We love our cats and dogs. We enjoy their cuddles, playfulness, and of course, their unconditional love. We bring them into our homes, share our beds and couches, care for them, and give them the lives of comfort they deserve.

While everyone knows cats and dogs are wonderful companions, fewer people think of farm animals in the same light. It may surprise you to learn that pigs are extremely social animals. They form close bonds with people and other animals. They love to sleep together, cuddled up nose-to-nose. Pigs love to play too – in fact, pigs are basically large pink dogs. Knowing what we do about these dynamic animals, the cruelty they face in factory farms is  heartbreaking.

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Take this photo by Jo-Anne McArthur as an example. The piglet in the photo was just born. In the first moments of his life, he was castrated and his tail was clipped off without anesthetic. This is a common practice in factory farms, where pigs spend their lives in horrifying conditions.

While McArthur was photographing this factory farm, a cat followed her in and watched the pigs for some time.

A cat watches a piglet suffer in a factory farm.

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While this pig and cat have so many similarities, the cat will never face such cruelty or end up on someone’s plate, while a life of pain is all the pig will ever know. Seeing these animals side by side begs the question of why treat two animals that share so much in common so differently?