WATCH: The 4-Second Viral Video That Will Break Every Mother’s Heart

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

“I can’t, I just can’t.” “Ur posts making us sad everyday!” “I cannot.” “I can’t watch this it is disgusting.”

These 👆 are just a few of the nearly 4,000 comments folks left on a four-second video clip that PETA posted to Instagram yesterday showing a protective mother pig helplessly watching as a worker castrates her son without any pain relief. The footage is an excerpt from a PETA Asia exposé of Japan’s leading pork producer, Nippon Ham, and in less than 24 hours, the video has amassed more than 1.4 million views on Instagram. And while, yes, the footage is “sad” and difficult to watch, sharing it is the least that we can do for animals like this pig mom and her son who actually endure such abuse. “As difficult as it is to watch these videos, the discomfort we feel is nothing compared to the unending horror these animals experience,” one commenter pointed out.

Did you know that this 👇 torture is standard practice in the pork industry?

This video footage is from a pork producer in Japan, but torture like this is routine and accepted in the U.S., too, where workers cut piglets’ testicles, tails, and chunks out of their ears and clip their teeth, all without painkillers and often in sight of the piglets’ trapped mothers and siblings.

“Wtf”? musician Bebe Rexha dropped in the comments section.

As soon as we posted the clip, the comments section lit up with broken heart emojis and calls to “go vegan.” One commenter said, “[T]his video is enough to make me go vegetarian i think i’m done … i’ve been seeing peta videos for a while but this one and that leather one is just insane to me.” They hit the nail on the head: Humans shouldn’t wear animals’ stolen skin for the same reasons we shouldn’t eat their flesh—it’s not ours. Animals aren’t here for us. To think that it’s acceptable to use, abuse, and eventually kill this mother pig or her vulnerable son for food or any other reason, just because they’re different from us and because we can, is an example of prejudice known as speciesism.

A human mother couldn’t help but sympathize and empathize with this loving, helpless pig mom.

“I’m over here crying my eyes out as I nurse my son. This is so heartbreaking,” one mom commented. Another wrote, “Mothers most of all should be vegan … because you’d die if someone tried to hurt your young, so why hurt another’s? [V]egan for the heartbreak of every animal Mother that isn’t given the opportunity to help her babies time and time again.”

These moms get it: Just like them, mother pigs form a strong, loving bond with their babies at birth. Newborn piglets learn to run to their mother’s voice, and mother pigs have even been known to sing to their young while nursing. But at Nippon Ham and other farms, mother pigs spend most of their lives in individual “gestation” crates. After giving birth to their piglets, the mothers are moved to “farrowing” crates, which are barely wide enough for them to lie down and nurse their babies and not big enough for them to turn around or build nests for their young. Workers separate babies from their mothers when they’re as young as 10 days old. Once her piglets are gone, the mother is impregnated again—and the cycle continues for three or four years before she is slaughtered.

Learn more about “gestation” and “farrowing” crates and other misleading meat-industry euphemisms.  

Each pig is an individual, not a piece of meat. Watching this video and passing it on is a small act of kindness that we can show to pigs like these. The ultimate good deed is leaving them and all other animals off our plates. And with so many delicious vegan ham and pig-free bacon products available, extending this goodwill has never been easier. Click below to kick-start your vegan journey with a little help from PETA:

Try PETA’s 3-Week Vegan Challenge

And help us spread the word—share this article with your family, friends, and followers:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind