A viral video from southwest China captures the heart-wrenching moment a pig races to aid a friend who is about to be slaughtered.
The incredibly powerful clip shows two men pinning a panicked, squealing pig down on a bench. A second pig rushes in and frees the first pig from the bench. This heroic pig squeals, bites, and rams into a worker’s legs. Then the two pig friends stand close together, trying to scare the men from killing them.
While details about what followed this harrowing rescue attempt are unreported, this video is further proof that animals are not only intelligent but empathetic. In fact, countless videos show animals helping each other in times of crisis. Consider this video of a dog helping a friend struggling against rushing water.
There’s so much more to animals than we know. Each year scientists make groundbreaking discoveries pointing to greater similarities between humans and nonhuman animals than differences. Take this recent article from Smithsonian magazine on fish and their ability to feel pain.
Pigs and other farmed animals are sensitive and friendly just like the dogs and cats we adore at home. Despite this, the meat industry treats them as mere objects.
When they’re as young as 10 days old, piglets are taken from their mothers and have their tails cut off, their teeth clipped, and their testicles ripped out without any painkillers. And piglets who are too sick or not growing fast enough are gruesomely killed by being slammed headfirst onto concrete floors or tossed into overcrowded gassing carts where they slowly suffocate from CO2. Surviving piglets are packed together into filthy pens.
While pigs in nature live for about 15 years, at factory farms they are selectively bred to grow extremely fast, reaching slaughter size in just six months. Sows are repeatedly impregnated and confined in gestation crates—barren metal cages so small the animals are unable to turn around.
After a life of misery, pigs are brutally killed by being hoisted upside down and having their throats cut.
If this video teaches us one thing, it should be that no animal wants to die. And if the story of these two pigs protecting each other touches you but you’re still consuming animal products, it’s time you aligned your food choices with your values.