The meat industry thrives on the abuse of animals, so it comes as no surprise that former pig factory-farm workers are alleging that the management of Murphy-Brown—a subsidiary of the world’s largest pig producer, Smithfield Foods—turned a blind eye to sexual harassment of female employees.
In a case that went before a federal jury last week, one woman claims that female staff were groped by male coworkers, were spied on in the shower via peepholes, and had their underwear stolen from their lockers. The harassment allegedly went on for years despite complaints to supervisors. It is worth noting that the men accused of the harassment—said to include putting what is suspected to be semen on women’s underwear—worked at a breeding farm where sows were artificially inseminated, which is typically done by men armed with bags of boar semen and tubes that they shove into pigs’ reproductive tracts.
Unfortunately, PETA investigations show that failure to discipline workers for sexual abuse seems to be standard policy at many factory farms, particularly when the victims are animals.
Our investigators have recorded many incidents of sexual abuse of animals, including a Hormel Foods Corp. supplier’s farm supervisor who rammed a cane into a pig’s vagina, an Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., employee who pinned a female turkey to the ground and mimicked raping her, and a Butterball employee who repeatedly shoved a finger into a turkey’s cloaca. After the footage was released, six of the Hormel supplier’s workers admitted guilt to charges of livestock abuse and neglect, and three Aviagen employees were convicted after facing the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty to farmed birds by factory-farm workers in the U.S.
You can avoid supporting the sexual abuse of both animals and humans by going vegan—and urging everyone you know to do the same.