As I look forward to Mother's Day and its cherished bond between mother and child, my mind wanders to dairy cows, world-wide symbols of motherhood, who never get to see or nurture their own babies.

Newborn calves are torn from their mothers at birth and turned into veal cutlets, so we can drink the milk designed for them.

The grief-stricken mothers bellow for days, hoping in vain for their return. Most dairy cows spend their lives chained on a concrete floor, 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 adults even lack the enzyme for digesting dairy products. Humans are the only creatures drinking milk of another species.

This Mother's Day, let's honor motherhood and our natural compassion for animals by rejecting dairy industry's cruelty and disease.

Let's replace cow's milk and its products with delicious, healthful, cruelty-free plant-based milk, cheese, and ice cream products offered by our supermarket.

Bobby Skopp, Burlington