Smithfield Foods, the country’s largest pork producer, has reneged on its own promise to eliminate gestation crates and improve pig welfare according to an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States.
Forgive me if I’m not surprised.
An undercover employee of HSUS took footage with a hidden camera inside a pig farm operated by a Smithfield subsidiary, Murphy-Brown, and found the same long list of horrors that have permeated any discussion of modern pig farming.
Pregnant and nursing sows were confined behind bars covered in their own blood from trying to bite their way out, live pigs were thrown in with piles of pig corpses, piglets were found having fallen through holes in the floor into manure pits, and pigs were denied veterinary care for open wounds and abscesses.
All this from the company that touts its “industry-leading animal welfare” program on the Murphy-Brown website.
Companies like Smithfield are interested in profits first, and animals last. The cognitive dissonance that it requires to kill animals by the thousands while at the same time claiming to be concerned about the animals’ well-being is illustrated every time that they implement some new “animal welfare initiative.”
Policies like the phasing out of gestation crates for sows or battery cages for hens are meaningless publicity stunts, even when they are implemented as promised. Moves like these are not designed to change the lives of animals, but to placate consumers who feel guilty about the treatment of the animals they eat.
The lives of the animals we eat are never going to be improved until they become the animals we do not eat. As long as animals are considered the property of humans to be bred, raised, and killed at whatever time and by whatever method is most convenient and cost-effective to us, then animals will continue to live short lives full of torture and unabated misery.
If you wish to improve the lives of animals on planet Earth, then go vegan.
End your support of companies like Smithfield that profit from the exploitation of animals, and refuse to be pacified by their mediocre attempts to make their industry seem more humane.
Reject the inhumanity, cruelty, torture, and murder inherent in the animal agriculture industry and every other industry that exploits animals for profit.