This Is How Hot Dogs Are Made, and It’s Way Worse Than You Thought

You’ve probably heard of the gross things that make their way into hot dogs, but you might not have heard of what happens to those pigs before they become pork. Here’s how it happens:

1. Naturally, after piglets are born, their mothers will clean them and make a nest.

There are few things that look happier than newborn piglets.

2. But this is what a piglet birth looks like on factory farms.


The mother can’t make a nest because she can’t even turn around.

3. That’s because mother pigs are often confined to gestation crates while they are pregnant …

4. … and farrowing crates while they nurse.

Between the two, they’ll stay almost completely still for nearly their entire lives.

5. They’ll be artificially inseminated over and over again until their bodies give out.


Then they’ll be sent to slaughter.

6. Piglets in sanctuaries and other places where they aren’t raised for food spend their time playing, exploring, and bonding with Mom.

© Larry French/PETA

7. But on most modern farms, piglets are taken from their mothers after a few weeks.

8. Their tails are chopped off, their teeth are clipped, and the males are castrated …

… all without any painkillers.

9. Piglets who don’t grow quickly enough are killed.

This method of killing is called “thumping,” and it’s standard practice in the industry.

10. When given the chance, pigs actually enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages, just like humans.

11. But pigs used for food are usually kept in barren, severely crowded pens like these.

12. There, injuries and disease are rampant and often go untreated.

13. After about six months, pigs are crammed onto trucks like these.

14. They’ll often travel hundreds of miles to the slaughterhouse in all weather extremes.

15. In the winter, pigs can freeze to the trucks.

16. After beating and prodding the pigs onto the killing floor, workers attempt to stun them.

17. Stunning isn’t reliable, and many pigs have their throats cut while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain.

18. Pigs are smart, social, playful animals who deserve much better than this.

The best way that you can help pigs is to refuse to eat them. But don’t fret! You can still enjoy lots of vegan sausage, bacon, and hot dogs with all the taste and none of the cruelty.

If you were shocked to see how pigs are treated to make bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, pledge to go vegan!

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“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