Meet Your Bacon: Footage of Pigs In Transport Truck Goes Viral

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 in the trucks, and pour water into the mouths of as many frantic pigs as they can reach. It’s not enough. It’s never enough.

But just being there is important to these activists. It’s part of the larger project of bearing witness that is at the heart of Toronto Pig Save. Says one volunteer, “It’s like attending someone’s funeral to honour them, even though it won’t bring them back.” It’s also a refusal to turn away from the needless violence and death inflicted on animals exploited for food. Toronto Pig Save founder Anita Krajnc invokes the author Leo Tolstoy, who wrote: “When the suffering of another creature causes you to feel pain, do not submit to the initial desire to flee…on the contrary, Come closer, as close as you can to him who suffers, and try to help.”

photo captured from video, courtesy of Toronto Pig Save

photo captured from video, courtesy of Toronto Pig Save

Quality Meat Packers slaughters nearly 7,000 pigs a day, just a fraction of the more than 30 million pigs Canada kills every year. In the U.S., we currently slaughter nearly 400,000 pigs daily, with more than 113 million slaughtered in 2012. Like the pigs in the video, they are hauled through all temperature extremes, freezing to the sides of the trucks in winter, and dying of heat-stroke and suffocation in summer. Of the miserable animals Toronto Pig Save has witnessed during the latest heat wave, Krajnc says, “The pigs showed severe physical and mental stress, including panting, foaming at the mouth and terrible vocalizations of agony and moans.” (See the full photo gallery here.)

Footage of the pigs frantically scrambling for water, and of heart-broken volunteers telling the pigs, “I’m sorry,” has pushed the video into the viral mainstream.

“Now that the video has gone viral, we hope to encourage others to show compassion for these pigs and leave them off their plates,” says Krajnc, whom you won’t find advocating for “humane” slaughter or “locally raised meat.” She’s looked into the eyes of far too many individuals whose shared desire to go on existing is violated no matter how, or where, they are slaughtered. And that is the ultimate inhumanity— choosing to harm others not because we have to, but just because we can; taking life from other beings even when we know—and science tells us this—that it isn’t necessary to our survival. Killing others for profit and pleasure is a fundamental rejection of human decency and compassion. As Tolstoy also wrote, “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.”

To learn more about Toronto Pig Save, please visit their website. Show your support by sharing their work and following their facebook page.

To learn more about the hidden cruelties that are routine practice even on small farms, please see our article, A Closer Look at What So-Called Humane Farming Means.

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About Ashley Capps

Ashley Capps received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her first book of poems is Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields. The recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she works as a writer, editor and researcher specializing in farmed animal welfare and vegan advocacy. Ashley has written for numerous animal rights organizations, and in addition to her ongoing work for Free from Harm, she is a writer and researcher at A Well-Fed World. For more information on her poetry or advocacy writing, please visit her website. She also runs the vegan facebook page Make Compassion Consistent.


  1. Now we know where psychopaths find jobs when Canada’s infuriating parole system lets them out !

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  5. thank you to the people who were there to show compassion to these animals. bless you all….

  6. I know this is wrong to say, because violence never solves anything but deep down, I would like to rip the driver from that truck, smash him upside the head and free those pigs! And then I’d like to burn that slaughter facility to the ground.

    This video may have gone viral but it probably only went viral to those of us who care. Just this morning I overheard people in my office kitchen wishing they could have bacon and eggs instead of oatmeal.

    We are never going to win this battle are we Robert? I will go to my grave knowing I never changed perceptions because meat eaters will never give up their meat. I would bet, if we tied meat eaters to chairs and forced them to watch slaughter videos they still wouldn’t care. Most humans do not care, if they did, the world would be a better place.

    Tolstoy also said, “As long as their are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.”

    • Very depressing, but I agree. I came to the conclusion, even aside from any moral issues, that harming animal abusers would just damage the cause, get us called terrorists and more abusers would take their place.

      We have been fighting the same battles with the same kinds of results since the mid-1860s. Powerful interests win most of the time over reform. Woman, in particular, then were diagnosed with a condition called “zoophil psychosis.” This challenge to human supremacy supposedly resulted in a psychotic love of animals and the inability to “handle the problems of life or to see things in right proportion.” Well, now we’re animal rights misanthropes, tree huggers, radicals, and terrorists. Same old stuff.

      • Gandi said to be truly compassionate means to feel as bad for the person who is beating the dog as you are for the dog being beaten. Hard to do but humans are taught to be cruel, they are not born that way.

    • What you say is what I feel is the truth. When we thought that these creatures that were being used for testing that their numbers were getting less! No in fact their numbers went up a couple of million that have been tested on this year! So even when we fight to stop this it isn’t working. So as you said most people (I don’t use the word human for people any longer) don’t care at all. And I can say that while visiting with my family a couple of weeks back, even they don’t care and feel that what they are doing is the right thing to do. So if you can’t after all of these years get your own family to change, then I can’t see anyone who eats flesh stop eating it!

    • Hi girrlearth, I find hope in remembering how clueless I used to be, and how visceral and immediate my change in perception was when I actually learned the truth. Making the change really wasn’t a difficult or lengthy process. I simply needed the exposure to the truth.

      In regards to the truck drivers, and the slaughterhouse workers, I harbor absolutely no ill will toward them. They are doing this because of the demand from my pork-eating friends and family. The demand side of the equation must be our focus, not the supply side. Fighting the supply side is like playing whack-a-[synthetic!]mole. It’s nothing we can effectively fight. It manifests only as a result of the demand. I actually think this is great. We don’t have to wait on regulations and laws, defeat any industry moguls or convince any lawmakers. We just have to talk to the people we know and share the crap out of stuff like this on social media.

      Very few of us were born and raised vegan. Every non-vegan is a potential vegan! I was! You were! 🙂

      I’ve also seen a lot of discussion lately of the “tipping point” in social change. It seems the magic number for widespread societal change is for just 10% of the population to adopt a particular position. This is so exciting! So we needn’t get depressed thinking we’ll never make it to 100%. We don’t need to! Veganism has been growing in leaps and bounds the last few years. For every individual we convince, we are like cells dividing. Exponential growth. I see 10% as very achievable! Cheers 🙂

  7. Second volume here: The Internet and the viral videos may do more for animals than all the protests, letter writing, lobbying, etc., of the past. The pictures are so much more stark and horrifying than the words alone. The trolls may come out with their obnoxious remarks, but some people will be notice and care.

  8. All I can say is bless those good people. Just hope more will join them. I can’t stand the sight of transport trucks. They are an abomination and disgrace to our species.

  9. Great lines: “And that is the ultimate inhumanity— choosing to harm others not because we have to, but just because we can; taking life from other beings even when we know—and science tells us this—that it isn’t necessary to our survival. Killing others for profit and pleasure is a fundamental rejection of human decency and compassion.”

    For me, since becoming a vegan and seeing how we treat other animals, it’s been difficult for me to use the word(s) (in)humanity – since the roots are in the word “human.”

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