Turning Pigs Into Cannibals

PigFactoryFarming_3New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reported yesterday about a secret video to be released by the Humane Society today showing pigs being fed to pigs:

“Modern factory farms have so much wrong with them, but a starting point is the practice of turning pigs into cannibals.

A video, taken secretly by an undercover worker and scheduled to be released on Thursday by the Humane Society of the United States, pulls back the curtain on the banal brutality of a huge hog operation in Kentucky called Iron Maiden Farms (which declined to comment). The video shows barns filled with hogs jammed so tightly into tiny individual pens that they can’t move, chewing forlornly on the bars that restrain them.

It also shows workers gutting dead piglets and turning their intestines into a purée that is then fed back to the mother pigs, or sows.”

I don’t like that the word “protein” has become a euphemism for “meat.”  I’m seeing ever more clearly that the word “meat” is, as well, a sanitized way of referring to the flesh of animals that have endured tortured existences:

“We’re deeply disassociated from so much of the animal cruelty in our society,” noted Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society of the United States. “This kind of conduct would not be tolerated if it were visible.”

Why is animal abuse not more visible?  Because of “ag-gag” laws. Six states have adopted ag-gag laws since 1990-91. Idaho is soon to follow.

“Anti-whistleblower bills effectively block anyone from exposing animal cruelty, food-safety issues, poor working conditions, and more in factory farms. These bills can also suppress investigations into cruel horse soring, mistreatment of animals in laboratories, and other abuses. These bills:

– Ban taking a photo or video of a factory farm without permission.
– Make it a crime for an investigator to get work at a factory farm.
– Require mandatory reporting with impossibly short timelines so that no pattern of abuse can be documented.”

2 thoughts on “Turning Pigs Into Cannibals

  1. RB

    I think ag-gag laws have no place in a democracy. How can the citizenry make informed decision and take personal responsibility when denied the access to information needed to do so? How can corrupt practices of corporation be brought into the light?


  2. Melinda

    For a long time now, when conversing about “meat,” I’ve made a point of saying “dead pig,” “dead cow,” “dead hen [or rooster]”. I think it’s important. As you point out, words like meat or poultry cause inurement to the reality of what they are.



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