge.” – Jonty Whittleton for World Animal Protection, 2018.

Milked for everything they’ve got

People unwittingly consume milk, thinking it is a product that does no harm to the cows from where they come. At least no cow dies for milk production, they may believe. Right?

Sadly, it’s not the case. There is probably more suffering in a cup of milk than a burger. In order for cows to produce milk, they have to be mothers first – that’s grade school biology.

A 2013 article by James McWilliams written for Forbes explained how the first step in producing milk was strapping a cow into what was referred to as a “rape rack” where they were to be artificially inseminated. And, just like our own mothers, a cow would then carry her baby in her womb for nine months.

Naturally, a cow should bond with and provide nourishment to her calf for 9 to 12 months after birth; however, because the mom’s milk has already been reserved for dairy production, the calves would be taken away from them immediately, as explained in a 2014 article by Mary Bates for Wired. Cows are social creatures with a varies spectrum of emotions, which explains why a mama cow would weep for months as she years for the child taken away from her.

It doesn’t stop there. A mother cow would be raped again, the cycle continuing for years until her milk production is no longer profitable. Once she is of no use to the industry, she is then sent to the slaughterhouse to be sold as meat.

Many milking cows are mothers who were forced into motherhood, only for this very motherhood to be stolen from them. Perhaps motherhood for them means anguish, as their life as a mother is full of pain and suffering.

If cows were to celebrate Mother’s Day, we wouldn’t be in the picture.

No weaning, no winning

Apparently, human beings are the only species on the planet that regularly consumes milk from a different species. It’s quite weird because, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, majority of the human population is lactose intolerant – milk cannot be digested properly by most people, affecting their quality of life in a negative way.

This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s May-June issue.

You might want to read:
– Concerned man turns over critically endangered mother and baby pangolin in Puerto Princesa
– ‘Joker’ star Joaquin Phoenix saves calf and its mother from slaughterhouse days after Oscar speech
– Woman sells cupcakes to raise funds for dog’s chemotherapy