This Is How Hot Dogs Are Made

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Posted July 3, 2014 by Kim Johnson

You’ve probably heard about the gross things that make their way into hot dogs, but you might not have heard about what happens to the pigs who become those hot dogs. Here’s what happens:

1. In nature, after piglets are born, their mothers will clean them and make a nest.pig and piglets

There are few animals who look happier than newborn piglets. Adorbz!

2. But this is what a piglet birth looks like on factory farms:

The mother can’t make a nest or clean her baby because she can’t even turn around.

3. That’s because mother pigs are often confined to gestation crates while they are pregnant …

pig 3

4. … and farrowing crates while they nurse.
pig 4 farrowing crate

Both gestation crates and farrowing crates are so cramped that pigs aren’t able to turn around. They will stay almost completely still for nearly their entire lives.

5. These pigs will be artificially inseminated over and over again until their bodies give out.pig 5

Then they’ll be sent to slaughter.

6. Piglets who aren’t raised for food like to spend their time playing, exploring, and bonding with mom.


7. But on most modern farms, piglets are taken from their mothers after a few weeks.

pig7 piglets

8. Their tails are chopped off, their teeth are clipped, and the males are castrated …

… all without any painkillers.

9. Piglets who don’t grow quickly enough are killed.

pig 9 thumping

This method of killing is called “thumping” (slamming piglets into the ground), and it’s standard practice in the industry.

10. When given the chance, pigs actually enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages, just as humans do.

pig 10

11. But pigs raised for food are usually kept in barren, severely crowded pens like these.


12. There, injuries and disease are rampant and often go untreated.

pig12 sick pig

13. After about six months, pigs are crammed onto trucks like these.

pig13 transport truck

14. They’ll often travel hundreds of miles to the slaughterhouse in all weather extremes.

pig 14 transport truck

15. In the winter, pigs can freeze to the trucks.

16. After beating and prodding the pigs onto the killing floor, workers attempt to stun them.

17. Stunning isn’t reliable, and many pigs have their throats cut while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain.

18. Pigs are smart, social, playful animals who deserve much better than this.

Be a hero for pigs. 

You can save pigs just by refusing to eat them! It’s easy, better for your health, and better for the environment. Check it out:

Before your next BBQ, check out our Vegan Guide to Wieners and swap the animal flesh for a cruelty-free sausage or frank! They are easy to find at most grocery stores.

Hot Dog Collage

You don’t have to give up the smoky taste of sizzling bacon with our list of delicious bacon-flavored foodsbacon collage

If burgers or chicken strips are more your thing, fear not! We’ve got you covered with our list of the best meat substitutes, too!

Faux Meats Collage

Save the piggies! Share this with your friends.

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