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Nov 11 / Michael

“That one was definitely alive”: An undercover video at one of the nation’s biggest pork processors

This is simply horrible. As reported by the Washington Post today:

The pigs are not all right.

An undercover video taken at one of the nation’s largest pork producers shows pigs being dragged across the floor, beaten with paddles, and sick to the point of immobility. By law, pigs are supposed to be rendered unconscious before being killed, but many are shown writhing in apparent pain while bleeding out, suggesting that they weren’t properly stunned. “That one was definitely alive,” a worker says.

The video also appears to show pigs with puss-filled abscesses being sent down the line. Others are covered in feces.

“If the USDA is around, they could shut us down,” says a worker, wearing a bright yellow apron, standing over the production line.

The accompanying video is horrific.  Please watch only if you must see what’s going on first hand.  I imagine the workers in this factory suffer through these abuses, too.  In this particular case, the issues appear to be driven by a desire to run the lines faster and faster and process animals more quickly.  Maybe we should be slowing things down instead.

Pigs are highly sociable and probably the smartest animals that humans raise for meat.  For the last several years we’ve been raising a pair of pigs over summer, bonding with them during the process, and having them processed at our local butcher.  We honor and respect the sacrifice they make to feed us and work to ensure they suffer as little as possible, like we do all the animals we raise for meat.

Pigs

What can you do? Because the factory farm system is so opaque it’s really hard to know. You may want to start by supporting local producers where possible or just by eating less meat.

If any creature deserves better, it’s them.

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