The story of Canadian grassroots animal advocacy group Toronto Pig Save started back in December 2010 with a simple walk outdoors with an adopted dog named Mr. Bean.

During this walk, Mr. Bean and his guardians witnessed eight or nine transport trucks “carrying sad and frightened pigs to a nearby downtown slaughterhouse called ‘Quality Meat Packers,’” writes co-founder and co-organizer Anita Kranjec on the group’s website.

Advertisement

Soon after, Toronto Pig Save was formed in an effort to “bear witness [to] pigs and other farmed animals transported to Toronto’s four slaughterhouses” by holding weekly vigils, writes Kranjec.

Since that faithful walk in 2010, Toronto Pig Save has grown to include Toronto Cow Save and Chicken Save vigils and has inspired other groups to hold vigils for farm animals across Canada, the U.S., and Australia.

Last week, on January 22, photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur attended one of Toronto Pig Save’s weekly vigils with a small group of activists. Together, they stood on the side of a Toronto street in negative 31 degree weather, holding signs in protest of slaughter and the transport of animals in extreme weather.

As McArthur recalls via Facebook, “In this freezing weather … the pigs are transported along highways with intense wind in semi-covered trucks. When we see them, they are despondent and many have scratches, cuts, and injuries. Most have red extremities and frostbite from the cold.”

Advertisement

However, the suffering these pigs endured did not end in transport as some still had to wait for another hour or two in these freezing trucks before entering the slaughterhouse.

During this time, Toronto Pig Save members offered water to the pigs, who, as McArthur reports, “tr[ied] to lick at the frozen water around [the truck] openings” because they were so thirsty.

Advertisement

“Not eating animals at all aside, no one should be transported in these temperatures. It’s just so inhumane!” McArthur writes.

Bear witness to what happened to these pigs with the photos below, taken by McArthur.

Advertisement

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

View more photos from the Jan. 22 Toronto Pig Save vigil here and learn how to get involved here.

Lead image source: Jo-Anne McArthur / Facebook

Advertisement