Natalie Plantiful reflects on Mother's Day.
As Mother's Day approaches, another year without my own mother. I couldn't help but think about the billions of animals that too share life without their mothers. This message isn't about me or my mother. It's about the truth behind the lies we have all been fed to believe since childhood.
As you gently open your eyes, you gaze up at your mother. Her kind face. Strength radiates through her being. You stretch your little head upwards for a small drink, but are met with angry shouts from figures standing just behind you. Their spiteful shadows dance in the reflection of your wide pupils. Voices laced with imposing contempt. You press close to your mother, trembling with fear. You feel something grasp hold of you tightly and yank you away from her. She cries out in agony, but is silenced by a blow to her delicate body. You echo this wail but it's too late. Her body will be exploited so that human beings can eat things like milk and ice cream. You don't understand why they couldn't just eat something else, and allow you to stay with mum. You are pushed roughly into a hollow metal crate which reeks of death. You lie within this desolate prison for hours, days, weeks on end. Time blurs, immersed in torment and loneliness. But then, a sliver of light illuminates your emaciated body. A glimmer of hope. You ease your head up off your hooves, and peer outside the box. A moment of silence. Then hands. Rough and angry. Clasp hold of your skeletal frame and slam you to ground, forcing you down a shoot. You stumble backyards. There are others, pressing up against you, their faces flooded with pain. You don't understand what you did to deserve this. Something sharp sinks into the doughy flesh of your backside. Pure agony. An electric prod. You scream out, and race forward, out of the clutches of this device. You pass through a doorframe, and your feet are all of a sudden bound together. You are hung upside down, moving fluidly down an assembly line. Crying out, you attempt to wriggle free, but it's impossible. You see a shadowy figure standing just ahead. Perhaps they can help you. You wail as they come closer. They raise up their hand. Relief. You will finally be free. A blade slices into your throat. Hot, sticky blood pours from your lifeless body. You don't matter. You are simply a commodity, a means of profit in this consumeristic dominated society. Someone will go to the store and buy cut up pieces of your body, wrapped in shiny cellophane and laugh among friends as they consume your carcass in the safety and warmth of their own homes. Desolation. Helplessness. Abuse. Death. The inevitable cycle of misery.
Billions of innocent creatures every single day are forced into the hands of a blood thirsty industry whose only concern is financial gain. Do you think this corporation that relentlessly exploits animals for their bodies is attentive to their needs? Do you really believe that "humane slaughter" is a rational concept? As humans, we are innately kind. Loving. But due to societal brainwashing inflicted upon us, we have come so incredibly detached from the products that we buy at the store, encased in such a deeply engrained darkness that the majority of us merely accept the horrific and atrocious suffering occurring behind closed doors. How would you define compassion? Is it only treating certain creatures with kindness that your societal values and traditions deem worthy of respect? Or should compassion encompass all beings, no matter what their exterior shell is?