On some farms in the United States, up to 50 percent of female pigs’ deaths are the result of prolapsed vaginas, uteruses, or rectums. Prolapses occur when the muscles and tissues that support the pelvic area are stretched or torn—the organs collapse, often bulging out of the pig’s body. Female pigs used for breeding are dying from prolapses at an unprecedented rate, and in many cases, they aren’t euthanized but are left to suffer until they die.
Following the findings of a data collection agency, the meat industry is responding in the way it usually does: with focus groups, discussions in meetings about getting a broad overview, talks about mycotoxins in pigs’ food, etc. But the only real solution is glaringly obvious: Stop treating living, feeling individuals as breeding machines and exploiting them for profit.
Female pigs used as breeders by the meat industry usually spend most of their lives confined to metal-barred gestation crates that are so cramped, they can barely move. They’re repeatedly impregnated and forced to bear an average of 23 piglets per year. The babies are taken away from them just a few weeks after birth and then fattened to be slaughtered or used to replace pigs whose bodies have become worn out.
For mother pigs who don’t die on the farm, the hell continues when they’re crammed one on top of the other into transport trucks and hauled to the slaughterhouse. After a lifetime spent carrying and birthing babies, they’re hung upside down, their throats are slit, and they’re scalded in boiling-hot water in order to remove their hair.
But this greedy, violent industry only continues its despicable practices in response to humans’ appetite for the flesh and secretions of other animals. Pigs and all other animals deserve better. Please, go vegan.