Each year Americans eat an estimated 318 million pounds of ham around the holidays. But how many actually think about where it comes from? Sadly, at today’s factory farms, piglets are routinely castrated, tail docked, and ear tagged without painkillers, and mother pigs endure nearly a lifetime of extreme confinement in small metal crates. Of course, all pigs meet the same brutal, grisly death.
Mercy For Animals has documented workers viciously beating pigs with shovels and metal rods and slamming piglets headfirst onto concrete floors (a standard practice called “thumping).
Pigs, like all animals raised for food, endure hellish lives at factory farms from the moment they’re born until they’re violently killed. These nine stills from our undercover investigations prove it.
1. A piglet undergoing castration without painkillers
2. Pigs crammed in small metal cages without room to even turn around
3. Organs spilling out of a dead piglet left to rot
4. A piglet slammed headfirst against the concrete floor
5. A pig screaming in a pool of blood
6. A pig gnawing on bars as her only means of mental stimulation
7. A pig forced to sit in another’s blood while she awaits a similar fate
8. Pigs forced to watch their friends die
9. A pig who froze to death while being transported to the slaughterhouse
Pigs are considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world. They can play video games with more focus and success than chimps. Like all animals, pigs are sensitive and emotional. They feel fear, stress, and pain. One can only imagine the torment they endure day in and day out for the merciless meat industry.
Most people equate the holiday season with peace and joy. Let’s extend these sentiments to everyone, including farmed animals. To learn more about switching to a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle, click here. And check out this list of vegan roasts that are perfect for the holidays.