On Pigs

part of a series exploring the specific harm presented by exploiting particular animals or by particular animal products

Pigs are cool. They’re more intelligent than dogs, for starters.

They also dominate animal agriculture.

Many parts are used for animal products. Not just meat for eating but also fat for lard, soap, fertilizer, testing of animal tissue destruction by firearms in the armed forces, cartilage and other connective tissue for gelatin.

Pigs in domestic agriculture live in crowded barns, with concrete grates for flooring. The grates are there so that their waste can be easily hosed down into the subflooring, where it is then pumped into a pond next to the barn. There’s no soft ground, dirt, or mud within sight. Just pig crap on steel. The barns smell bad enough that when you wear clothing into one, it must be washed several times to no long smell offensive. Pigs naturally live in clean mud, not their feces. They don’t sweat, so the mud is used to cool off. They actually go to great lengths to remain clean.

Most pigs in domestic agriculture receive a steady battery of drugs to plump them up. Unfortunately, many develop joint problems as a result and are effectively crippled. However, when pigs receive injuries on the farm (including broken legs), they do not typically receive treatment. A broken leg or two in the group is common when moving pigs between barns and trucks.

All baby pigs have their tails docked (by a red-hot knife) and molars removed (by pliers) without anesthesia. If their tails are left natural, they will eat each other’s tails when confined in an overcrowded barn. Piglets spend most of their time waiting in highly overcrowded pens.

Mother pigs (sows) spend their lives in a pen small enough that they cannot usually turn around. They occasionally crush a piglet without knowing.

Slaughterhouse conditions for pigs are nightmarish. The production lines of restrained pigs moves so quickly that many are not properly stunned and anesthetized before slaughter. Pigs who survive their intended slaughter don’t receive any sort of mercy killing by slaughterhouse workers. Some live until they reach other parts of the slaughterhouse, like where boiling water is used to remove skin.

So there’s a steady progression of problems that pigs face from birth to slaughter, when raised on farms.

Sunday ~ June 24, 2012 by b

Posted in advocacy,veg | Comments Off on On Pigs | blog@goodtofu.org

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