I wonder, was it that experience of having to fight simply to be accorded the same basic rights as others in society that sensitized many of the women of the suffragette era to issues of animal cruelty? The women of 1911 weren't just handing out pamphlets and giving speeches in order to stop the cruel treatment of animals -- they were on the front lines of the fight putting themselves into harm's way for the stop the mistreatment they saw going on all around them.
For example, consider this story on the front page of the New York Tribune of November 29 1911:
ARMED, SHE HUNTS HUNTERS / Mrs. E. W. Murray Drives Men from Country Place
Mrs. Evelyn Wentworth Murray, of New York, who is an energetic member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Anímals, and has caused numerous arrests in New York City and Somerset County among teamsters, helped her watchman chase three hunters from her country place today. She said the men deliberately shot at her her Italian watchman, Jack de Luci, when the latter attempted to drive them off her estate....Mrs. Murray gave chase to the men with a .38-calibre revolver as they fled across the fields....Mrs. Murray was followed by de Luci, who carried a pair of revolvers, and fired an automatic shotgun at the men.Mrs. Murphy wasn't the only woman who was willing to risk her own life to protect animals as one can read in this article on page 12 of the New York Evening World of November 24 1911:
WOMAN FOUGHT MOB OF 2,000 TO ARREST DRIVER / Miss Campbell Tells How She Held to Horse While Crowd Struggled
Miss Catherine Campbell, Secretary of the Bide-a-Wee Home, today told how she battled for an hour yesterday afternoon in front of her home....with a crowd of 2,000 persons, because she insisted upon arresting an eighteen-year-old driver for kicking his horse in the stomach.Our foremothers did not, for the most part, life quiet sheltered lives in those "halcyon" days before women had the vote. It was only a few months since the Mayor of New York had stopped the practice of paying male teachers more (substantially more) than female teachers with the same qualifications. Of course the United States of 1911 was a dangerous place for many people. African-Americans were given little protection by and from officers of the law. There were few laws labor laws and safety regulations in work places were either non-existent or seldom enforced. "Eugenic laws" were becoming more and more popular and domestic violence was routine.
The crowd turned unexpected against the valiant woman and tried to take her prisoner away from her. She was dragged a block clinging to the horse's bridle. the animal was knocked down three times by the struggling mob, each time limping to his feet, with Miss Campbell still cling to his head.
The "good old days" were not so good for many people. And things got better because individuals were willing to fight to make things change.