On February 20, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania got a call about a piglet in need of a home. A week earlier, a humane police officer had responded to a citizen complaint about a situation of extreme animal neglect: two emaciated piglets who were being raised for “backyard meat” had been languishing for months in an uninsulated, outdoor pen during one of the harshest winters in decades. Night after night for weeks on end the two piglet brothers huddled together through sub-zero temperatures, whipping winds, and blistering blizzards. With no straw or bedding in their exposed pen, they were forced to lie in ice and freezing mud.
Many people have by now seen the horrifying footage from Tyson Pork that Mercy for Animals released earlier this year. And while it’s certainly the case that farms exist where pigs are not maliciously beaten, body-slammed, and burned, the truth is that virtually all pigs raised for meat are subjected to excruciating mutilations without anesthesia or pain relief. These torturous procedures are all legal and routine.
Many of you have no doubt heard that the latest form of “putting animals to sleep” with CO2 gas is completely humane. Temple Grandin praises gassing as well. But this rare video footage inside of a gas chamber, that actually shows what pigs go through as they are being gassed to death, reveals just what a horrific way to die this really is, contrary to what the meat industry would like you to believe. The video appears to have been recorded inside of a testing laboratory at the University of Zurich.
Did you know that nearly 46 million turkeys are killed just for Thanksgiving every year in the U.S.? There are many misconceptions about turkeys raised for food, and many things people just don’t know about them, from their personalities to how they are raised. Here’s our list of 12 things everyone should know about turkeys.
Domestic turkeys have been bred to be so large, they cannot mate naturally, so hens are forcibly “inseminated” several times. Males are masturbated to get their semen. A “milker” at a turkey breeding facility in Missouri describes his job: “I have never done such hard, dirty, disgusting work in my life: 10 hours of pushing birds, grabbing birds, wrestling birds, jerking them upside down, pushing open their vents, dodging their panic-blown excrement and breathing the dust stirred up by terrified birds.”
In this undercover investigation, workers at a slaughterhouse in Maine are seen ripping live crabs and lobsters apart limb from limb. Some are dumped, still alive, into boiling water, while others are left in bins to die in agony. Workers tear off live lobsters’ claws and then use metal pipes to pry their heads from their bodies. Tails and claws are saved while the remaining parts of the lobsters’ bodies are trashed, still alive and able to feel pain.
No matter how much we may talk about kindness, no matter how much we may practice it elsewhere, as long as we demand that living, feeling individuals be harmed and killed for our pleasure — as long as we choose violence over compassion — then we do not live a good or just life. Far greater than the sum of our good acts is the trail of blood, suffering and death we willfully and needlessly leave behind us.
In between new condo loft rehabs, nightclubs and hipster shops and eateries, the slaughterhouses and meat packing plants of another era still loom large in the Lake Street Market district of Chicago. This was the scene of our demonstration for World Day for Farmed Animals in front of Grant Park Packing Company yesterday.
Ashley Capps created this incredibly virtual tour of her experience visiting Pig Adventure with her husband on grand opening day, August 5th. She walks us through her visit using a photo slideshow and even video clips to show the incredibly dystopian “Disneyland” this place really represents! For those who can’t see this in person, this is truly the next best thing.
On August 5, 2013, Fair Oaks Farms—the largest “agritourism” destination in the country— will celebrate Opening Day of Pig Adventure, a commercial breeding facility where 2700 sows are impregnated to produce 75,000 pigs for slaughter annually. Pig Adventure joins the Fair Oaks Dairy Adventure, a 30,000 cow dairy operation that has, since 2004, doubled as an “Agricultural Disney”; on daily tours, visitors can watch calves being born, cows being milked on giant mechanized carousels, and cheese being made, among many other dairy-themed spectacles.
Imagine waking from a nightmare where you were picked up by your legs and turned upside down. You thrash wildly to try to release from the grip of your captor. But resistance is futile. There is no mercy, no regard for your life. Your last conscious moment of life is the terror of being thrown into a gas chamber and your body comes out of the other end of a machine that grinds up your corpse into ground meat. What I’ve just described to you, and what you will see in this video if you watch it, is not a nightmare but the reality behind what humane meat advocates describe as “a humane way of producing chicken meat from live chicken.”
During Toronto’s torturous heat wave this July, with temperatures soaring to some 40 degrees Celsius (that’s 110 degrees Farenheit), activists from Toronto Pig Save have mobilized to give water and watermelon to severely overheated pigs on their way to slaughter. The gesture is the last— and, likely, the first— act of kindness that the pigs will ever know. When the sweltering trucks transporting the animals to Quality Meat Packers pause at a stoplight just outside the slaughterhouse, volunteers slip watermelon through ventilation holes
I found NWI Times’ coverage of Fair Oaks Farm’s so-called “Pig Adventure” both disturbing and disgusting — not just for its blatant glorification of factory farming, but in how uncritically NWI appears to have “rubber stamped” the Fair Oaks Farm press release without looking critically at this tragically absurd “public exhibit” of animal exploitation and suffering. Why does NWI withhold any opinion on such a nightmare scenario for animals in the very opinion section?
The following is a letter I wrote and sent today to the Goodman Community Center in Madison, Wisconsin after discovering a small flock of backyard chickens behind the building. The conditions under which I found these hens living is a good example of a widespread problem in our society with regard to the growing trend of keeping backyard chickens. It all starts with misconceptions about who these birds really are and too often ends in tragic consequences for the animals.
In addition to being severely underweight and anemic, suffering a severe biting mite infestation, drooping her head and keeping her eyes closed, Lucinda exhibits a disfiguring beak deformity that is a result of partial beak amputation, a standard practice on egg hen farms, including farms that sell their eggs under “free-range,” “cage-free,” and other “happy hen” labels.
Ada, the anxious new milking cow at Wagner Farm, a taxpayer-funded working farm and museum, is featured in this video, where we see Rubenstein trying to calm her to no avail. Bellowing like this is a sign of distress, and Ada’s vocalizing raised a lot of concern and consternation in the Wagner Farm visitors who witnessed it. Parents and children alike were asking why Ada was so agitated and unhappy.