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Humane Society Exposes Pig Abuse in Walmart Suppliers

Humane Society Exposes Pig Abuse in Walmart Suppliers

Remember these names: Seaboard Foods, Prestige Farms. They are among the U.S.’s largest producers of the pork that ends up on American tables. They supply tons of pork to Walmart stores.

The Humane Society of the United States went undercover to film their treatment of pregnant sows and their piglets. Fair warning: the video will sicken you. Try to watch it anyway. Be offended. Be horrified. Then act.

Pigs are high on the intelligence scale. They are sociable creatures and good parents. They seem to expect the best of the people who look after them, or at least the ones I used to raise did. They were remarkably sensual, glorying in the taste of apples, the coolness of mud on a hot day, the joy of a belly rub, the softness of freshly shorn wool (the bits we gave them because they were not of a quality to sell).

The video was excruciating for me to watch. I forced myself to do it because I never want to forget that a slice of crisp bacon or salty ham or a chunk of tender pork roast likely came from one of these tortured creatures.

Though I eat little meat, I am not a vegetarian. I am just fussy about the provenance of any meat I do eat. Livestock on small farms can play a significant role in the sustainability of grassland and the fertility of soil. So I choose meat from farms where people care about the health of their land and the quality of life of their livestock.

Factory farms degrade soil, water and air. They are dependent on grains produced through monocropping that requires massive inputs of fossil fuels, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. They overuse antibiotics. They overcrowd their animals and jeopardize their health in order to force faster growth. Far too often, they subject them to deplorable treatment.

Every day we make compromises with life. Our food, clothing and houses, our computers and tech toys, our appliances, vehicles, energy and roads — essentially everything we touch — come to us at a cost to the earth, the creatures on it and the people involved in the supply chains. If we were unwilling to make any compromises, we would be paralyzed into inaction.

And so we choose. One of my choices is to refuse meat that comes from CAFO’s (concentrated animal feeding operations). I make that choice because I have read the reports and watched the videos that document what happens to factory-farmed animals.

You will make your own choices, and the Humane Society wants those choices to be based on acknowledgement of the consequences.

I urge you to watch the video and then to take steps to bring an end to the abuse. Some companies have improved their practices, but as demand for meat rises, billions of animals will suffer and we are complicit in their suffering.

Related Care2 Stories

Martha Stewart Takes on Factory Farming

Is Google Encouraging Pig Abuse?

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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173 comments

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4:53AM PDT on May 4, 2012

Ahhh but government regulations means more intrusive big government. Watch the films and remember to thank Ron Paul for the mess we are in. He wants to make it even worse. See the dangers of no regulations now ? I sincerely hope so !

3:30PM PDT on May 2, 2012

This is SICKENING. I just wanted to scream. I'm even more dedicated to my Non GMO, Raw Vegan food choices! Pigs are also GMOs now. They are trying to kill off "Feral" pigs that ARE humanely raised on small farms in Michigan because a certain company doesn't own the patent on their genes! HELLISH.

Just when I thought WalMart couldn't sink any lower. Sam Walton must be upping the RPMs in his grave.

9:30PM PDT on May 1, 2012

I adore pigs, it breaks my heart. I cannot see the video. It is too painful to see what human race do to the rest of the species. it is disgusting.

9:30PM PDT on May 1, 2012

I adore pigs, it breaks my heart. I cannot see the video. It is too painful to see what human race do to the rest of the species. it is disgusting.

5:38PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

I'm not gonna watch this because I'm gonna make nightmares for months... Just the thought of doing so, brings tears to my eyes. Everyone needs to stop eating meat.

9:42AM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

I hope everyone is signing the "Put An End To Factory Farming" petition! Please!

7:47PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

There is nothing wrong with being vegetarian or vegan. It took just one look at what people do to animals to address the fact that I can't let an animal die for me. It was easy and I am alive and well. It's not for everyone, but give it a try.

4:03PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

We now eat no pork or bacon UNLESS its free range ...yes it's more expensive - we just eat less and we are healthier.
I make a point of asking the free range status - if the shop doesn't know or it's not labelled - don't buy.

4:59AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

This is totally shameful for humans. The amount of food that is being wasted on tables, the amount of animals who are being slaughtered everyday. It is a damn shame.

7:04AM PST on Feb 24, 2012

Why can't Factory Farms just let the pigs roam around in a big pen like on 'Real' farms? At least they could move, get some fresh air, and be more comfortable.
I never saw the part about the baby pigs before and it broke my heart. OMG. How heartless are those people!!

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