Australian actor Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood knows how strong the bond is between mother and child. The A Place to Call Home star and her newborn, Lucia, posed for PETA to raise awareness of families who are ripped apart by the dairy industry.
Just like human mothers, cows carry their babies for approximately nine months. But their birth is no happy occasion. At less than a day old, calves on dairy farms are torn away from their mothers to be shot in the head, bludgeoned to death, or prepared for transport to an abattoir.
A few female calves are selected to replace their worn-out mothers in the milking line. Once grown, they, too, will be condemned to a cycle of forced pregnancies and losing their babies – all for a glass of milk, a scoop of ice cream, or a slice of cheese.
Parkes-Lockwood says becoming a mother herself really made her consider the cruelty of the dairy industry.
“[T]he idea of someone taking my baby away from me and taking my milk for their purposes is unthinkable,” she said.
She unveiled her PETA campaign in front of the Harbour Bridge at Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney, in time for World Breastfeeding Week.
“A dairy cow doesn’t have the choice of whether or not she can breastfeed her baby, because her baby is taken away at birth,” she said. “[S]he has these breasts, these udders full of milk for her baby, and she can’t feed her baby. And that would be incredibly painful both physically and emotionally.”
Millions of mothers suffer at the hands of the dairy industry, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Supermarket shelves in Australia are filling up with creamy milks, yoghurts, cheeses, and ice creams that are made from soybeans, almonds, coconuts, oats, rice, and more.
Just as human breast milk is for human babies, cows’ milk is for baby cows.
It’s time to wean yourself off dairy “products”.