Claiming that it’s “determined to be an ethical food industry leader,” Smithfield has fired Paula Deen as its spokesperson over racist comments that she made.
How determined Smithfield is to being an “ethical leader” is anyone’s guess, considering the fact that it’s on the brink of being purchased by Chinese pork giant Shuanghui Group, which was caught feeding pigs clenbuterol, a drug that can sicken humans who ingest meat tainted with it.
© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
And Smithfield has a spotted track record itself. It flips back and forth on its promise to phase out gestation crates—which are so small that pregnant pigs can’t turn around or even take a single step in any direction—and it will require only company-owned farms to act, not its massive contract farms.
And in 2007, PETA documented that workers at one of Smithfield’s suppliers dragged injured pigs out of the facility by their snouts, ears, and legs before killing them with a captive-bolt gun. Some of the animals had “KILL” spray-painted on their backs. Workers also cut off piglets’ tails and pulled out their testicles—without using any pain relief—as the youngsters screamed in pain in front of their mothers.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that such an atmosphere can breed racism, too. A New York Times article about a Smithfield slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, North Carolina, noted that blacks and Hispanics get “the dirty jobs at the factory.”
What You Can Do
If you don’t want to support these abuses, please don’t buy any pork products. Go vegan today. We’re here to show you how.