Video: A Vigil to Honor Pigs Trapped in the Farming System

“It looks like one [pig] was non-ambulatory (could not walk). Others were covered in scratches. They were all very small, very young. One of them really seemed to enjoy rubbing [his nose] against my hand. It was hard. And I told them that I was sorry.” — young woman in the Toronto Pig Save video

This short, non-graphic video clip, “Bearing Witness,” depicts Toronto Pig Save’s vigil at a stoplight corner on the morning of January 22, when the temperature was -12ºC but the wind chill factor was -20ºC. For the pigs in the uninsulated, ice-covered metal transport trailers, the cold is accentuated by winds whipping through the open windows as the trucks barrel down the highway. Trucks traveling 80 kilometers/hour would, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, create in these trailers a wind chill factor of an unbearable -40ºC, adding even more misery to the occupants’ already horrific journey. As a result, many of the pigs shown in this video appear to be suffering from hypothermia and frostbite. Their calls of distress reveal extreme physical and psychological discomfort.

Toronto Pig Save’s vigils are held weekly near slaughterhouses in the area. At these vigils, TPS volunteers often hand out free vegan food and literature to passersby. The group always welcomes new volunteers to join them in bearing witness, in comforting the pigs, in leafleting, and in taking video footage and still photographs.

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About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009 to expose the food industry’s exploitation of animals and foster greater empathy for farmed animals. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he acquired a behind-the-scenes perspective on food branding and marketing. His new book, Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal Consuming Culture, reveals how popular culture uses a variety of fictions that condition us to consume animal products and perpetuate fasle perceptions of animals that make us feel better about exploiting them


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

  2. This is terrible, and it is beyond me that it continues in a country that considers itself civilized. There is a group called Animals’ Angels that is working primarily on horse and farm animal transportation. They are documenting such horrors and have had some success in getting transport companies and auction lots big fines for neglect and abuse.. We are obviously not doing enough fast enough for these poor souls.

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