- Over 95% of Australia’ s pork products is produced in Factory Farms
- Approximately 5 million pigs are slaughtered each year in Australia
- Pigs are intelligent
- Pigs have a highly evolved social structure
- Pigs share DNA mutations with humans making them susceptible to depression among other illnesses and diseases.
Pigs are sensitive inquisitive creatures, and have been proven to be more intelligent than most dogs. Studies have revealed that pigs have a long memory and are able to focus on specific tasks even better than some primates.
These facts alone dictate that to slaughter and eat them is a travesty in its own right. But we have not even started to tell of their suffering.
A behavioural characteristic a pregnant pig exibits in its natural environment is nest building in preparation to give birth. The expectant mother digs a depression about the size of her body using twigs, grasses and leaves. She carries these in her mouth to the depression and builds them into a mound. When the mound reaches the desired height, she places large branches, up to 2 metres in length, on the surface. She enters into the mound and manoeuvres to create a birthing zone.
In nature, a mother pig will walk away when her piglets’ feeding starts to hurt her nipples.
In a Factory Farm
The mother pig is intensively confined in a narrow stall or farrowing crate to remain in there for as long as 16 weeks.
It is impossible for her to turn around. There is no bedding, no straw — only a hard concrete floor.
In this dismal state depression often sets in.
The mother pig is trapped inside her small metal cage. She can’t move.
Her babies do not know they are hurting her. She can’t move away.
Her nipples can get torn till they are hanging by a shred.
- Most mother pigs don’t survive more than 2 years on a factory farm.
- Mother pigs are often killed because of lameness, injury or inability to get pregnant
- Almost two thirds of mother pigs are ‘replaced’ every year on factory farms.
Soon after birth the babies are forcibly removed and mutilated. Their teeth are cut or ground, their tails are cut off (docked) and the males are castrated without pain relief. No anesthetic is administered before, during or after. The baby pigs suffer tremendous pain during these procedures.
The piglets are then locked up in crowded enclosures with hundreds of other pigs.
At 4-6 months old, they are forced into trucks and sent off to slaughter.
Article by Laurence Lewis, animal activist and vegan.