Once you understand the horrors most animals used by humans routinely suffer, it’s easy to see the vegan diet as an act of compassion for all creatures. But this article makes another excellent observation about being a woman in her power and how that relates to our treatment of female animals–largely the biggest victims of factory farm abuse. As a woman-run business committed to ethics, it’s a particularly moving story. Whether or not you consider yourself a feminist, we all know that women have suffered oppression for thousands of years, and in many places on this earth, they still do. We all deserve respect and rights, and so do our fellow mothers, regardless of what species they are.
After repeated cycles of forced impregnations, painful births, relentless milkings, and crushing bereavements, their spirit gives, their bodies wither, their milk dries up. At the age when, in nature, a female cow would barely enter adulthood, the life of a dairy cow is over. When her milk ‘production’ declines, she and her other ‘spent’ herd mates are trucked off to slaughter. Some are pregnant. All are still lactating. As they are shoved towards death, they drip milk onto the killing floor… All dairy operations, including Organic, exist solely by doing to millions of defenseless females the worst thing anyone can do to a mother. Dairy consumers support this practice with their purchases.”
“Milk Comes from a Grieving Mother” ~ leaflet by Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary
When visiting the non-vegan home of a self-proclaimed feminist, she offered me cow’s milk with my tea. That’s when I made the profound connection that it’s impossible to truly be a feminist while consuming dairy (or any animal products), as the entire animal industry is built on the exploitation of the female reproductive system. This must be recognized as a feminist issue because it is analogous to the feminist movement’s struggle for women to have control of their own bodies.
Animals of both sexes suffer under institutionalized exploitation. However, the female of the species often experiences more prolonged abuse, including an ongoing cycle of forceful artificial insemination (mechanical or manual rape), physical abuse of her mammary glands, and invariably being separated from her young; all of these are emotionally brutal experiences for the female members of any species.
(Male animals are also sexually abused; not only through the industry practice of castration, but also by being used as semen ‘donors’. There are photos online showing bulls in contraptions being forced to supply the ‘artificial insemination’ industry. All of this is a part of dairy consumption. It’s pretty perverted; as is all animal use – when you think about it candidly.)