Animal Farming, Abuse of Pigs, Sows and Piglets – We Must Be Their Voice

J. Lee


Horrors of Animal Farming – The Pork Industry

This story exposes the horrors on pig farms.

Pigs experience suffering. Writing this story was as heartbreaking as my poultry and cattle stories. Images of abuse I saw doing research for this story will remain a nightmare in my mind. My story is not to convince anyone to go vegan or vegetarian. Its purpose is to open your eyes to brutality and suffering of pigs. Future stories will disclose abuses in other animal farming industries.

Wikipedia: Pork is the culinary name for meat from a domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus). It is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC. Pork is eaten both freshly cooked and preserved. Curing extends the shelf life of the pork products. Ham, smoked pork, gammon, bacon and sausage are examples of preserved pork.

Mother pigs (sows) spend most of their lives in individual ‘gestation and ‘farrowing’ crates approximately 7 ft long X 2 ft wide preventing them from turning around. Babies pigs are removed at approximately 10 days old. Once they are removed, the sow is impregnated again where the cycle continues. The piglets will be used for breeding or human consumption.

(Warning Graphic – 2012 Smithfield Foods) HSUS: Crammed into Gestation Crates

Yet on U.S. factory farms, where sows are kept in row after row after row of gestation crates throughout their pregnancies, they’re also among the most abused. The 2-foot-wide cages are so narrow, the animals cannot even turn around. They chew on the bars, wave their heads incessantly back and forth, or lie on the pavement in an apparent state of dejection. Nearly immobilized, the pigs spend months staring ahead, waiting to be fed, likely going out of their minds.

Constant breeding causes uterine prolapses. Older sows are at risk due to loss of uterine and muscle tone.

The Pig Site: Uterine Prolapses: Symptoms

  • The prolapse occurs over a period of approximately one hour and commences with the appearance of the red congested lining of the womb.

  • This rapidly increases in size until the large everted mass is presented.

Causes / Contributing Factors

  • Uterine prolapses are uncommon but usually occur in old sows with large litters or where large piglets have been born.

  • The supporting structures of the uterus become weak or the uterine wall becomes flaccid.

  • Faulty farrowing mechanisms.

  • Previous damage to womb.

Sadly, abuse has become the norm at many farms with staff that frequently abuses them. The pain must be so horrible for piglets who suffer from castration, removing tails and cutting teeth without the use of anesthetic or pain relief. Profits should never create or justify suffering.

Farm Animals Need Our Help: In polling, 94% of Americans agree that animals raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty. Yet the majority of the nearly 10 billion farm animals raised each year in the U.S. suffer in conditions that consumers would not accept if they could see them. Most of our meat, milk and eggs come from industrial farms where efficiency trumps welfare—and animals are paying the price.

(Warning Graphic – Between April and June of 2011) Concealed Cruelty – Pork Industry Animal Abuse Exposed – A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation provides a shocking look into one of the nation’s largest pork producers — Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa. At this factory farm, mother sows and their piglets are forced to suffer brutal abuse and lives of unrelenting confinement and misery.

(Warning Graphic – 2014) Pipestone Pig Piglet Cruelty Undercover Video MFA

Piglet castration is done without the use of anesthetic or pain relief. Botched castration leads to intestinal ruptures and herniated intestines.

Clipping Piglet teethPiglet teeth cutting usually occur between 12-24 hours after birth. It is done without the use of anesthetic or pain relief. In the video you can see the blood an obvious pain the piglet is in after the teeth have been cut with toe nail clippers.

(Warning Graphic – Jan 20, 2010) Gestation and farrowing’ crates, tail docking, teeth clipping, castration without the use of anesthetic or pain relief.EU pig farm investigation by Compassion in World Farming 

(Warning Graphic Jun 23, 2014) Docking tail and cutting teeth in young pigs done without the use of anesthetic or pain relief.

As consumers we can demand change to improve conditions for animal as well making sure what we eat is healthy to consume.

It is within your power to choose kindness over cruelty. There is something we all can do. We can support organizations on the front lines, we can become activists, we can contact legislators or sign petitions.

Thanks for caring!

Pig Rescue/ Farm Animal Sanctuaries – This list will be continuously update as more sanctuaries, rescues, refuge and centers become established or sadly, if any close their doors.

(Warning Graphic – ‘Hormel Hell‘ January 31, 2017) Mercy for Animal Undercover Video: It was shot in Oklahoma at a pig factory farm owned by The Maschhoffs — one of the largest US pork producers and a Hormel supplier.

Video and Petition: Hormel Hell

Petition: Stop Factory Farming Pigs

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3 thoughts on “Animal Farming, Abuse of Pigs, Sows and Piglets – We Must Be Their Voice

  1. Emery

    these articles are written by a woman that has not been to the farms to verify the truth . she is basing it on things given to her . these articles hurt thousands of decent farmers and create lies .
    I would like to know what is abusing in the above picture considering it looks to be bigger then a 2 foot by 7 foot box

    1. admin

      sir – I have not personally been to the moon, but I am aware of it’s reality because someone has been there and confirmed that there is zero gravity on it. In the same manner, I have not toured the “farms to verify the truth”, but others have and have documented inhumane conditions and brutal treatment of the animals. One need look no further than the abomination known as Smithfield Farms in North Carolina to see the squalor, cruelty and pollution typical of factory farming and that of pigs specifically. Is something bigger than a 2 foot by 7 foot box, your criteria for decent treatment of an animal? What size of a box would be acceptable for you to spend 24 hours a day in? But to be fair – you are welcome to enlighten us about farms where animals are getting a decent shake in life, since you contend that there are thousands. Introduce us to one or several and we’ll research and profile them on National Compass.

    2. J. Lee

      I find it interesting you would say it is “written by a woman.” Why does that matter? The content of my story is factual if you read my comments and quotes. It is factual if you take the time to watch the undercover videos. The content would remain the same if I was a man. As for the photo, I used one to show a farrowing crate that would get the point across without being too graphic. My story is about factory farming. It sounds like your comments might be specific to smaller family farms? I applaud farms who treat their animals humanely. I rebuke farms if they use the same techniques as castration, tail docking tail and cutting teeth without the use of anesthetic or pain relief. I rebuke family farms who use gestation and farrowing’ crates so small a sow cannot move. It is common for sows to develop pressure sores. Back to back pregnancies contribute to uterine prolapses. Sows at factory farms average 2 1/2 pregnancies a year. Gestation and farrowing crates are all about cost-cutting. They inhumanely cram as many sows in them with no thought of the sow who are imprisoned in them. In addition to my reply, I stand with the admin’s reply to you. We await your reply. J. Lee

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