I was taken from my mother at birth. I’m trying to remember her. This is my story. Please watch. Please listen. Please hear me. I’m not the only one.
What follows is a straight transcription of the story told in this video. Please watch for the full effect and find additional information in the afterward.
Dear Momma. I’m trying to remember you.
You come to me in parts. Never the whole of you at once. Just parts.
Like your eyes. I remember your eyes. Those impossibly big, round, sad eyes.
The first thing I ever was those eyes. I opened mine for the first time and met yours. I could see myself reflected back in those eyes. I could see my own eyes, and my face, brand new and so small.
And I could see them. I could see them coming.
They came and they took me away.
And that’s when I started forgetting you.
Momma, I remember your tongue. As big as my head, that tongue. So rough but so gentle.
I was born slick and wet and you cleaned me with that tongue. Or at least you started to. That tongue was the first thing I felt.
And it felt like love.
And then I felt them. I felt their hands grab me. Rough but not gentle.
No love in those hands.
I remember your smell, Momma. Warm and earthy. My first breath was of you.
But there were other smells. Filth and fear. And them. I could smell them. Their scent overpowered yours.
They took you from me in more ways than one.
The sound, Momma. I remember the sound of your breathing. That was the first thing I heard, that breathing. Deep and steady. Measured but labored.
It seemed such a task, breathing. A low, rasping hum, in and out. The whole of you expanding out and collapsing again.
I could listen to you forever.
But then there was yelling. So loud, that yelling. It hurt to hear it, Momma.
And then they were there. The Takers. They’d come for me with their loud yelling and their strong smells and their rough but not gentle hands.
They came and they took me, Momma and I started to lose you.
And now I don’t know where I am. It’s small and dark and I can’t move. There’s something around my neck and it hurts. I can hear others around me. They’re hurting too. We’re all hurting.
The Takers come sometimes with their rough not gentle hands and their yelling so loud it hurts to hear. And they take again. They take some of us away. And I don’t know where they go.
I’m trying hard not to forget you, Momma. Please know I’m trying.
My dear child. I’ve lost you. They came and they took you. It’s happened again and I can’t stop it.
I carried you inside me, just like your brothers and sisters before you. I could protect you then. I wanted to keep you there forever.
But then you came. You came and you were beautiful and you were mine. So small and brand new.
I cleaned you up for your new world. I tried to keep you close and quiet. But they knew you’d come.
They always know.
I wanted to hide you back inside me and keep you safe always, but they came, my child, the Takers came for you.
They always come.
My body’s so tired, my child. I couldn’t fight them away. I tried the first time. And the next. And the next. And the next. And the next. And on and on and on. And now, my child, I have nothing left.
I’m empty again. And I’ve lost you. Again. And soon they’ll try to fill me back up.
But I’m so very tired.
I cried for you, my child. I yelled your name for days. Did you hear me?
I wanted you to know I was here. I wanted you to find me. But now I have no voice left.
And you’re not here.
You must be hungry, my child. I have milk for you but they take it. Every day they take it.
It hurts so bad. The cold, hard suction. I’m swollen and aching. And I’m empty.
What will I feed you when you come back?
I have nothing left to give, my child. I’m so sorry.
They’ve taken everything. My children, my milk, my fight, my life.
The darkness is coming, my child. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.
Please know I tried.
Momma I’m tired. They’re coming again. They’re coming and this time it’s for me.
I see them, Momma, with their small cold eyes.
They take me again with their rough not gentle hands. And I think of your warm tongue.
I’m upside down, Momma. We all are. I smell blood and fear.
I’m moving, Momma. There are Takers all around us. And the noise. It’s so loud. I can’t even hear my own scream.
Can you hear me? They’re coming for me, Momma.
The Taker has something shiny. And there’s blood. So much blood. I’m getting closer. And I can see myself, Momma, in the shine. My own face, still so small and brand new.
And I think of your impossibly big, sad eyes, the first thing I ever saw.
And then, Momma, and then…
In order to produce a steady flow of milk, dairy cows are repeatedly forcefully impregnated (raped) and have their babies taken from them.
Male dairy calves are sent to the veal industry where they are placed in small enclosures, unable to even turn around. They are killed at 16-20 weeks of age.
Dairy cows are so exhausted from the strain of repeated pregnancies, milkings, and infections that their bodies usually give out around 4-5 years of age at which point they are ground up for pet food and cheap meats. Free of this exploitation, cows can live beyond 20 years.
See the videos linked below for more information. To support messages like this, please see the support page.
Please share this post around to give a voice to the mothers and children of the dairy industry. See the bottom of the video description on YouTube to help translate this video.
— Emily Moran Barwick