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Live with Compassion, Stop Factory Farming

Mar 2, 2012

Hogs in Confinement

I watched a clip of pigs in gestation cages obtained by the Humane Society of theUnited States. The factory farm is located in Virginia, and is called Smithfield Farms.

You can view the video here:

Pigs at Smithfield Farms

or read the report about it here: Investigative Summary [PDF]

The clip shows the horrific conditions but if you prefer notto watch here are some details:

The pigs are placed in the cages for the duration of theirlives of three to four years. The sows weigh approximately six hundred pounds and are forced into cages with dimensions of two feet by seven feet -- not large enough to turn, roll over or change position. They are generally in rows of twenty sows caged side by side, one hundred cages per building. They are artificially inseminated to conceive baby pigs that are cruelly removed a few weeks after their birth. These animals lie in their own feces, develop sores, infections, and go insane from the inhumane conditions.

I cried when I watched the clip. That night when I went tobed I thought about the pigs that were in cages at that moment. As I thought about them, the scene filled my mind. I felt myself in a cage. I could feel the bars, I could feel the panic of entrapment, smell the stench and experience the maddening frustration of not being able to stand up, lie down, turn around, or move in any way. I felt the misery of the animals, confined in a way that completely ignored their status as living beings. I felt the anguish of not being recognized as deserving of any sort of minimal kindness.

I felt thefruitless struggle, the minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month agony of being in an environment of screaming and discomfort, filth and cruelty. Most of all, I felt the emotional panic and depression of the animals who are wholly dependent on human beings for everything, but who are not recognized as deserving of compassion. On some deep down level the animals must feel, “What did I do to deserve this?” I cried myself to sleep that night.

We give monthly donations to two organizations that areworking to end factory farming: The Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary.

Check out their websites and consider if you can afford amonthly donation. We believe that supporting causes like this helps raise the consciousness and awareness of the plight of our fellow creatures.

Farm Sanctuary

The Humane Society of the United States

Here is a paragraph from a letter written by Gene Baur, thePresident and Co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, published in the Winter 2012 Sanctuary magazine that speaks to the core of this issue:

“Cruelty has been normalized on factory farms but kindnesscan become the norm when we stop rationalizing the cruelty inherent in our industrialized food system. Empathy is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets. And every year we can take steps to express our compassion and empathy for others – people and animals.”

Posted by Kimmy Sophia Brown

Image(s) from Wikimedia Commons

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