The gestation crate has got to be one of the cruelest tools of the exploitation trade. It is a metal box used to warehouse mother pigs for almost their entire lives before being slaughtered and sold for profit. The crates are so small that mother pigs can never be with their babies, never lie down comfortably and can never even turn around.
At any given moment, more than one million mother pigs are confined to these crates.
The industry likes to tell consumers that these crates are to protect the baby piglets (before they have their testicles and teeth ripped out, their ears clipped and are slaughtered, of course), because their over-sized (aka drugged to the point of a profitable obesity) mothers might roll over and kill them. We all know the truth of the matter is that the factory farming industry doesn’t care one bit about animals, only about making money off of their corpses.
In 2007, after over ten years of talks with PETA, Smithfield (yes, that Smithfield), agreed to phase out the crates, but just last week, Smithfield backed out of this agreement, citing financial woes and losses. We’re hoping this basically means less people wanted to buy their vile product, but either way, Smithfield is still the the world’s largest flesh producer, and we think they owe it to pigs not to treat them this way. Especially considering that just three years’ compensation for the company’s highly-paid directors would more than cover the cost of a complete crate phase-out over the next eight years.
All we’re asking, again, is that this large company do the right thing for the animals they kill to profit from. For the millions of pigs that can’t move this very second—please write to Smithfield now and urge them to keep their promise to phase out cruel gestation crates.