Pregnancy already comes with its natural discomforts. Now imagine being pregnant and confined to a cage just large enough for you to stand or uncomfortably lie down. You can't turn around. You're surrounded by others who are pregnant and suffering severe physical and psychological disorders due to intensive confinement: swaying, gnawing on cages, crying out to no one who cares.
Once you give birth, you're moved to a cage just large enough for you to lie down so that you can nurse your babies. You can't cuddle with them because you're separated by metal bars just wide enough apart to allow you to breastfeed. It's your only form of connection to your sweet babies. Before long, they're taken away from you, mutilated without painkillers, and crammed into crowded pens until they're considered large enough to be killed for their meat. They, too, have no room to move "because, as one pork-industry journal put it, '[O]vercrowding pigs pays.'”†
Then, the vicious cycle is repeated: you're impregnated and forced into a recurring nightmare of tremendous pain, suffering, loneliness and loss. And once your body is so used and abused, you're sent to slaughter.
This is the reality for more than 70% of the nearly six million female pigs raised for breeding in the U.S.*
Through the Victims' Eyes
Mark Middleton of AnimalVisuals.org created a virtual gestation crate based on undercover investigation footage at factory farms. The online interactive feature starts the moment you click on "You," which prompts a message, "Preparing your crate...." And while it gives you the pigs' perspective, with actual sounds of pigs from a Mercy for Animals investigation at Iowa Select Farms, it's still a world away from the physically, psychologically and emotionally tortured life of a breeding pig.
The sad reality is that after you get tired of exploring the interactive feature, and you close the window to it, the real pigs depicted have no way out. They are born as prisoners and victims who only find freedom after a violent death.
Actions You Can Take to Help Pigs
Of course the best way to help these animals is by refusing to support the industry by eating plant-based foods. There are many veg starter guides that will help you as you get started on your healthy, cruelty-free path. Here are just a few resources:
- The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (A comprehensive, realistic and simple guide to making the transition to a vegan diet, values and lifestyle; features over 100 healthy plant-based recipes and meal ideas)
- http://tryveg.com (Features a downloadable vegetarian starter guide, quick meal ideas, shopping lists and much more!)
- http://www.chooseveg.com (Includes delicious meat-free recipes, meal plans, tips on gradually reducing meat consumption, plus tips on how to maximize your nutrition)
Take the Pledge
Pledge to say "no" to gestation crates and urge restaurants and meat suppliers to follow in the footsteps of Burger King, Wendy's, McDonald's, IHOP and Applebee's, and ban gestation crates from their pork supply chains.
Learn about the corporations that support gestation crates so you can avoid supporting them with your money, and write a letter to them. Tell them that you, your friends and family will boycott them until they stop supporting companies that use gestation crates. You can also create a petition to send to them.
Start or participate in events that raise public awareness about the cruelty of gestation crates and other abuses in the factory farming industry.
Share posts like this on social media to inform people about the horrifying factory farming conditions and the abuse and mistreatment of pregnant pigs, piglets, as well as other farmed animals.
Sign petition to let National Pork Producers Council know that the public is not OK with cruel gestation crates.