Merry Christmas! I want to start by saying that this is a very personal post. I'm not trying to cause controversy, it's just how I feel. I don't want to hurt animals, and I've created a life that incorporates my belief. I don't judge anyone else for their food choices... As long as you're not eating fast food and junk food all day. I feel that a person's diet is a part of who they are and if they're happy with it, that's what's important. If you aren't happy with your diet, hey, that's why I'm here.
After Charlotte was born, I never once craved meat, even though I struggled with my red meat cravings while pregnant. The one thing that kept me from going back to full-vegan, was cheese. I actually didn't crave milk after her birth, either. But cheese? That was a different story. I've met a lot of vegetarians who've said they'd be vegan if not for cheese. I can totally understand that. I wanted to go vegan again, but I just didn't see the harm in having a dairy product. I mean, no one dies to make cheese, right? Well, that's what I thought.
I have driven past a dairy farm every morning on my way to work for years. I always like seeing the beautiful cows eating their grass and lounging in their water hole. To me, those big brown eyes are just gorgeous! I've been around a lot of cows, and they are such gentle, sweet animals. It wasn't until I came back to work in June, as a breast-feeding and pumping mommy, that things finally clicked. I noticed the very large udders hanging from the cows, all the cows. There wasn't a bull in sight. I also noted there weren't any babies. That got me thinking. To get cow's milk, the cow has to give birth. To give birth, the cow has to get pregnant. How was this happening without any bulls or calves in sight? Well, I discovered that in a lot of dairy operations, male calves are sold for veal (OMG!), and females are put back into the dairy business. The mommy cows are impregnated "manually" by the farmers (ouch!), and kept pregnant for years until they're no longer useful. At which point they're disposed of. While they're being used for milk production, they're connected to painful milking machines. Coming from a pumping mom, I would be miserable if I had to be connected to that thing against my will. Pumping isn't comfortable. Sometimes, it's quite painful. I do it because it's what's best for my baby. Will I miss doing it when she weans? Hell, no! I seriously doubt that Mavis the dairy cow happily steps up to her milking machine feeling like she's doing something great for humanity. And I'm pretty positive that what she feels as the suction pulls on her udders is love. Maybe becoming a mom has made me a big softy, but I just can't justify supporting an operation that takes babies away from their mothers and forces those mothers to be in pain day-in and day-out. What if it was me? It just seems heartless. If I am to live a compassionate life, I can't be a part of it. And you know what? I feel just fine. I have less nasal mucus in the morning, and I'm sleeping soundly too. I've not looked back. So if you're struggling to give up cheese, butter or milk, hook yourself to a breast pump for a few days. Ouch! It'll change your prospective, trust me. And if that doesn't work, just remember that we're the only species that consumes the milk of another species, and we consume it as adults. It's kind of weird when you think about it. Mothers' milk is made to make babies grow, so if you are drinking it as an adult and you have a weight issue, maybe there's a connection?
I know people love their cheese, and this isn't meant to ruffle feathers. I just want people to think about where their food comes from. Consider it food for thought.
Have a wonderful rest of the week, and eat something green.