A mother cow is licking her new born calf

These animals suffer some of the worst cruelty inflicted by humans. Because they’re female.

To animal industries, the ability to have babies is a valuable commodity. As a result, mothers of many species suffer physical and psychological stress that few of us can imagine.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated November 16, 2017

To animal industries, the ability to have babies is a valuable commodity. As a result, mothers of many species suffer physical and psychological stress that few of us can imagine.

Whilst every woman is different, we all value our right to decide what happens to our bodies. Human rights organisations and activists the world over are working hard to see all women afforded this respect.

For many female animals, her own body, and with it most of her freedoms, are taken from her the moment she’s born. In industries that trade lives for profit, all animals suffer. But because only females can reproduce, the suffering they experience is often uniquely cruel.

The good news is that while she isn’t given the freedom to choose her fate or the fate of her body, we can. Every day, we have the power to make a profound difference in the lives of these animals with the choices we make in our own lives.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

A mother dairy cow licking her newly born calf
Jo-Anne McArthur/Animal Equality
Image credit: Jo-Anne MacArthur

She deserves compassion

For a mother, there is no greater fear than to lose a child. For dairy cows, this nightmare is a reality, repeated year on year. To keep them producing milk, farmers forcibly impregnate female cows yearly, often involving inserting an arm inside her during insemination. Then, within days of her calf being born, her baby is taken from her, so that the milk she is producing can be bottled for human consumption. Cows can be seen chasing after their calves and both mother and calf can be heard calling out for one another as they’re separated. Newborn males, called ‘bobbies’, will usually be sent to slaughter within a few days. For a female calf … her future is likely in the same system of cruelty as her mother, valued only for the milk she can produce.

Cows are sensitive and social animals. Mother and calf form a strong bond from the moment her baby is born. You can spare mother cows from the cycle of being impregnated and having their baby taken from them, by choosing dairy-free milks, cheeses, ice cream and yoghurt. Explore the range of deliciously dairy-free products in supermarkets.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

Portrait of a sad a mother dog with her puppies looking towards camera from a puppy factory

She deserves love

In her lifetime, she will give birth to many litters of pups. Her puppies will go on to live in homes where their days will be filled with long walks, belly rubs, squeaky toys and treats. But she will never know love.

Treated as nothing more than puppy breeding machines, dogs in puppy factories live in conditions that would shock dog lovers. Investigations have found animals living in filthy wire-fenced cells, with no access to the outdoors and nothing to lie on except a wooden crate or concrete floor. Dogs have earned the title of “man’s best friend” because of their affectionate and loyal nature. But these dogs are deprived of the very thing they crave the most — love.

Many ‘breeding’ dogs will be killed when their ‘productive’ life is over. Those lucky enough to be rescued often suffer severe mental distress for years. Whilst the demand for puppies continues, dogs are at risk of suffering in cruel puppy factories. By choosing to adopt your next companion animal from a rescue group or shelter, you can show love to someone who needs it most and ensure you’re not supporting puppy farming.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

sad battery hen looking down in cage
Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals
Image credit: Joanne McArthur

Because it is only hens who can lay eggs, every single chicken trapped in a cage is female. She can’t stretch her wings, she doesn’t get to feel the sun’s warmth, she’ll never get to fulfil her natural desires to dustbathe or lay her eggs in private. She has all her freedoms taken from her, so that the egg industry can make a bigger profit on her eggs.

Anyone who has known hens will tell you that they each have a unique personality. Some are curious and social, others are reserved and keep selected company, and like us, they each have their own likes and dislikes. Free these intelligent animals from cages by refusing to buy cage eggs, reducing your egg consumption or leaving eggs off your plate altogether. You might like to try out these egg-free recipes for French toast, omelette and even quiche!

Ever wondered what happens to all the roosters? When a new flock of chickens are hatched for egg production, the girls are sorted from the boys on their first day of life. Since roosters can’t lay eggs, they have no value to the egg industry. Still chirping, and trying to stand, newborn male chicks are thrown into giant grinding machines or gassed to death. This happens in all egg production systems — cage, barn, free range and organic.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

A closeup of a hand cutting the eyes of a prawn.

She deserves kindness

Even prawns in prawn farms have their bodies harmed to force them to reproduce. Female prawns have a hormonal gland behind their eye that regulates when they breed. Rather than provide the right conditions and wait for her to breed naturally, prawn farmers destroy this gland by cutting off her eye, usually with a pair of heated forceps. This traumatic procedure forces female prawns to reproduce more quickly — all so that prawn farms can maximise their profits.

Prawns who have their eye cut off become disoriented and can be seen rubbing the wound for relief. No animal deserves this. More than 30,000 people have spoken out for prawns by asking the prawn industry to end this horrific practice. You can add your name here.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

A sad looking mother pig in a sow stall and many baby piglets
Image credit: Jo-Anne MacArthur

She deserves comfort

Like dairy cows and breeding dogs in puppy factories, female pigs in the food industry are repeatedly impregnated — their bodies and their piglets used for the profit of humans. Pregnant female pigs in factory farms are forced to give birth in ‘farrowing crates’, which are essentially a metal cage too small for her to even turn around. Her piglets are born into a world devoid of any of the comforts a new mother craves for herself and her young. The crate provides enough room for them to suckle from her as she lays there, but little else.

Most of the pork, ham and bacon in Australia, comes from animals born into places like this. Whilst the majority of Australians believe that animals should be treated with respect, and given a life worth living, the current food system does not reflect this. Due to a high demand for animal products, and an industry motivated by profit, animals have become victims of extreme suffering. The good news is that more and more Australians are sparing animals from these systems by reducing their meat consumption or going meat-free. Take the first step to creating a kinder world for all mothers by ordering your free Veg Starter Kit.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

A cute photo of a little girl sitting with a cute little piglet on grass, green tree branches are in the background.

She deserves a kinder world

Everyone deserves freedom, love, comfort, kindness, respect, compassion, choice … and the choices that we make have the power to shape the world of tomorrow, both for animals and for humans.

With 1 in 3 Australians sparing animals from cruel industries by eating more plant-based meals, 1 in 6 Australians sparing cows and calves from suffering by choosing dairy-free foods, and countless Aussies choosing to save a life by adopting an animal from a shelter, the world becomes a more compassionate place every day.

Every choice makes a difference. Join the evolution of kindness and order your free guide today.