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This Is How Hot Dogs Are Made, and It’s Way Worse Than You Thought

You've probably heard of the gross things that make their way into hot dogs, but you might not have heard of what happens to those pigs before they become pork. Here’s how it happens:

1. Naturally, after piglets are born, their mothers will clean them and make a nest.
sow and piglets
There are few things that look happier than newborn piglets.

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

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals
The mother can't make a nest because she can't even turn around.

3. That's because mother pigs are often confined to gestation crates while they are pregnant …
pig on factory farm

4. … and farrowing crates while they nurse.
farrowing crate
Between the two, they’ll stay almost completely still for nearly their entire lives.

5. They'll be artificially inseminated over and over again until their bodies give out.
gestation crate
Then they'll be sent to slaughter.

6. Piglets in sanctuaries and other places where they aren't raised for food spend their time playing, exploring, and bonding with Mom.
piglets

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

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.
thumping
This method of killing is called “thumping,” 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 like humans.
happy pig in pool

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

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

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

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

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

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

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.
slaughter

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

The best way that you can help pigs is to refuse to eat them. But don't fret! You can still enjoy lots of vegan sausage, bacon, and hot dogs with all the taste and none of the cruelty.

If you were shocked to see how pigs are treated to make bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, pledge to go vegan!

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