Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana opened the Pig Adventure on August 5 to a crowd of 300 cheering people. Like its famous sister program, The Dairy Adventure, Fair Oaks Farms plans to show tourists and school kids the latest in factory farm technology, while sugarcoating the fact they are actually visiting a facility where animals are raised to be slaughtered.
Fair Oaks Farms runs the largest “agritourism” destination in the country with the Dairy Adventure and new Pig Adventure. The Dairy Adventure opened in 2004 and is a 36,000 cow dairy operation. Their very successful advertising campaign draws in tourists by inviting families to witness the miracle of life, while attracting kids through their amusement park setting and interactive education centers.
Pig Adventure states visitors will see piglets being born and ultrasounds performed on pregnant mothers. Tourists will be able to “watch for hours” as cute little piglets run around in their pens.
“It will be transparent. It’s the first of its kind,” said Chuck Wildman of Standing Oaks Enterprise, an Ohio pig operation. “We want folks to see that human and animal interaction, to experience it for themselves.”
In reality Pig Adventure will be a commercial breeding factory farm for 2,700 sows that will give birth to approximately 200 piglets every day and send 75,000 animals to slaughter each year.
Visitors to the farm will not be invited to see how the pigs are artificially inseminated or the gestation crates where they will be confined. They will definitely not be invited to see the painful series of procedures young piglets endure after their birth.
In a frank report about Fair Oaks Farms and the cruelty that goes on behind the scenes, Free From Harm said:
There’s something very strange about the publicity pieces and videos that Fair Oaks Farms has been releasing to promote the Pig Adventure. If you were into self-deception, you could almost be fooled into thinking they were some kind of Pig Appreciation and Protection Society: from the tour buses plastered with images of smiling, adorable pink piglets, to the exuberant animated pig who narrates Pig Adventure’s website, to the reverential description of Pig Adventure’s breeding and confinement operation as ‘The Miracle of Life Project.”
Ah, the miracle of life. Now, I’m no farmer, but who puts a miracle in a cage?
Fair Oaks Farms prides itself on transparency, promising to connect you with the story of your food. According to secretary/treasurer Jon Hoek, the point of Pig Adventure is for people to see that “pork production is morally right, a noble profession and a service to humanity.” But what’s morally right about breeding individuals into existence to exploit and slaughter them, not because we need to eat them—science tells us that we don’t—but simply because we can? What’s noble about harming and killing animals for a fleeting pleasure? And what happens to the truth when only one part of the story gets told? We did ask, and we’re pretty sure the tour won’t show the Fair Oaks piglets being castrated without any prior painkiller, having their tails cut off, or their teeth cut out. These horrific mutilations, all inflicted without anesthesia, are standard industry practice on virtually all commercial pig farms, including Fair Oaks; and at least two—castration and ear notching— are practiced on most small farms as well.
Fair Oaks won’t be advertising that part of the “adventure” any time soon.
Plans are in place for Fair Oaks Farms to add three more campus grounds with an adventure park for beef, poultry and fish.
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Photo Credit: qurdonark
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