As our recent investigation inside a pig slaughterhouse uncovers, animal agriculture is hell on earth for pigs. These intelligent, inquisitive animals have complex social bonds and unique personalities — all buried and ignored beneath the horrors of animal agribusiness.
Pigs are considered one of the smartest animals in the world and they’re incredibly playful. In fact, they’re pretty much just like the dogs many of us care for in our homes (though they’re actually smarter) — yet they’re confined, tortured and slaughtered for food.
Here’s a comparison of what life should look like for pigs — versus the reality of what they endure:
- In nature: Pigs are extremely clean and meticulous about their surroundings. They love to wallow in mud as a means of cooling off, but choose separate locations to urinate and defecate.
- At farms: Pigs are forced to live in their own filth, in overcrowded, stressful conditions. Day in and day out, they breathe in noxious gas from waste matter and suffocating amounts of dust and dander.
- In nature: Pigs are social animals, and often sleep huddled in groups. They show physical affection, can recognize each other and have a variety of sounds for interacting.
- At farms: Pigs are crammed into stalls with thousands of others with no opportunity for natural interaction. Females used for breeding are immobilized in gestation crates, unable to even turn around.
- In nature: Pigs get extensive exercise, spending most of their day grazing, rooting, walking and nest-making.
- At farms: Pigs are crammed into small enclosures in order to maximize profits. There is no enrichment or exercise, and many engage in unnatural behaviors due to psychological distress.
- In nature: Mothers form close bonds with their piglets, and even have a special grunt to tell them when it’s time to eat. And they stay together for months.
- At farms: Mothers are frequently confined in gestation crates during their pregnancy and moved to equally restrictive farrowing crates when the piglets are born. Within two weeks, the piglets will have their tails cut off, teeth and ears clipped and males will be castrated — all without pain relief. And then they’ll be taken away from their mothers.
Pigs deserve better — and we can do better. Be a hero to these smart, sensitive, and social animals by leaving them off your plate.
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