Listen up, ladies (and men who care about women’s rights, duh!), because this one’s for you: As an animal rights activist AND a feminist, I’ve always felt that it’s important for us women and girls to recognize the connection between feminism and the treatment of cows used by the dairy industry. While this may sound like a stretch at first, here’s why: All cows who are used for their milk are female—in case ya didn’t already know that!

Cows and Calf We animals
Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals 
Female cows don’t need to be milked. Female cows produce milk for the same reason that human women do: to feed THEIR babies. On factory farms, calves are torn away from their mothers so that the momma cow’s milk can be saved for human consumption (we’re the ONLY species that drinks another species’ milk regularly—so weird!). This is what it looks like:

Cows produce milk only after they’ve been pregnant. In order to get cows pregnant, farmers forcibly impregnate them on what the industry calls a “rape rack.” Uhhhhh … read that again. A rape rack. That’s literally what it’s called. Can you really consider yourself someone who stands up for all females if you condone farmers’ use of RAPE RACKS to impregnate cows—just so they can DRAG their babies away and repeat the whole thing again?

veal calf wheelbarrow dairy


 Female cows in the dairy industry are treated as nothing more than baby- and milk-making machines—with no regard for their emotional lives. If they were allowed to do so, mother cows would spend months with their young, teaching, nurturing, and bonding with them. On factory farms, all they can do is cry out for their babies as they’re violently dragged away. For the milk to make it to grocery-store shelves, cows are hooked up to milking machines for most of their lives. No “old MacDonald’s farm” here. When their milk production decreases and the cows are no longer profitable, they’re sent to slaughter.

dairy milking machines

Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals 

If you still aren’t getting the connection, let me break it down for you: Women and girls EVERYWHERE are being used and abused. Many of us have grown up in male-dominated societies that tell us what to do with our bodies and how they should be used, and sadly, we’re often seen as nothing more than objects. Many women and girls are forced into situations where they lose control over their bodies—and far too often, other people think that they deserve this control. That’s what’s happening to cows on dairy farms every single day—all for a totally unnecessary and disgusting product.

Cow insemination We Animals

Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals 

No moms want to be hooked up to a rape rack, be forcibly impregnated, and have their baby taken away from them. It’s up to us to exercise our “girl power” (the best kind of power there is!) and say enough is enough!

Dairy Farm Cow with veal calf

We Animals | Jo-Anne McArthur 

You know that this is wrong, but the good news is that it’s SO easy to help. All you have to do is stick to dairy-free alternatives to milk and cheese, which is easier than ever!

Learn more about dairy products and how you can help cows:


1. Check out for tips on ditching dairy.

2. Get the scoop on vegan cheese.

3. Take action to help cows used for their milk.

4. Share this page to spread the word!facebook share button twitter share button