Tiger Cub Photo Ops and 4 Other Ways Humans Exploit Baby Animals

Infant tigers don’t want to be deprived of the opportunity to bond with their mothers, chicks surely crave contact with their parents, and baby monkeys certainly would never choose to be born in laboratories and forcibly torn away from their screaming mothers.

Yet humans still abduct baby animals from their families and exploit them, for the most trivial of reasons.

Without their mothers, these babies will never have a normal life. Discover how these animals are exploited and how easy it is to ensure that you never contribute to tearing families apart:

There’s a special place in hell for whoever came up with the idea of tearing infant monkeys away from their mothers and tormenting them in laboratories. In labs, baby monkeys are separated from their families, locked inside cages, and left alone to cry out for their mothers and pace endlessly. For years, the National Institutes of Health conducted maternal-deprivation experiments on baby monkeys—but thanks to an intensive yearlong PETA campaign, these cruel psychological experiments were shut down.

These abusive experiments on baby monkeys ended only after you spoke out.

PETA won’t stop campaigning for animals in labs, but we need your help to end tests on animals.

"tiger baby playtime"

In order to “acclimate” tiger cubs to handling for photo ops, “tiger baby playtime,” and other exploitative uses, they’re torn away from their mothers when they’re just weeks or sometimes days old. In nature, tiger cubs stay with their protective and nurturing mothers for two years, but the baby tiger in the photo above was likely taken away from his or her mother just days or weeks after birth, merely so that tourists could pose with the young animal, as if he or she were nothing more than a photo prop.

Tiger cub photo ops are frightening and stressful for the cubs as well as dangerous for both them and the public. Please, never patronize any place that exploits baby tigers or any other animal.

Find out what PETA is doing to help tiger cubs used for photo ops and how you can help, too.

never buy wool

The first of PETA’s 13 wool-industry exposés revealed lambs crying out for their mothers as they were thrown around like inanimate objects and pinned down—all so that consumers can buy a product that they don’t need. On farms, when lambs are first sheared—a highly stressful experience—they cry out loudly, because according to one worker, “[T]hey’ve been separated from their mums and they’re calling for them. … They’re going, ‘Mom! Mom!'”

In the photo above, chunks of flesh are being cut off a lamb’s hindquarters with shears and without painkillers. For the sake of this lamb and his mom and others like them, please, never buy wool.

Discover how PETA is helping to spare sheep’s lives one company at a time and what you can do to help lambs and sheep, too.

beaks of chicks used for eggs are crudely severed off

Part of the sensitive beaks of chicks used for eggs are crudely severed off (sometimes with a searing-hot blade) so that they won’t peck each other out of frustration resulting from unnatural confinement. In the egg industry, since they’re considered “useless,” male chicks are separated from their mothers and sisters and either shredded, gassed, or suffocated to death to keep profits high—this happens with “organic,” “free-range,” and “cage-free” eggs, too.

If you eat eggs, you’re supporting grinding up live chicks and the mutilation pictured above. No omelet or sandwich is ever worth baby animals’ suffering.

Learn how chicks and their families suffer when exploited for food and how you can help to speak up for cruelly abused birds.

baby rat just wants her mom

Like all animals, rats feel pain and fear and should never be treated as mere “products” of the pet trade. But PETA’s investigations of breeding warehouses have revealed that mother rats and their babies are forced to eat and sleep on feces-covered, urine-soaked bedding and were even left to drown when tubs full of them flooded. Breeders who sell to pet stores don’t care about mother-baby bonds—they care about being lucrative.

The baby rat pictured above doesn’t know about profitability—she just wants her mom. Please, always adopt and never buy animals from pet stores or breeders!

PETA works hard to expose the suffering and death that are commonplace in the pet trade, but we need your help.


If you wouldn’t experiment on, eat, wear, or sell your own child, please don’t do these things to others’ babies. The baby animals above just want their mothers and to be left alone.

Do You Have Your Own Baby? Help Them Help Animals, Too

Tell your friends and family members: Animals—all animals—deserve respect:

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind