What does feminism have to do with animal rights? Well, more than you might think! If you care about women’s rights, you should care about animal rights. Read on to find out about five industries that abuse female animals and to learn how YOU can help animals. 

1. The Dairy Industry

Female cows produce milk for the same reason that human women do: to feed THEIR babies. On factory farms, calves are taken away from their mothers just after birth so that the milk that was meant for them can be used for human consumption instead.

Would you speak up if this were happening to human moms and babies?

But that’s not all! In order to get cows pregnant, farmers forcibly impregnate them on what the industry calls a “RAPE rack.” And when the animals are no longer profitable, they’re sent to slaughter.

Dairy Farm Cow with veal calf

We Animals | Jo-Anne McArthur 

2. Puppy Mills

A puppy mill is a breeding facility that keeps dogs in cramped, crude, and filthy conditions. Female dogs are typically bred twice each year, and they’re usually killed or abandoned when they’re no longer able to produce puppies. Mothers and their litters often suffer from malnutrition and exposure, and they’re typically denied any type of veterinary care.


3. The Egg Industry

Most female hens used by the egg industry have portions of their sensitive beaks cut off and spend their entire lives confined to tiny cages. Because of the terrible living conditions, chickens often die in these cages. After about two years, those who have survived are sent to slaughter. Birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

2. Hens in battery cages


4. The Pork Industry

Most mother pigs in the U.S. spend their entire adult lives confined to cramped metal crates. When they’re old enough to give birth, they’re artificially inseminated and imprisoned for the entire length of their pregnancies in “gestation crates,” cages that are so small that the pigs can’t turn around or lie down comfortably inside them.

mom pigs crate

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals 

mom crate piglets sad

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals 

The baby pigs are taken away from their mothers when they’re less than a month old. The mothers are impregnated again, and the cycle of forced breeding and imprisonment continues.

5. The Circus

At around 21 months old, baby elephants used by the circus are dragged away from their mothers, who often have to be restrained. In the wild, male elephants stay with their mothers until they’re teenagers and females stay with their mothers their entire lives.

Elephant with Bullhook

Women have played a crucial role in each major social justice movement—and they can continue to do so by fighting for the rights of animals who are ignored, forgotten, and abandoned. YOU have the power to make a difference, so never, ever be silent. 

Check out this interview with PETA’s president, Ingrid Newkirk, who’s been speaking up for animals for over 35 years.

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