As millions of Americans gear up this weekend for holiday barbecues and a cornucopia of grilled meats, TIME magazine has drawn attention to cruelty in the pork industry. The article, “Animal Cruelty: Barbaric Pig-Handling Video Could Ensnare Major Grocery Chains,” discusses recently released undercover video footage of an Iowa pig farm, a contract grower for Iowa Select Farms, and the retailers that sell its pork (Costco, Safeway, Kroger and Hy-Vee).
The video, titled “Concealed Cruelty” and published by the advocacy group Mercy for Animals, is graphic and disturbing. In it, we see piglets transferred to pens by “tossing,” euthanized by having their heads slammed on the concrete floor, and castrated without anesthesia, pigs laid low by herniated intestines and pus-filled wounds, and mother sows confined to gestation crates and suffering from uterine prolapse. The TIME reporter calls the video “horrific,” and, in considering its legitimacy, suggests that there’s no reason to doubt its authenticity. The article also references the 2008 Pew Commission report, “Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America,” which CLF researchers helped to author. In particular, TIME quotes the report: “The most intensive confinement systems, such as restrictive veal crates, hog gestation pens, restrictive farrowing [or pig-birthing] crates, and battery cages for poultry, all prevent the animal from a normal range of movement and constitute inhumane treatment.” Read More >