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Pig Farm Workers Fired for Abusing Animals

Written by PETA | December 24, 2007

Several employees of Murphy Family Ventures, which owns pig-breeding farms that supply Smithfield Foods, the country’s largest pork producer, were fired in response to PETA’s recent undercover investigation released less than two weeks ago. You can read more about this development in the investigation in a great piece by A big “Thank You” is deserved for the thousands of people who contacted Smithfield to take action against the abusive employees. If you haven’t already, please write to Smithfield Foods to demand that Murphy Family Ventures work with PETA to enact meaningful animal welfare reforms.This is a sample of cruelty documented by PETA’s undercover investigator that should convince you that welfare reforms are very much needed:

  • Workers dragged injured pigs out of the facility by their snouts, ears, and legs before killing them with a captive-bolt gun. Some of the pigs had “KILL” spray-painted on their backs.
  • A farm supervisor admitted that he violently beat pigs, saying of one that he “cut the sh** out of his God damn nose with a f***ing gate rod.”
  • Workers cut off piglets’ tails and pulled out piglets’ testicles—without using any pain relief—as the baby animals screamed in pain in front of mother pigs.
  • Two workers and a supervisor hit and jabbed pigs—sometimes in their faces and near their ears—with 2-foot-long metal gate rods on 31 of the 41 days that PETA’s investigator worked.
  • A worker gouged the eyes of four pigs with his fingers. Pigs suffered from ailments including cysts, sores, and a uterine prolapse for which they were denied treatment.

– Joel

Commenting is closed.
  • Omnivore says:

    I will admit I don’t just eat meat..I LOVE IT…BUT I do not condone the way these animals are being treated. I think eating animals is natural it is done in nature and is acceptable..but I think OVER eating wasting and mistreating animals is appalling. I think there should be STRICT criminal punishment for assaulting and mistreating animals. I would hunt a deer and eat the meat I would not however shoot a deer in his knee cap follow it..punch it in its nose kick it and then drown it in water. That is unnecessary.

  • Dawn says:

    This is the first I’m hearing ThisI stopped eating pig Products over a year ago when I heard about the pet pig who Was vishously attacked in Front of his owners I Stopped eating beef when the Case of the tortured cows Came out. and after reading The books and finding out What chickensturkeys and Fish go through I don’t eat Any meat. It’s terrible what Animals go through! I never new the graphicness before. And so many sick people who like to torture them! There is losts of food that Don’t involve meat.and boca and morning star has a lot of good products.

  • Luke says:

    A lot of farm factory workers HATE their job so they abuse the animals which are suffering already from the HORRIFIC FILTH they are forced to endure. They torture them for kicksthey get their rocks off hearing these helpless living creatures scream in TERRIBLE agony which sounds suprisingly human even pleading for their lives. And they keep on torturing them. Sadistic. SICK! The animals are defenseless that’s why they do it. Sounds like the perfect makings of serial killers to me. In my humble opinion. For these people lack a conscience. That is why they can do such hideous things. And that is why serial killers do what they do.

  • candice says:

    disgusting. listen animals know fear just as we do. you have a cat for example and your cat has it’s own personality different from any other cat like our finger prints or our own personalities. don’t you think that animals are equal to us in spirit? i have a dog yoda i am his pack leader but he is my brother he is my friend he is my family he is equal in spirit to me. think about it people.

  • rojo says:

    Susannah S Slaughterhouse was written by Gail A. Eisnitz not a criticism just so people can find it easier. Humane slaughteroxymoron or not is achievable and is a more realistic objective than a meatless world. Plenty of people continue to slaughter their own animals for meat and plenty more did in the past prior to commercial abattoirs. It is true if slaughter houses closed plenty wouldn’t but naive to think meat consumption would be in anyway close to ending. Michele and Dana The problem I have with “Slaughterhouse” is that there is not a lot of evidence to back it up. We are certainly looking at a socioeconomic group one would associate with domestic violence but we all know such violence exists where no animal links exist and in all sections of the community. Until i find a copy I can only assume the writer uses the worst cases she can find and presents them as the norm. Some study on the topic is addressed here httpwww.cabtsg.orgResourcesanimalabuse.pdf The Canadian pig farmer is a stark example of course but vegetarian serial killers exist too. Conversely 99 pointsomething percent of livestock producersor vegetarians don’t end up killing anyone.

  • Susannah S says:

    Antigone I agree that the vast majority of poor people would never work in slaughterhouses. I was trying to point out though that there often isn’t other work available in places where there are large slaughterhouses. That’s why the slaughterhouses build there. But you’re right that it’s still a choice whether or not to work there and I too have much more sympathy for the pigs than for the people abusing them. Sometimes in trying to be fair I think I seem to be defending the abusers which I would never do. There is no defense no excuse in the abuse of an animal no matter what one’s circumstances or “reasons why”. I will never forget the video of these pigs anymore than I will forget the video of the chickens being stomped on by the Moorfield workers who supply KFC and the suffering of these animals far outweighes whatever excuse that their human tormentors can offer.

  • Courtney says:

    As a North Carolinian I am very ashamed of what is going on in my very on backyard. As a human being i am ashamed of what my fellow men are doing to these gentile creatures. When I saw this video i couldn’t help but cry. I have seen some other PETA slaughter house videos but none of horrifying nature. My own personal experience is that i am an equestrian and used to board my horse at a barn with many different farm animals. I had become close to a pig there. He was very sweet. He would stand there and let you pet him and loved to be scratched behind the ears haha. But a couple of weeks later they sent him to the slaughter house. Just imagining the pain that he had to go through in this process is difficult to behold.

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    Jaclyn Sure it hurts but not much more than a shot of lidocaine which also is quite painful. To not castrate the boar piglets would be a disaster for the farmer.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Susannah I don’t disagree with you that workers at slaughterhouses come from the poorer levels of society. HoweverI still believe you have to have a certain mentality to take such a job no matter your circumstances. There are plenty of poor people who would never think to work in such a place. And I do not believe that their circumstances excuse them in any case. People who are down on their luck often murder and rob as a result and their dire circumstances don’t excuse them from paying for those crimes. Even though these people did not commit a legal crime it was a moral crime and I think they will pay for it in some way as they fully deserve. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever and never will.

  • Jaclyn says:

    I know piglets will scream when you simply pick them up but I would think that castrating them hurts A LOT more than simply picking them up. You always answer my questions. Thanks!!

  • Susannah S says:

    Antigone 1000 read “Slaughterhouse.” Gail Steinmetz knows what she’s talking about much more than I do and she says that many slaughterhouses are the main source of employment in poor rural areas where there IS no other income otherwise they wouldn’t be able to get people to work there. A good example of that is the pig factory on an indian reservation in Idaho that came in allegedly to give the Native Americans there some work. Nearly all of the people there now wish they’d never come. This is the Rose factory farm. They’ve ruined the land their working conditons are deplorable and the pigs suffer terrible neglect and abuse at the hands of the supervisors who oversee these operations. The workers on factory farms and in slaughterhouses are often apoor with no transportation or access to other work billegal immigrants often Latino ctransitory workers like migrant workers who got stuck somewhere and couldn’t get back home or dpeople who couldn’t get any other work anywhere else for a variety of reasons. There are few if any regulations on how long these people have to work or what they’re paid and there is often woefully inadequate supervision resulting not only in the cruelty you see on this video but in serious injury to the workers. It’s horrible work in all sorts of ways. Several people here have talked about how it’s OK to continue to eat meat as long as humane regulations were enforced etc. That does not can not and will not happen certainly not in the large corporate slaughterhouses. Even the veterinarians who are supposed to monitor these places are totally ineffective in an environment in which speed and production are the only criteria. The only permanent answer to this is to stop eating meat. Period. Where there’s no demand there’s no supply and all of these places would eventually shut down. What would happen to the cows? There would be less cows bred and born to begin with and a little at at time farming would go back to the small farmers where it should have stayed to begin with. There would be many less cows and many less chickens and pigs but that would take a long time because there are already millions and millions of them bred for food. And frankly that’s a silly question because NONE of this would happen overnight anyway. It takes a while to get through all of these justifications and “reasons” why it’s OK to eat meat but keep an open mind and keep reading and one by one those justifications will disappear. For anyone with a will to find out the truth about meat “production” there is in the end only one solution GoVeg. That isn’t “forcing” an idea on anyone. It’s just what happens once you go deeper into how your meat gets to your plate.

  • Susannah S says:

    Dear Jason L “If every slaughterhouse closed down today people would still eat meat but they’d have to do the slaughtering themselves.” Precisely. And given that how long do you think most people would continue to eat meat? Probably about as long as it took to poleaxe the first steer or pig and slit its throat. “If slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be vegetarian” as the wise man said. If we can’t get the slaughterhouses closed down tomorrow then bring on the glass walls! Let it be the case that everyone would have to kill the meat they eat for themselves that they’d have to hear the screams watch the animals cry and struggle to live. There would be a minority who could do it that’s true and many who could be much more humane than what is the “norm” right now. But closing the factory farm and the slaughterhouse would literally change the world overnight and make it a better place for everyone defintely for the animals. Would there be abuses? Sure. But I bet there wouldn’t be as many as are commonplace right now every day. Take a hard look into where your meat comes from and you’ll see what I mean. Meanwhile have some broccoli and make friends with a pig or a cow! They’re wonderful animals when given love consideration and respect.

  • Mathilda says:

    oh i was so griefstricken after i watched the article and video. after reading the comments i decided to pray to God for the sake of all our fellow living beings. I am currently on what u may call a Leviticussp? diet so i dont eat pork coz it’s unclean it does not chew its cud but i feel they r so cute nonetheless and it’s a great SIN to torture them so! but im goin’vegetarian by when i turn 16i.e when i more or less complete growing and the Bible did many times say that those who kill should be put to death and 1 of the 10 commandments is Do not kill. i personally feel those workers need jesus christ and read Bible often and understand the needs of their fellow creatures and step into the pigs’ shoes think about what they would feel if they were the pigs instead and there were the humans taller more powerful stronger than them torturing them so.

  • Dana says:

    This is Good News…even though I like many others would much rather the place just did not exist any longer. Rojo…Michelle is right you certainly need to pick up the book Slaughterhouse you will find that the abuse certainly does not stop at the slaughter house…it ends up at home it ends up with excess drinking problems…it is a vicious cycle to where no one is safe! Recently there was an article about a guy that had a small slaughterhouse he was caught recently and labeled a serial killer after killing 23 people 6 of the females were killed in the slaughter house in the exact way the animals are killed. You either go insane from working in this place or you are insane the day you take the job!

  • Kris Shulfer says:

    Tracy you truly have a kind heart. i too feel that way often. literally i want to throw up when I think of all I did to contribute in the past as well. Please forgive yourself and know that you are making a difference now and that is important. you cannot change the past you can only move forward. Thank you for changing your life to make yourself and the people you love choose to make better choices today.

  • rojo says:

    michele I’ll have a look for the book. I did a quick look for incidents involving these workers and murder and couldn’t see any over representation in the stats. If they are more likely to be subject to depression substance abuse etc it really is going to stem from their social background and education level. It’s not the most sought after career left to those with few options.

  • Preston says:

    The only appropriate response for this despicable example of subhumanity is for them to have the exact same things done to them that they did to these poor animals.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    I don’t agree that someone who is only down on their luck would take such a job. You have to have a certain mentality to commit such cruelty and I think that people willing to do it have other issues. In other words I do not think it is a result of circumstance but rather a symptom of a person with problems. If you think about it the serial killers all started by abusing animals. I would never abuse an animal nor would I become a serial killer. SoI think there is more of a connection there than just someone being down on their luck.

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    Most of the practices shown here by these callous and insensitive people are very cruel and unnecessary but to castrate piglets without numbing medicine is fairly standard. The castration is done to make the pig more manageable and gain more weight as an adult. The castration process itself is done on piglets with fairly small scrotums. The numbing process itself would probably be nearly as painful as the castration. Does that mean that I would let a urologist work on my scrotum without lidocaine? No but that is genuinely medically different. Lidocaine injection as any vasectomy victim will tell you is usually very painful in and of itself. To ask the pig farmers to use anesthetics during this process is terrifically impractical and likely of no benefit to the piglet. The piglets scream bloody murder during the process but piglets do that if you simply pick them up in a pen so I don’t know how much pain is involved but you probably can’t judge this by piglet vocalization.

  • LuAnne says:

    when i saw that video i had nightmares for a week straight.its just to bad they were not closed down.

  • Spt378 says:

    I find it rather interesting that the same people who say slaghtering these animals is cruel are the same people who say “Those farmers deserve all they get..maybe someone should castrate them and cut off there legs without pain relief” and “What barbaric bs! Oh what I wouldn’t give for just one minute with these pond scum to give them a taste of pain.” I’ve never worked in a slaughter house nor do I want to but who is the barbaric person now!!! Way to make your ethical point!

  • b swift says:

    WTF!! i think we need to bring back “an eye for an eye” i swear i’m so tired of this crap i admit every now then i eat meat but it’s getting less less with every sad story i hear about the mistreatment of animals

  • NT says:

    Firing them is not enough! PETA should not stop until they are sent to jail and Murphy Farms is held responsible for this kind of behaviour by their employees. People who are capable of such cruelty are dangerous human beings. They must be submitted to rigorous psychological and behavioural therapy. I don’t believe people who can do that during the day go home and are nice to their cats and dogs wife and kids at night. These are violent sick individuals.

  • Shane U says:

    It is incredible that we still live in an era where there is such barbarity in our food production. But I find solice in the thought that in the future our times will be looked on with empathy for we are still developing and still only just out of the darkness of histories past. For the vegans and vegetarian reading this congratulations on setting an example and making a difference in the world its not easy to be ahead of your time but there is so much inner peace and happiness in doing so our best weapon is the healthy lives we live and our compassion for the animals and the plant we share! Not only are we obliged to live in a way that is morally correct but we should do all we can to promote and help those that are not at that awareness yet we should not do that with anger or violence we should do that with compassion and love and understanding. We have come from a history of misunderstanding it is our job to help our fellow beings evolve!

  • beth says:

    Now i am not completley veggie or vegan and i respect peoples decison to be so but i dont agree with people trying to force those lifestyles onto others. I think yes you can ontroduce it to someone but you cant make them change thier whole diets. And i’d like to say i am in no way for animal cruelty it sickens me and any human being that thinks its fun to torture animals is sick and twisted. And i think eating meat isnt cruel its just part of the food chain and lets think about it but if we didnt eat cows the place would over populate with cows its just how nature works something eats somethin to live and also keep the population of that speacies under control. But what i dont agree with is how we go about killing an animal for food their are more humane quick and painless ways of doing so and we know it but we just dont choose to and thats whats upsetting its like people get off on hurting an animal especialy when its vunerable by being chained up feet first in some slaughter house. Animals kill out of instinct but us humans kill for fun greed money and sport. Things need to change!!!!!!!

  • yossi says:

    This is fantastic news! I’m all for animal rights although I will admit that I do eat meat except for pork after witnessing a pig being slaughtered when I was little and I also do not eat beef. I honestly have no intention of ever going vegan but something I’m passionate about is making the lives of these animals brought up for meat milk and eggs more humane in pertaining to the method of killing and not being in the cages 247 not to mention the constant abuse. No animal deserves the torture

  • Michele says:

    rojo you might want to take a peek at the book “Slaughterhouse” which Susannah S. mentioned above. Before I started reading it I also wondered if slaughterhouse workers were less likely to be violent in the community than the typical person but my eyes were opened to the fact that it is the exact opposite. Slaughterhouse workers seem to have a high incidence of substance abuse domestic violence depression and overall aggressive behaviour that was not present before they started this “work” perhaps because they have to become desensitized to what they are doing in order to keep functioning which is basically all they are doing after awhile on the job.

  • Mary says:

    What barbaric bs! Oh what I wouldn’t give for just one minute with these pond scum to give them a taste of pain. They should not be allowed to share the same air as decent human beings. God help those poor suffering animals.

  • Jason L says:

    Wellgrats on “peta” to putting a stop to animal abuse where it is foundbut to want the world to stop eating meat is just crazy. I feel if you want to eat somethingeat it. Butjust thinkif every slaughter house closed down today people would still eat meat but they’d have to do the slaughtering themselves. With that thought aloneanimals would be more abused if people did all the slaughtering themselves. Soslaughter houses with strict guidelines i feel would be the best.

  • Susannah S says:

    Tracy C RN What an excellent and compassionate post! I agree on all the points you made. The people who do this who work at slaughterhouses andor abuse the animals in their charge aren’t monsters unfortunately. They’re just like us only they’re usually poor often undereducated people who are down on their luck can’t get other types of work live in isolation and have a lot of resentment and misery in their lives so they inflict it on others. And you can bet that if they’re treating the animals that way they’re treating their families that way too. They get used to the horror of it the killing the screams and they get angry too because their livelihood depends on how many they can kill there’s a penalty for getting behind according to the book “Slaughterhouse.” If anyone here hasn’t read that book yet make it a must. It’s by Gail Steinmetz and it tells the whole story. These poor animals. When I think that I used to contribute to that when I ate meat I could jump off a bridge somewhere. But that wouldn’t help. What helps is to go vegan or at least vegetarian and then to keep on working to make these places history to provide different more humane work for the people who now work at murdering other beings and to provide sanctuary for animals now considered “food.” Farm Sanctuary IS the place to go if you want to learn all about it a beautiful place that demonstrates how life could be and one day will be for all beings.

  • Mazza says:

    Those farmers deserve all they get..maybe someone should castrate them and cut off there legs without pain relief..we’ll see how much they enjoy that.

  • Jaclyn says:

    You can actually hear these poor pigs screaming in terror. Literally screaming! How awful. Hey why do so many factory farms castrate piglets? What is that for? Tamara I’m glad you added another veggie item to your foods! You are right anything you can do will help. If you’re a fan of chilli try Hunts Seasoned Diced Tomatos for Chili with Veggie Crumbles Boca brand or Morning Star Farms!! Cook the tomatos with garlic and onions!! MMM! Good stuff!

  • rojo says:

    Tamara recent history suggests you have more to fear from postal workers and students than abattoir workers. If someone really has the desire to kill for “fun” then a slaughterhouse may well be their best outlet and safest for us all. I agree no animal should be mistreated in the way described.

  • Tracy C, RN says:

    My daughter interned at Farm Sanctuary last summer. PLEASE check out her video on under Farm Sanctuary Internship 2007. After spending time with pigs and getting to know them as individuals with their own interests and unique personalities the Smithfield torture and abuse attacks me on a deeper more personal level. The years of my life that I ate animal flesh and drank the milk meant for a baby cow weighs heavy on my heart. Not only did I contribute to the misery of animals and cause their suffering but I did it at a distance sheltering myself from the violence blood screams and death. Also I contributed to the exploitation of human beings poor uneducated desperate for money turning them into killers for $7.00hour. It is easy for me to be horrified and to judge these people but only 10 years ago it was me they were killing for. It had to start with me opening my eyes listening to the voice of my heart raising questioning and compassionate children… Simply it started with my own plate.

  • jayx76 says:

    Tamara although it is definitely better to move toward a plantbased diet than it is to just do nothing eating animals and animal products means that we are paying others to do horrific things to the animals involved. I’ve never seen any investigation at a factory farm or slaughterhouse and all animals egglaying hens and dairy cows included end up in the slaughterhouse that did not result in proof of absolutely heinous abuse and cruelty. Yes it’s commendable to move away from eating animals and animal products but when we know about the cruelty we need to take responsibility for our actions. Every time we sit down to eat we make a choice. We either choose to pay someone to do these things or we don’t. The point is what we can do is choose kindness. Please choose compassion. Take that step. Go vegetarian.

  • Kris Shulfer says:

    Jack I just wanted to bring to your attention that Paula Deen the crazy old bat from the Food Network does commercials for Smithfield Foods as well as uses their productsin a manner which appears to be proudly. Maybe you could send her some video footage and let her know what is up at Smithfield’s.

  • Aleasha says:

    Eating animals is sick and wrong. It’s also unnatural. The human body makes its own cholesterol but not it’s own vitamin C scientifically proving that humans are herbavores.

  • judy says:

    Those people should do time in jaili believe if a person is capable of doing that to an innocent creaturethey are capable of murdering another human being.I just cannot understand the crueltyit really breaks my heart.To think about the thousands of farms that have people like that working there abusing animals like that

  • antigone1000 says:

    Hopefully this story will help add to the number of vegans in the world!!

  • brad says:

    i think someone should beat the f out of those people…i just watched the HBO documentary on ingrid and i cried through much of it. i was already a vegetarian but if i had not been i would definitely be now. i just can not comprehend how people can treat other beings like that. the mere thought brings tears to my eyes literally. i only wish those places could be shut down permanently…if only the entire world would be vegetarian.

  • Tamara says:

    You know if people are going to eat animals …and I admit I am not completely veggie. But even Alicia Silverstone said its ok as long as you do what you can when she was on “The View” Anyway if people are going to continue to eat animals…there still is NO excuse for this kind of treatment of these beautiful beings. It saddens me and its sickens me. I think some of these people that work at these slaughterhouses need to be watched as potential future serial killers. You know there is that connection. BTW I tried Boca meatless chili yesterday…added another meatless dish to my repetroire.

  • Caboose says:

    Good job good thing you didnt shut it down really

  • Susannah S says:

    Good news! GREAT news! Now if only the whole Murphy Family Farm conglomerate could be shut down! If only Smithfield and ConAgra went out of business! Yes I know that won’t happen anytime soon but if they keep on getting into the spotlight for abuse and mistreatment of their animals sooner or later it will happen. THAT will be a great day for animals!

  • animalfriend says:

    again and again i’m appalled by the horrific attitude of some human beings towards these poor animals! reading the above lines of this kind of criminal abuse i shall not have a nice Christmas and i’m asking myself when the day shall come on this cursed planet to bring peace and joy to every living soul me i can’t appreciate festivities knowing that in the same time millions of innocient animals are suffering in such hellish conditions! i wonder why socalled christian countries can sleep at night also in the ‘Holy Night’ ignoring such nightmares! incredible but true and me i shall never understand it never!