Dr. Kees Scheepens, a Dutch farmer is called the “pig whisperer,” and is working to end factory farms. Scheepens spent years as a vet and now owns a farm with a new technique. The Guardian profiled Scheepens and his work recently.

While Scheepens raises pigs for meat, he is an animal activist and promotes animal welfare. “Am I rich in money? No, but I’m primarily motivated by emancipating farm animals,” he told the outlet. Factory farming is something Scheepens is hoping to end. He provides his pigs wide places to roam, outdoor access, and a special toilet.

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“Factory farming of pigs in the Netherlands is a dead end,” he says. “We now know that a pig is not a thing: it is a sentient being with a high level of intelligence, comparable with the intelligence of a child. What I see worldwide is that many pig farmers don’t know any more what pigs are about. They just don’t have the skills to know what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Scheepens comes from a generation of farmers and was disheartened by his work as a veterinarian where he had to euthanize piglets. Now he focuses on farming, “I think when you want to work with animals and have them play a role in agriculture, it has to be sustainable,” he says. “Meat has become a throwaway product, where the true value is not seen any more. Wouldn’t it be nice if farmers were offered an income with the same farm and half of the animals? Sustainability can only be there in my perception when you take care of animal welfare first.”

Sign this petition to demand that IFC divest from factory farming, and invest in humane, sustainable practices…and our future!

Read more about factory farms and their destruction in One Green Planet:

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