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A guest blog by Gary Smith (First published 5/8/11 at The Thinking Vegan)

Today we honor the mothers around the world – the women who have given birth to us, nourished us and taught us to be upstanding members of society. Most of us have warm memories of our mothers and our childhoods, the comforting stroke of our hair, the times that we were sick in bed and the countless meals that our mothers made for us.

Yet there are billions of mothers around the world who are not celebrating today. In fact these mothers grieve on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is a reminder of what has been stolen from them. The mothers I speak of are the billions of nonhuman animals used for food, clothing, pet breeding, entertainment and laboratory testing. These mothers have had their babies stolen from them, some multiple times, and have no idea where their children are, or even if they are alive.

Dairy cows have their calves ripped away annually. Most will have five or six children taken away from them in their short lifetimes. The females live the same miserable fate as their mothers while the males end up living short lives confined in pens so small they cannot turn around, until they are ultimately murdered for veal.

Hens have their chicks stolen away. The males are either ground up alive or suffocated in plastic trash bins. Their lives are meaningless to humans. They are not meaningless to their mothers.

Puppy mills are filled with grieving mothers. They’ve been enslaved to be nothing but baby-making machines, whose value is the continuous production of puppies.

The vivisection industry is filled with grieving mothers as well. Whether bred for labs or ripped away from their mothers as infants in the wild, beagle, primate, rat, mice, cat, mothers all grieve.

Horses bred for racing miss their foals and colts. Elephants in the wild grieve over the theft of their babies for circuses and zoos. Lions and tigers, dolphins, greyhounds all grieve the loss of their children for human entertainment.

Cows, sheep, silkworms all grieve their losses for fashion.

So, while we honor our mothers for the joy they have brought into our lives, we also grieve for the billions of mothers whose children have been stolen away only to be confined, tortured and ultimately murdered for human pleasure, convenience and taste.

If you truly wish to honor mothers today, adopt a vegan lifestyle. Honor them by honoring the billions of nonhuman animals and their children. Being vegan acknowledges all the mothers who are grieving today and every day.

Gary Smith is co-founder of Evolotus, a PR agency working for a better world. Evolotus specializes in health and wellness, spirituality, animal protection, natural foods, documentary films, non-profits and socially beneficial companies. Gary is the animal rights blogger for Elephant Journal and has also written as a guest blogger for Mother Nature Network (MNN.com). Gary and his wife adhere to a vegan lifestyle and live with their cat Chloe and their two rescued laboratory beagles, Frederick and Douglass, in Sherman Oaks, CA.