If you’ve ever had a chance to meet a pig, it’s hard not to notice how strikingly similar these animals are to the beloved dogs with whom we share our homes. These highly social animals possess an amazing capacity for love, joy, and sorrow — and they’re remarkably intelligent. In fact, they’re considered one of the top five most intelligent non-human animals, even smarter than dogs! They can quickly learn their own names and how to “sit” for treats. They can even play video games and use mirrors to find food that would otherwise be hidden from view.
Sadly, pigs on factory farms live miserable lives, void of behavioral stimulation. At birth, their tails are cut off and males have their testicles cut off without painkillers. Crammed inside barren concrete pens, they quickly get bored and frustrated. After about six months, they’re loaded onto trucks and – without food or water, sometimes for 24 hours or longer – transported to slaughter.
Mother pigs raised on breeding factory farms are routinely immobilized in narrow gestation crates barely wider than their own bodies. Unable to even turn around, a mother pig will suffer for months on end intensively confined before being moved to a “farrowing” crate where, still unable to turn around, she’ll give birth. The captivity, boredom, fear, and abuse these sows face is unimaginable.