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Factory Farmed Pigs

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Factory Farmed Pigs

Speech by Maeva


May 17th 2017 | Submitted by SAFE

Close your eyes and imagine, being kept in a cage or in a crammed pen, with a hard-concrete floor unable to move around in a permanently dark space where you can’t express your normal behaviors. This is what a factory farmed pig has to go through every day of its life.

Firstly, if pigs are so smart why act like they know nothing? Statistics show that pigs have the intelligence of a three-year-old child and are smarter than a domestic dog. But if a pig is kept in a cage or a pen with no space to move then surely it can’t express it’s natural behaviours. A mother pig needs hay or straw to build her piglets nests but nothing is provided for a pregnant pig in a producing factory so she can’t even act like a pig. Pigs ancestors are wild boars. They can live up to 25 years in the wild.

Secondly, to make more profit, the meat industry uses factory farming which is a life of harsh, cramped and cruel conditions for chickens, turkeys, cows, ducks, rabbits, fish and pigs. Most of the factory farmed pigs in New Zealand are kept inside with lots of other pigs, the goal is to sell lots of meat at a cheap price. Although free range pigs have richer lives, they still get slaughtered between 4-8 months of age, like on a factory farm. They also can’t express all of their natural behaviours.

Finally, pigs kept in factory farms are held in three different types of intensive constraint. Pregnant pigs are kept in a small cage called a ‘sow’ cage. Sow is another word for a female pig. The cage can barely even fit a pig in it. Sow cages are 60 cm wide and 2 metres long. They have no space for the pig to move around. Sow stalls were banned recently under public pressure. Next there is the farrowing crate. The farrowing crate is used as the mother pig gives birth and after, it is only a fraction bigger than the sow crate. The baby pigs are nursed by their mother in the farrowing crate until they are four weeks and are then moved to fattening pens. The fattening pens are overcrowded with pigs being fattened to be slaughtered and turned into meat. They get very stressed and sometimes bite each other’s tails off or worse forms of cannibalism. The farmers choose to ignore this and just cut the piglets tails off instead without anaesthetic.

Overall, what the world needs is to stop cruelty towards pigs. They deserve as good a life as us. The least you could do to help is to start eating free range pork, have a meat-free week once a month or even better quit eating pork. Love pigs, not pork!


"Together we can make a difference - for all animals"

"Together we can make a difference - for all animals"