Just in time for the holidays, PETA has placed a billboard in Tulsa that shows a glazed dog’s head on a platter. It’s not CGI—the ad uses a photo from the dog-meat trade in China. PETA hopes the grisly image will inspire diners to choose vegan roasts this holiday season.
People with companion pigs often compare them to dogs because they’re social, playful, and protective and they have distinct personalities. They also enjoy listening to music and being massaged, and they can play video games.
But most importantly, regardless of species, we all have a desire to live free from exploitation. “When it comes to feeling pain and fear, a pig is no different from a dog, a cat, or a human being,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman.
But in the industrialized meat industry, mother pigs are squeezed into narrow metal stalls barely larger than their bodies and kept almost constantly pregnant or nursing. Pigs’ tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated—all without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they’re hung upside down and bled to death, often while still conscious.
In just the last three years, the number of American vegans has risen by 600 percent—and as films like Okja inspire people to think about pigs, that number will grow. PETA offers free vegan holiday recipes and vegan starter kits for those interested in making the switch to compassionate eating, and holiday hosts who, like nearly every family, will have a vegetarian or vegan at the table this year.