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Just Look at that face. Did you know that pigs are one of the most intelligent creatures on planet earth? They rank number four in intelligence . That would put pigs right under dolphins in intelligence and far ahead of dogs.
Did you know that pigs are very social creatures creating intricate bonds and relationships with one another and caregivers?
Did you know that pigs love to sunbath, dream (yes, they dream), explore, roll in the mud to cool their skin, sleep nose to nose with family and friends, communicate with an array of sounds, sing to their young and play?
All curled up. In his book The Whole Hog, biologist and Johannesburg Zoo director Lyall Watson writes, "I know of no other animals [who] are more consistently curious, more willing to explore new experiences, more ready to meet the world with open mouthed enthusiasm. Pigs, I have discovered, are incurable optimists and get a big kick out of just being."
Honestly, I am not an expert on pigs. Maybe you are. Learning about pigs is easy though. Just open a book. One thing is for certain, even without reading anything about pigs…
….They are not just pieces of meat.
No matter how you spin, or word it…this is WRONG. Such sadness in those eyes. “With corporate hog factories replacing traditional hog farms, pigs raised for food are being treated more as inanimate tools of production than as living, feeling animals. From beginning to end, this system is a nightmare from which the animals have no escape, and it all starts with the breeding sows.”- AnimalSanctuary.com
You see the loss of joy in this pig’s face. His face was sadly stained with tears. He lived a life of immeasurable pain. He has probably never known kindness. Lets learn a better way. Let’s practice compassion.
A lot of us do not realize what happens to pigs on factory farms. There is a famous quote by Paul McCartney that states “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian” I am not sure how true that is but I believe that people have a tendency toward beauty and kindness. If we all knew the horrors of factory farming on our health, the planet and other creatures we would be impetuously demanding a better way. Sadly, we do not know the whole truth. Factory farms get away with their cruel methods while painting the public a picture we have no reason to question. Oftentimes, we assume that what we are being told by our companies and our governing bodies are FACTS. Tragically, they are often lies. "We have enslaved the rest of animal creation and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralph Inge
What happens to pigs on factory farms?
First off, these farms are large. They contain anywhere from 800-2,000 hogs.
Piglets start their life in a small enclosed crate with a mother who can only lift her head. The only contact they have with their mother is through feeding. There is no room, nor time for bonding or cuddling as pigs naturally carry out in the wild.
The piglets are taken from their mother at a premature age of 2-3 weeks. They then have their tails seared off, ears mutilated, many of their teeth cut, and the male piglets have their testicles cut off all without any form of anesthesia.
The piglets are then forced into a pen containing hundreds of other pigs where they are force fed a diet unnatural in grain richly laced with antibiotics and chemicals.
Their only comfort comes when they shipped to their final designation – slaughter.
"A pregnant sow's biological need to build a nest before having her litter is so great that some sows confined in modern hog buildings will rub their snouts raw on the concrete floor while trying to satisfy the drive.“- Hog farm worker (Des Moines Register, 2004 )
After a few years of constant artificial impregnation and delivery, sows become sick and weak. Their bodies have been pushed to the edge and their minds to insanity as many sows cry in unceasing pain and misery. At this point, they are useless and carried off to the slaughterhouse.
Her piglets are sent to slaughter at the age of around 6 months (naturally pigs live 10-15 years). At that tender age they have usually reached the desired weight of 250 pounds.
Pigs ready for slaughter are hauled onto trucks to make the transit to a slaughter house. The pigs are packed so tightly in the trucks that many of them die due to the extreme over-crowding, stress and weather extremes. The pigs are reportedly packed so tight that their guts began to burst from their anal areas. The weather temperatures (sometimes in the extremes) are discarded by the companies. Many pigs are expected to die in transit. They come a dime a dozen for these companies so a few deaths is not a loss.
"In the wintertime there are always hogs stuck to the sides and floors of the trucks. [Slaughterhouse workers] go in there with wires or knives and just cut or pry the hogs loose. The skin pulls right off. These hogs were alive when we did this.“- Hog transit worker (PETA)
-At the slaughterhouse they meet a very gruesome fate. The tragedy in their final death is they leave this world without ever having experienced any joy or freedom. If you look at the picture (top) you see the pigs curiously looking the camera taker. The pig on the right is calling out. It breaks my heart. I would give anything- even my life to change this picture. -When they reach the slaughterhouse, truck doors are swung open. Many of the pigs run for the first time in their lives only to fall due to their unnatural state of deprivation and health. Many pigs are forced from the trucks with chains wrapped to their legs. They are drug to their fate with broken legs. -Once inside, an average of 1,000 pigs are slaughtered in an hour. The process is too quick for the deaths to be painless. The pigs are first, and usually inaccurately stunned. After stunning they are hung upside down to have their throats cut. Lastly, many are dumped alive (if stunning or throat cutting was missed or inaccurate due to fast-pace) into scalding tanks where squeals are finally wrenched from their abused bodies. - Even in death these pigs fight. They fight for a chance at a better life. Many pigs have even escaped these horrid factories only to die alone in uninhabitable habitats.
A female pig attempts to escape from an inhumane gestation crate. Abrasions are visible near her eyes - caused by constantly rubbing against the crate's metal bars.
Pigs raised on factory farms are confined in metal and concrete pens with hard slatted flooring. They live here until they reach the slaughter weight of 250 pounds (six months old).
Sow in a gestation crate. She can not even turn around. Here she is seen trying desperately to tear away from her metal hell.
Male piglet is ripped from his litter at the tender age of 1-3 weeks and has his testicles removed without any anesthesia. His tail will also be sliced off. His sisters will also lose their tales. The piglets also have their holes cut into their ears for identification purposes. Many of the mutilated piglets die from these acts. They are left bleeding profusely and in fact, 15% are expected to die from these procedures. Their lives are considered that low in value.
After tail cutting, ear mutilating, and castration, the piglets then have their teeth pulled. Again without any pain medicines. Can you imagine this level of pain?
“What will remain with me forever is the sound of desperate pigs banging their heads against immovable doors and their constant and repeated biting at the prison bars that held them captive. This, I now know, is a sign of mental collapse.” (L. Ornelas , animal rights activist) What really saddens me about this image is the visible tears on this pig’s ears. As a little piglet, his/her ears were mutilated for identification purposes. This pig never had a chance or even a right to his/her life. She/he was branded at just a few weeks old. You can see the hopelessness in her/his face.
How do companies get away with such horror at the expense of our health? The planet? Our compassion? -These companies are HUGE. Farming used to be about the “little guy.” That changed when big corporations came in and took over the show with the help of our wonderful government (sarcasm). Small farmers have been pushed into extinction. Farm work, though hard, used to bring honor and sustainable living to the famers. Factory farm workers have no honor and they are paid very little. The workers are exploited just as the animals and so are we, the consumers. The only one GAINING are the companies. -These large companies use their weight in the government to pass laws and to cross boundaries. THINK of the tobacco industry or the pharmaceutical industry. These two industries use/used money and power to persuade and pollute. The same corrupt principles that are/were present in those industries are present in our food industry.
They use advertisements to persuade and convince good people.
Lets look at two examples.
It should read “Have you had your daily dose of chemicals, antibiotics and chlorine today?” Myths: Americans need large amounts of protein to grow healthy and strong, especially kids and athletes. Tyson is a honorable provider of protein from healthy meat sources. Facts: Americans get a dangerous high intake of protein. The average American is consuming 50% more protein than they need. Moreover, protein is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables which provide kids and athletes with an array of nutrients for growth. Tyson, as well as other American meat companies, provides consumers with meats that were raised, slaughtered and processed in the most diseased facilities possible to cut costs.
PORK: The Other White Meat * Everyone has heard this coined phrase…it became popular in the late 1980’s and has endured. Was it because pork was a really a healthier choice? NO! Myths: Eating pork is a healthy alternative to eating beef. It provides a means of acquiring all of the protein and nutrients meat has to offer without the high fat and cholesterol intake. Facts: Some cuts of beef actually have less fat and less cholesterol than pork. In fact, it is easier to remove the fat from beef than in pork. The phrase “The other white meat” was not coined to help people make healthier eating choices. It was coined by the pork industry to boost lagging pork sales. Diets containing little to no meat products are the lowest in fat and cholesterol intake. Cholesterol comes from meat products. * I really wanted to use the original logo for “Pork: The other white meat” but the logo is under copyright and cannot be used legally without permission. This was the pork industry’s slogan starting in the late 1980’s . It was recently changed to “Pork: Be inspired.” The new slogan has a website to go with it full of recipes for meals involving pigs.
Companies lies to us. They mislead. In fact, many companies are trying to make it ILLEGAL to take photos or videos into their factories. Crazy huh? Crazy that it may one day be illegal for consumers to see how their food is raised, slaughtered and processed. Factory farming hurts animals. It hurts people. It hurts the environment. * The information presented in this PowerPoint regarding factory hog farming are FACTS. They happen all across the United States. 99% of livestock raised today are raised on factory farms. TEN billion creatures a year (100 million being pigs) suffer this fate every year. The methods discussed in this presentation are not isolated. They are the norm. It is time for a change. The education is all available. Let’s use the facts to make a change for the better. Change is very possible and it starts with me and you. * Factory farming’s effects on the environment are horrendous. The impact these chemically laced foods, along with the environmental damage on our health is unimaginable. The social & ethical consequences of factory farming are also large. However, these facts will not be discussed in this presentation. This presentation is about the animals. They will be in another presentation. I highly suggest that you check out some of the research recommendations at the end of this PowerPoint to learn more about the environmental, health, and social tragedies of factory farming. The facts are quite alarming.
You may WANT a pork sandwich…
“Want”…what a selfish word..especially when that want can only be satisfied with a…
…Another creature’s forced and miserable existence.
Open your heart and mind to the suffering of other creatures. The tasks seems unbearable I know. I was incredibly heartbroken when I first discovered the fate of animals on factory farms. Together the tasks is small. Lets unite and demand COMPASSION today. Companies can bring humanity into their farms and they will if we DEMAND it.
We can make a change together. We have to stand up and say LOUD and CLEAR that we want compassion.
How Can WE Change It? Let’s pick up a biology book and learn more about our basic biology. Lets ignore what companies only out to make money say! We will find the facts to be simple;We are not designed to eat meat. BUT EVEN IF WE CHOOSE to ignore that fact, we can still remember the pigs and all factory animals. We can Learn the truth about factory farming. We can search the internet, the library, and people familiar with the operations of modern faming. We can buy meat from suppliers who only use humane farming methods for all of their livestock. Quit blaming the meat suppliers- WE ARE THE CONSUMER! WE can turn off the T.V and read a book about pigs. WE can choose not to waste the meat we eat. We can be grateful for what we have. If you are religious then read your holy book. The Koran as well as the Holy Bible speak against animal cruelty. We can go to nearby farms and observe pigs! We can write a letter to congress or our local leaders. Talk to Wal-Mart. Tell them WE want humanely raised livestock. Whatever we do.. We cannot ignore their pain. We may tuck under the covers and think life is great because we are warm and feed. The reality is most people in this world go to bed too cold, too hot,too thirsty or too hungry for sleep. The reality is most creatures on this earth esp. animals (other than humans) go to bed exploited for profit.
A lot of time and research went into the making of this presentation. I would like to take time to share some of the books, organizations, documentaries and internet sites I have come across in my tireless research. Organizations: Farmsanctuary.org Peta.org Sustainable.org Humanesociety.org Websites: http://www.cafothebook.org/, http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/death-on-a-factory-farm/index.html, http://www.earthlings.com/, http://truefoodnow.org/campaigns/factory-farming/ Books I have enjoyed:
Documentaries I have enjoyed: Education is the key. Educate yourself. If there is one thing I have learned in this world..it is NEVER to take someone else’s word for it. Learn what you can for yourself. “I know of no greater sin than that of indifference”
Delicious and HEALTHY eating is possible without hurting animals! I do it everyday. Whole wheat pasta, with organic raison tomatoes, spinach, cheese substitute, and olive oil. Learn more at: http://www.oprah.com/packages/vegan-starter-kit.html http://features.peta.org/VegetarianStarterKit/index.asp
We see dogs everyday. We know that they have feelings, desires, and needs. We would never allow dogs to be factory farmed in America BUT Pigs are just as “feeling”as dogs. In fact, they tower dogs in emotional and social intelligence. The POINT is all creatures are feeling, sentient beings deserving of their “own” life -not just our companion animals but all animals. Dogs being caged for food in China.
“It is time to shed this cultural characteristic of selfishness and individualism. It is time to look upon ourselves with a great inquiry and make the essential changes necessary to create a harmonies planet bearing only happy and thriving creatures”- T.Lindfield
Today, I was eating lunch with my two brothers when one said to me “Oh, your just one of those PETA people…its just you” My brother did not mean anything by the comment but I was angry. This “cause” is not just something some people “do.” It is something that everyone needs to be doing. It is not a fad, or a conversation starter. This is a reality. It is morally and ethically wrong to NOT do anything. This is not something to take lightly or to ignore. Contact Info: I am open to suggestions, or comments from anyone. I am open to connecting with people who want to help spread the word. Tiffany Lindfield email@example.com