Gestation Crates Are Hell on Earth for Pigs
Can you imagine not being allowed to stand up, turn around, or lie down comfortably for months at a time? This is what mother pigs used for animal agriculture experience when they’re imprisoned in gestation crates. 💔
Almost all the 129 million pigs killed for food in the U.S. every year endure horrific conditions. These sensitive, social animals spend their lives in extremely crowded, filthy warehouses, where they’re deprived of enrichment (even natural sunlight) until the day they’re crammed onto a truck bound for the slaughterhouse.
When they’re old enough to give birth, female pigs are artificially inseminated and imprisoned for the entire length of their pregnancies in “gestation crates,” which are only 2 feet wide. After giving birth, mother pigs are moved to “farrowing crates,” enclosures similar to gestation crates with only a tiny additional concrete area on which they can nurse her piglets. They’re then returned to gestation crates and impregnated again, continuing the cycle of forced breeding and imprisonment. Mother pigs spend nearly their entire lives confined to tiny metal crates, surrounded by cold metal bars and forced to lie on wet, feces-coated concrete floors.
The intensive confinement, loneliness, and deprivation often cause mother pigs to go insane, which results in abnormal, neurotic behavior, like incessantly chewing the air, biting cage bars, and pressing on water bottles. After three or four years, their bodies are exhausted—even though they’re still young—and they’re shipped off to slaughter.
No one can deny how cruel the use of gestation crates is, which is why voters in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and Rhode Island have banned the devices. In Canada, they’re supposed to be phased out by 2024, although the industry is pushing to delay that conversion until 2029.
Do your part to help stop the abuse of pigs by leaving them off your plate, and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Better yet, show compassion for all animals by going vegan.