Pigs who are born into the world of animal agriculture, know nothing but pain from the moment they are born. Pulled off their mother’s teat mere days after being born, pigs on factory farms are stuffed into cramped sheds with thousands of other unlucky piglets, many times before they have even had a chance to step outside. From here, they will spend the majority of their days in a crate that does not permit them to even turn around. They are forced to stand in puddles of their own urine and feces, are spray painted with a number, and are fed food that has been laden with antibiotics to protect them from the sickness the that would normally result from being kept in such filthy living conditions. Many times, the only time these pigs will get to see sunlight is in the transport truck to the slaughterhouse, a journey that ends with their death, sometimes before they even get to the destination.
Just recently, a transport truck in Toronto, Canada, crashed and many of the pigs inside of the vehicle were injured or died on impact. The pigs that spilled out of the trucks roamed nearby the incident as police officers tried to round them up and keep the activists that crowded the scene at bay. It is estimated that about 40 pigs died from the crash. Others were injured and resting on the nearby grass. The police officers began to get the pigs together to march them to the slaughterhouse by foot.
Frightened, weak, and injured, two of the pigs were seen comforting one another near the accident. Amidst the chaos, all these pigs wanted was a brief moment of solace. A second to let each other know that they were in this together.
The Happily Ever Esther farm animal sanctuary offered to give the affectionate pigs a home, but officials declined. Instead, they decided that since the pigs couldn’t march themselves over to the slaughterhouse, the better course of action was simply executing the pigs then and there. While this isolated incident seems unbelievably cruel and spiteful, it is merely a glimpse into the horrible cruelty present in the animal agriculture industry. To the officials, these pigs were not two beings that were injured and in need of a moment to breathe, they were simply pieces of cargo that had gotten misplaced and needed to be transported in the easiest way possible. But these pigs are not somethings they are someones.
Pigs often get a bad reputation as being dirty, stupid animals but in reality, they are incredibly intelligent and emotional beings. Studies have shown that pigs possess the ability to empathize with one another, they can perform tricks just like a dog can, and they even come running when they hear their name. Knowing this, the above photo carries an even more profound message, these are living, feeling beings.
As horrible as this situation is, it at least brings the cruelty of factory farms out into broad daylight, where it can be seen by all. As Paul McCartney once said, ” if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” This poignant quote reminds us that ignorance may be bliss, but it can also be incredibly harmful. If you are disturbed by this story and think that pigs deserve better treatment, ask yourself if the meat industry is really the kind of business you want to be supporting.
Image source: Andrea White