Watching (and then reading) The Handmaid's Tale has been a big part of my journey into veganism. Until watching the series I had never given much thought to where dairy products came from. I stopped eating meat when I was 7 because I didn't like the taste, but hadn't given all that much thought to the ethical side of things.
Seeing the way the handmaids were owned as property, exploited for their reproductive capacity, raped, had their children taken from them, then sent to die once they were no longer fruitful, and then watching a documentary about cows in that exact position, I felt a searing sense of conviction. The handmaids are forcefully silenced by the totalitarian patriarchal society that depends on keeping them in their place. I felt so strongly that this is the position of cows in the dairy industry, but they are even more voiceless than handmaids because they literally can't speak.
The story of dairy cows has so much overlap with the stories of many, many females over the centuries. I felt like to truly live by my feminist values, I needed to stop contributing to the silencing, exploitation and slaughter of more females. They cry and grieve when their babies are taken from them. They have no say in what happens to them. I can't support that. Dairy products now leave a bitter taste in my mouth.