The American meat industry is in trouble. Now that countless hotels and restaurants, which normally serve a lot of meat, are shuttered, and many slaughterhouses have become hotbeds of coronavirus infections, production, as well as sales, have plummeted.
While a national break from meat might be just what the doctor ordered, I came across this extremely disturbing article reporting on farmers beginning to “euthanize” baby pigs since there is now a surplus.
On one hand, this might actually be better for these poor animals. Stay with me here. Life for pigs on factory farms is one of abject cruelty and horror. Males routinely have their testicles, tails, and teeth ripped out with no anesthetic when they’re just babies. They are then crammed into confined quarters where they are fattened up until one day they’re loaded onto a truck and taken to a slaughterhouse. The journey on the truck is a nightmare on its own. These animals spend hours without food or water through any weather extremes. When they reach their destination, they will be brutally herded inside, and ultimately hung upside down and have their throats slit open.
For females, it’s even worse. They will spend nearly their entire lives in what the industry calls “gestations crates” – metal cages barely bigger than their bodies, where they will give birth to litter after litter until they’re spent. There are several undercover videos of this horrific practice if you don’t believe me. Just like the male pigs, the females will see the end of their miserable lives bleeding out on slaughterhouse floor.
One could argue that dying before any of this torture takes place could actually be merciful.
There’s just one thing.
When we think of the world “euthanasia,” we think of a death that is painless, maybe even peaceful. That’s what the word literally means after all: a “good death.”
Those of us who’ve had to euthanize our companion animals when they were terminal ill and suffering know that it is an act of compassion. Your animal is first given a shot to make them fall asleep. Then, once they’re unconscious, a second shot is administered that stops their heart.
This is not what happens to baby pigs on pork farms.
The truth is, even before this pandemic, piglets on factory farms who were sick or not considered viable by the industry were regularly killed by a practicing called “thumping.” This is what happens: A baby pig is grabbed by his or her hind legs and smashed headfirst into the concrete floor. Many times, the baby animal isn’t killed by the first try and so this is done repeatedly. It’s unspeakably violent, cruel, and abhorrent. I know this sounds unbelievable, but I have seen hours of undercover footage documenting this. Google it if you dare.
Calling these killings “euthanasia” is a lie, and our media really should stop using an industry euphemism for what is in reality the brutal slaying of defenseless baby animals. If you did this to your cat or dog or even a wild animal on the street, you’d be arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. You’d likely go to jail.
Sadly, pigs— like all animals exploited for food— are not viewed by either the law or farmers the same way. Even though pigs are just as sensitive and even more intelligent than dogs. No, on factory farms, they are seen as nothing more than commodities and treated as such.
Remember this on your next trip to the supermarket.