Breaking Drone Investigation Reveals Where Sausage Really Comes From
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Breaking Drone Investigation Reveals Where Sausage Really Comes From

New drone footage released by Mercy For Animals reveals the catastrophic effect industrial pig farming has on both animals and the environment. Combining new drone footage with undercover footage from some of the 10 Mercy For Animals investigations into industrial pig farms, the video focuses specifically on the immense and heartbreaking suffering of mother pigs confined in gestation crates

Drone Footage

The video begins with aerial shots taken by Mercy For Animals’ certified drone pilot, Mark Devries. Mark pilots his drone slowly over an industrial pig farm, where each long building contains hundreds—or even thousands—of animals. 

Next to the buildings are what look like ponds but are actually immense vats of pig feces, urine, and other waste. The enormousness of the manure pits comes into perspective when Mark’s drone captures a comparatively tiny car driving alongside them. These pits can wreak havoc on the environment and surrounding communities. According to a recent report, Missouri factory farms that supply Smithfield, one of the largest U.S. pig producers, have spilled over 7.3 million gallons of pig waste onto land and into waterways. 

Inside the Farms

The video cuts to undercover footage of pregnant pigs kept in cages known as gestation crates. Introduced in the 1960s, gestation crates confine most of the six million pigs used for breeding in the United States during their pregnancies. Measuring around seven by two feet, these metal cages are only slightly larger than the animals themselves. 

American scientist and animal behaviorist Temple Grandin compares living in a gestation crate to living in an airplane seat, the video states. The crates prevent these intelligent, sensitive animals from turning around, walking, socializing, or even lying down comfortably. Trapped behind metal bars, mother pigs in factory farms can’t do much of anything that comes naturally, such as rooting, building nests, grazing, and sleeping in the sun. 

Challenging McDonald’s

Mercy For Animals released the video ahead of McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting, held on Thursday, May 26, where animal welfare was a topic of discussion. 

Last month, McDonald’s claimed they would remove gestation crates from their U.S. supply chain by 2024, pushing back a 10-year deadline they set in 2012. Billionaire financier and animal activist Carl Icahn slammed the McDonald’s commitment, declaring it “misleading.” 

We posted the video on social media, calling on our followers to tag McDonald’s and demand that they do better for animals. 

Of course, we can always make a difference for mother pigs—and all farmed animals!—by eating more plant-based meals. Download a FREE veg starter guide for plant-based tips.