LOBART IKLE, Laguna Beach

Mother’s Day, on May 12, celebrates the cherished bond between mother and child. But mother cows, very icons of motherhood, never get to see their own babies.

Newborn calves are torn from their mothers at birth and turned into veal cutlets, so we can drink the milk that was meant for them. The grief-stricken mother cows bellow for days, calling in vain for their return.

Dairy cows spend their lives chained on concrete floors, with no access to the outdoors. Each year, they are impregnated artificially, to maintain production, and milked by machines twice a day. When production drops, around four years of age, they are ground into hamburgers.

Dairy products are laden with cholesterol, saturated fats, hormones, pathogens and antibiotics, leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Most African and Asian Americans lack the enzyme for digesting dairy products.

But help is on the way. Food manufacturers throughout the world are developing excellent nut- and grain-based dairy products. U.S. sales alone are expected to exceed $2 billion.

This Mother’s Day, let’s honor motherhood and compassion. Let’s replace the products of cow misery with delicious, healthful, cruelty-free, plant-based milk, cheese, and ice cream products offered by our supermarket.

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