Animal advocates have been working hard to raise awareness about the plight of pigs on factory farms, and one talented teenager has taken on the task with a seriously impressive claymation telling the tragic story of their lives.
Undercover videos have exposed egregious abuse, in addition to practices that are considered perfectly standard on modern day farms, but these videos are filled with violence and horror that humans routinely inflict on animals and can be too graphic for many to stomach.
Through claymation and powerful narration, 13-year-old Kyle Kelleher has taken another approach to raise awareness about the suffering our demand for meat causes, telling a story through the eyes of a pig who spends her life on a factory farm before she is slaughtered. Watch the amazing claymation here:
Sadly her story is one shared by millions of sows who are kept on factory farms, confined to gestation crates, or sow stalls, for most of their lives while they are repeatedly impregnated. After they give birth, they’re moved to farrowing crates where they’re separated from their babies by bars. In a natural setting, pigs are devoted, protective and nurturing mothers who build strong bonds with their young. Mothers are denied even that simple behavior, while her babies are soon taken away and mutilated without painkillers, or killed, as the cycle starts over.
The kind of intensive confinement pigs face is considered to be the worst forms of cruelty inflicted on animals in agriculture today. They are left without the ability to even move more than a few inches in any direction, which causes both physical and psychological stress for these incredibly intelligent, social and sensitive animals who have cognitive abilities that can potentially surpass those of a 3-year-old human child.
Fortunately it looks like their plight is reaching the hearts and minds of people of all ages who continue to speak out on their behalf and share the myriad of reasons we should leave pork off of our plates.
Growing awareness among consumers has led to some changes in the way things are done. Nine states have banned gestation crates, while a number of major food companies are working towards phasing them out of their supply chains, including Safeway, which made the move earlier this month.
Last week, Tyson Foods, the second largest pork producer in the U.S., also announced it would be recommending new animal welfare guidelines for its pork producers following the release of graphic undercover footage taken by Mercy for Animals (MFA) and subsequent pressure from consumers and shareholders.
According to a letter sent from Tyson to its producers, the company is recommending that they increase spacing, provide pain management during castration and tail docking, install a video monitoring system to improve oversight and, last but not least, stop killing piglets by slamming their heads against the ground.
Nathan Runkle, MFA’s executive director, called Tyson’s move to address cruelty heartening and told NBC that MFA is urging the company to “add more teeth” to the guidelines by making them mandates, instead of just recommendations. The organization is also reminding people that the easiest way to help pigs is to pass on pork.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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