Vegan Society of Ireland Celebrates International Women’s Day

Dublin, March 8, 2024

In honour of International Women’s Day, the Vegan Society of Ireland sheds light on the crucial connection between animal farming and women’s rights. While the focus on gender equality is paramount, it’s essential to recognize how these issues intersect.

Female animals, like their human counterparts, often face exploitation and objectification. In industrial farming, female animals (such as dairy cows, hens, and pigs) are treated primarily as commodities for their reproductive capacities (e.g., milk, eggs, and offspring).

Similarly, women have historically been objectified and exploited, particularly in contexts where their reproductive capabilities are emphasised (e.g., traditional gender roles, expectations around motherhood).

Female animals are subjected to forced breeding, artificial insemination, and separation from their offspring. Their reproductive autonomy is denied.

Women have also faced, and continue to face, restrictions on reproductive rights and societal pressures related to motherhood choices.

Female animals endure physical and emotional suffering in factory farms, including confinement, overcrowding, and painful procedures.

Similarly, women have been victims of violence and abuse, often rooted in gender-based discrimination. Domestic violence, sexual assault, and harassment disproportionately affect women.

Animal agriculture contributes significantly to environmental degradation, affecting everyone, regardless of gender, however, climate change exacerbates existing gender inequalities. Women often bear the brunt of its consequences due to societal roles, economic disparities, and cultural norms.

Climate change, deforestation, and water pollution impact women’s lives globally.

Here’s how:

  • During natural disasters (floods, storms, etc.), women face higher risks due to limited mobility, lack of access to information, and caregiving responsibilities.
  • Climate-related health issues (heatwaves, diseases, malnutrition) disproportionately affect women, especially pregnant women and children.
  • Women are primary water collectors in many regions. Water scarcity impacts their daily lives and health.
  • Women constitute a significant portion of small-scale farmers. Erratic weather patterns disrupt agriculture, affecting their livelihoods.
  • Climate-induced migration often leads to gender-specific challenges, including human trafficking and violence against women.
  • Despite being disproportionately affected, women are underrepresented in climate-related decision-making bodies. Their voices need amplification.
  • Women’s leadership is crucial for sustainable solutions. When women participate in climate action, it benefits communities and ecosystems.

Addressing climate change requires gender-responsive policies. Empowering women strengthens resilience.  Gender equality is essential for effective climate action. When women thrive, communities thrive.  By advocating for sustainable, plant-based diets, we address both animal rights and environmental concerns, benefiting all.

In summary, the exploitation of female animals and the challenges faced by human females are interconnected. Recognising the shared experiences of suffering and fighting for justice for all beings—regardless of species or gender—is essential for a more compassionate and equitable world.

The Vegan Society of Ireland envisions an Ireland where veganism is mainstream, and animal exploitation is eradicated. We are not anti-farmer; instead, we encourage the government to support farmers to transition to plant-based farming or other livelihoods that don’t involve animals.

Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day by advocating for a compassionate, sustainable lifestyle that benefits all species and the environment.

Louisa Moss

Chairperson, Vegan Society of Ireland

For more information, visit our website:

Women carrying water. Drought caused by climate change primarily affects women. Exploitation of the female body for milk and eggs. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, producing more greenhouse gases than those produced by all forms of transport combined.

Share This Post