This Mother’s Day, Millions of Families Will Be Separated

Posted by on March 20, 2020 | Permalink

Mother’s Day isn’t a special occasion for the millions of animal mothers and babies who are separated from each other. Just like humans, other animals have strong maternal instincts, love their babies from birth, and want to nurture and raise them. For them, Mother’s Day – like every other day – is full of grief, suffering, and anguish.

Baby Monkeys and Rats Are Separated From Their Mothers for Cruel Experiments

Animals such as monkeys and rats have long been used in maternal-deprivation studies, in which babies are torn away from their mothers for torturous psychological and social experiments. One of the most sinister of these experiments was conducted at the US National Institutes of Health, where 40 to 60 monkeys were used every year, many of whom were intentionally bred to be genetically predisposed to mental illness. Half of the baby monkeys were separated from their mothers within hours of birth and never returned. Thanks to intensive campaigning by PETA US, the laboratory was closed down.

In a recent study in the Netherlands, experimenters separated eight 10-week-old rats from their mother, deprived them of maternal care and nutrition, and subjected them to confinement to cages. These intelligent animals suffered from weight loss and lasting behavioural issues, yet such experiments are allowed to continue.

Speak Out for Animals Used in Experiments

calf taken from mother©Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality

The Dairy Industry Tears Newborn Calves From Their Mothers

In the dairy industry, newborn calves are taken away from their mothers shortly after birth so that the milk meant for them can be bought and consumed by humans. Cows, like humans and other mammals, produce milk to nourish their babies, and being separated causes grief and anguish to both mother and calf. Distraught mother cows often cry out for their lost babies for days.

Male calves may be exported overseas for the veal industry. After long, gruelling journeys in cramped, sweltering conditions, they’re typically kept in filthy pens and fattened up before being slaughtered at just a few months of age. Females are usually destined for the same fate as their mothers – they’ll be repeatedly violated by being forcibly impregnated through artificial insemination so that they, in turn, give birth to their own calves and produce milk that’s stolen by humans.

Remember: mother cows love their babies, just as human mothers love theirs.

Don't Support This Suffering – Go Vegan

Sheep Frantically Cry Out As Their Babies Are Mutilated for Wool

PETA exposés of the wool industry in Australia – the world’s largest exporter of wool – show mother sheep watching and frantically calling out as workers cut chunks of flesh off their lambs’ hindquarters with shears in a crude procedure known as “mulesing”, which is carried out in an attempt to address issues caused by breeding them to produce excessive amounts of wool. Workers dropped the mulesed lambs to the ground, where many landed hard on their bloody wounds, and the distressed animals cried out as they ran in search of their mothers among the flock.

In the wool industry, lambs’ ears are routinely hole-punched and their tails cut off. Farmers use knives, hot irons, or tight clamps to carry out these mutilations, often without painkillers. Workers castrate male lambs by either making an incision in their scrotums and cutting their testicles out or using a rubber ring to cut off the blood supply – one of the most painful methods possible. Mothers are unable to protect their babies as they undergo these agonising procedures, and eventually, virtually all sheep used by the wool industry are killed.

Urge Forever 21 to Ban Wool

Marine Parks Remove Orca Calves From Their Mothers

In their natural environment, orca calves are raised not just by their mothers but also by other adults in their pods. But those confined to tanks at marine abusement parks are typically separated from their family members and housed with incompatible animals.

Recently, an orca named Kayla died at SeaWorld Orlando. After being torn away from her mother when she was around 2 years old, she had been hauled from park to park, miscarried a calf, and lost another, Halyn, who was only 2 years old when he died.

Tell TUI to Stop Supporting Orca Abuse

Female Dogs and Their Babies Suffer Immensely in Puppy Mills

In the UK and many other countries, female dogs are treated like puppy-producing machines on hellish breeding farms. Puppies are abruptly taken away from their mothers, causing underdevelopment and long-lasting emotional and behavioural problems, and both mother and baby can suffer as a result of malnutrition, exposure, and a lack of adequate veterinary care.

On these farms, female dogs are kept in cramped cages and hutches and bred over and over again until they can no longer produce puppies. Then, they’re usually auctioned off to the highest bidder or killed, without ever having experienced a kind word, a gentle touch, or simple pleasures such as basking in the sun or rolling on their backs in the grass. In the UK, the annual Crufts dog show celebrates and promotes pedigree dogs, encouraging intensive breeding practices.

Ask Channel 4 to Stop Airing Crufts


The separation of animal babies from their mothers in laboratories, on dairy and wool farms, at marine parks, and in puppy mills is cruel. Such abuse is also rampant across other industries that exploit animals and perpetuate speciesism – the view that the lives and experiences of other animals don’t matter simply because they’re not human.

So as you applaud your mother for all her hard work, please make sure that you’re not contributing to another mother’s suffering. Keep your celebrations vegan – free from animal products and from cruelty to animals.