Laxmi and Devi

Choosing Plant-Based Dairy Brings Compassion into our Kitchens (Dairy Op-Ed) 

Every mother knows that indescribable, all-consuming love for her child. It is distinct from all other loves, it is the most everlasting, unbreakable bond between two beings. 

But what if that bond between mother and child is broken? 

Indeed, the dairy industry survives by severing that ancient and sacred bond between mother and child. 

Just like humans, animals must have a baby to produce milk. The natural lifespan of a cow is 20-25 years, but most cows are first impregnated around two years of age, when they are still babies themselves. 

Like all mothers, the mama cow naturally wants to care for and nurse her child. She has that all-consuming love for her baby.

At Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary, we witness that beautiful love each day between mother-daughter duo, Devi and Laxmi. 

Devi and Laxmi curl up together and cuddle in the sun. Laxmi nestles into Devi’s nook. They lick each other constantly. Their love is palpable.

Devi and Laxmi’s story is rare. In this world, most mothers and children are never allowed to express their deep love for one another. In this world, babies are taken away from their mothers on their first day of life.

A mother cow may cry out for days, even weeks when her baby is torn away. Often, they may even lose their voice.

For a year or more, the mother is hooked up to machines that take the milk her body intended for her baby.

In industrial operations, conditions are so unsanitary that many mothers develop mastitis – a painful infection of the udders that seeps pus and blood into the milk. Pasteurization sanitizes the milk, but the pus and blood is never filtered out. 

If the baby is a female, she will become a dairy cow herself. Most dairy cows can survive 2-4 pregnancies before their milk production declines.

Then, they are killed for low grade beef. In fact, 20% of all beef consumed in the U.S. is from dairy cows. 

If the baby is a male, he is confined to a crate so that he cannot move, and fattened for 4 months before he is slaughtered. Veal is a direct product of the dairy industry. 

Male babies must be transported to veal farms. Transport trucks are packed so full that they do not have the space to lay down or even to turn around. They spend days on these trucks in transit with no food, water, temperature control, or bathrooms. 

Because transport is so detrimental to the health of these newborn babies, suppliers actually send more babies than were ordered. They expect that a certain percentage will die in transit. 

This could have been the fate of Tito. 

When they arrived at their destination, Tito and his two friends, Giddeon and Murphy, were too sick to even stand. They would have been discarded immediately. 

The truck driver contacted sanctuaries to see if someone was able to rescue them. In that moment, the truck driver saw them not as commodities, but as individuals worthy of life. 

They arrived at Luvin Arms incredibly ill with severe infection, dehydration, and diarrhea. Giddeon and Murphy did not survive the trauma. Tito did. 

After his recovery, Tito blossomed into the loving, caring, cuddly individual that he is today. 

Devi, Laxmi, and Tito are all survivors of the dairy industry. 

Devi and Laxmi are a shining example of the all-consuming love between mother and child. 

Tito’s will to live carried him through the most horrific of circumstances. He overcame cruelty, disease, and psychological trauma to arrive at Luvin Arms. 

No one wants their choices to result in the separation of mothers and babies. No one wants their choices to perpetuate abuse and suffering. 

Choosing plant-based dairy brings compassion into our kitchens. Plant-based alternatives that are better for your health, the environment, and the animals are readily available at your local stores. By adopting a plant-based diet, you can live the values of love, kindness, and compassion. 

When you eat plants, your body derives its sustenance from compassion, not cruelty. 

Ditch dairy. Adopt Ahimsa – nonviolence toward all living beings. 


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