This weekend I did something that fills the nightmares of almost every mother in the world.
I took a child from its mother.
I didn’t take this step lightly. I didn’t do it without support from others. I only did so after there appeared to be no less drastic measure to insure the child remained safe. But it was me that took the child from its mother and drove away.
I can’t speak for every person who does this kind of work. But I bet many know how I feel right now. There’s a heavy ache in my gut that nothing seems to soothe.
I replay everything in my mind. I keep asking myself if there was something that could have been done to prevent this from having to happen.
And my soul burns with the knowledge that, despite what has happened to make it necessary for this child to have to be removed, I have taken that child from the one person they are most bonded with, the person that child looks to for comfort. My actions have created yet more trauma for that child.
I will feel bad for a bit, but there is more work to be done, so I have to suck it up and go on.
At the same time, I cannot help but think of those of us humans who take children away from their mothers on a regular basis. In fact, we force breeding on females for the sole purpose of taking their children away from them.
We do it to cows so we can gorge on milk, yogurt, and ice cream.
We do it to tigers, so we can have our photo made with a tiger cub because they are Just So Cute!
We breed so we can sell the offspring for a profit. Some mothers get to keep their babies until they are old enough to be on their own. Most unscrupulous breeders remove children from their mother far too soon. We sell the babies to racing tracks, to research laboratories, and to other humans who buy them as we would a designer handbag.
Not only are we so cruel to regularly act this way toward animals without feeling, but we have convinced ourselves that our actions are OK because the animals don’t feel either. Or that our actions are OK because animals are not our equals, so we can treat them with impunity. Or that our actions are OK because, after all, we DO have to EAT, don’t we? Or that while we are sorry the animals suffer, it’s OK to do what we do if it means a cure for cancer, or heart disease, or…… dry, flaky scalp.
Then we go on our merry way, oblivious to the suffering we’ve caused, regardless of our motives. We justify our actions and the actions of others because it’s the “right thing to do.” But, right, wrong, or indifferent, the trauma remains.
If there is such a thing as karma, I have much to pay for the trauma I’ve inflicted on other living beings.