Billions of animals worldwide are taken from their loving moms every year just to end up in zoos, in circuses, in laboratories, or on someone’s plate. These videos prove that animals will do ANYTHING to protect their babies:

Cows form close, lifelong bonds with their calves and go to great lengths to defend their babies. Just look at how this mother cow frantically attempts to protect her beloved calf as workers with lassos surround and corner them:

In the dairy industry, calves are torn away from their mothers shortly after birth so that the milk that’s meant for them can be sold to humans. If the calves are male, they’re usually sold to the veal industry. Many will spend their short lives confined to tiny crates, which causes their muscles to atrophy.

Cows have escaped enclosures and traveled for miles to reunite with their babies. They’ll defend their friends’ calves, too. Watch this cow charge at a dairy farmer who tried to take another cow’s calf:

No mom wants to be forcibly impregnated and have her babies taken away from her over and over again until she’s slaughtered for cheap meat. Check out these tips on ditching dairy foods.

Elephant mothers are also fiercely protective of their young, whom they raise with their extended families in close-knit groups. Watch how this elephant mom stops her calf from getting too close to tourists in South Africa:

Elephants who are used in circuses, traveling shows, and other performances endure a lifetime of deprivation and misery. They’re typically kept in shackles that prevent them from taking more than one step in any direction, live in confinement, and are beaten when they don’t perform.

Rats and mice may be small, but they have huge love for their babies. In this video, a breeder taunts a rat by moving her babies to the opposite side of a barren, plastic bin for no apparent reason—and the mother rat rushes to grab each baby and protects them the best she can:

Like all animals, mice and rats feel pain and fear, and they should never be treated as mere “products” of the pet trade. PETA’s investigations of breeding warehouses have revealed that mother rats and their babies were forced to eat and sleep on feces-covered, urine-soaked bedding and even left to drown when their cages flooded. Always adopt, and never buy animals from pet stores or breeders!

Hens are some of the most devoted mothers—they even cluck softly to their chicks before they hatch and listen for their babies to chirp back from inside the egg. The person filming this video comes across a hen and her chicks. Watch what she does 16 seconds in to tell him to “get lost”:

On factory farms, hens are exploited for their eggs and flesh. These sensitive animals never get to fulfill their motherly instincts, but they try. Watch this hen bravely attempt to defend her unhatched chick from a farmer who is determined to take her baby away:

Even hens used for “organic” eggs may be confined indoors in crowded conditions. Although chickens can live for more than a decade, hens raised for eggs are “spent” (unable to produce enough eggs to remain profitable) when they are about 2 years old, at which point they are slaughtered.

Pigs are protective of their babies and form strong bonds with other pigs. But don’t take our word for it—watch what happens when a man sneaks up on a piglet and grabs the baby by the legs:

Piglets are separated from their mothers when they are as young as 10 days old. Once her piglets are gone, the mother pig is impregnated again. This cycle continues for three or four years before she is slaughtered.

What can we learn from these badass animal moms?

Animals exist for their own reasons. And they don’t want to be trapped, torn away from their homes and families, confined to cages or tiny tanks, beaten, neglected, abused, or killed.

Industries that exploit animals may not listen to the voices of the animals who are crying out, but they will listen to yours! Remember: never be silent and always use your voice to speak out against injustice.

For more ways to help animals, try vegan