In an undercover investigation, the Humane Society detailed the suffering endured by female breeding pigs. They are kept in ‘gestation crates’ in factory farm. It’s quite the euphemism, as gestation crates are tiny, tiny crates, often without enough room for the pigs to move around (see the horrid photo). These pigs get sores and infection and often engage in damaging neurotic behavior.
Gestation crates have been banned by the European Union and New Zealand, and also in eight U.S. states.
The largest pork company in the world, Smithfield Foods, however, is still guilty of having such operations. They have broken their commitment to phase out the usage of gestation crates by 2017.
Recently, Burger King and Wendy’s have decided to start phasing out pork products from pigs in gestation crates (they haven’t eliminated it entirely yet), but McDonald’s still has yet to join. Perhaps if McDonald’s decides to stop using pork from farms using gestation crates, Smithfield will have no choice but to keep their promise.
Feel strongly? Sign the petition here.
Here’s my reason for signing (also displayed on the petition website):
“Upon a recent visit to a small farm, I met a 13 year old sow that had many many litters of piglets. She was happy and friendly. I saw the way animals should live, even if ultimately they will be eaten. Comparatively, gestation crates seem unnecessary and cruel.”
Read more of my encounter with a happy sow here.
All pigs should be at least this happy:
Photo (gestation crates): Wikimedia Commons
Photo (happy sow): © Jeannie Moulton