If you’ve never met a pig in person, it’s very likely that you have a skewed perception of this sweet animal. Although they have a reputation for being filthy and dumb animals, it doesn’t take long for anyone who actually interacts with a pig to realize that this sentiment is simply not true. Pigs are cuddly and empathetic creatures who enjoy many of the things our cats and dogs do. They love to play with balls, build little forts for themselves, and explore. Pigs are also very intelligent. They can recognize themselves in a mirror and many can be easily taught how to play fetch, sit, and shake paws for a treat.
Despite these realities, pigs in the U.S., and around the world, are hardly given the respect they deserve. Instead, they are treated as products. They’re simply ours for the taking, a walking hunk of meat that simply hasn’t been packaged yet. In factory farms, pigs are usually subjected to deplorable and unsanitary conditions where they are susceptible to infection and disease and sometimes they barely have enough room to even turn around.
Although they are many people who choose to turn a blind eye, ignore, or avoid these truths, there are many others who decide to confront this cruelty and demonstrate the outrage these animals cannot display themselves. In Toronto, for example, a group of protestors took to the streets to voice their disgust with the industry and encourage others to take action against the cruelty of factory farming. When a slaughter truck passed by, protestors immediately began giving the pigs onboard water and trying to give them a few moments of interaction before they would have to be carted off to the slaughterhouse.
For many, if not all, of these pigs, this is likely the only affection they have received in their entire lives. One simple and kind touch before a tragic end…
We can all help change this reality for pigs by raising awareness for how wonderful and dynamic they truly are. All animals deserve to be treated with love and respect. If we could live in a world without this cruelty, why wouldn’t we?
Image Source: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals