New Billboard Warns Pig Farmers: Get Out While You Can!

With New Tariffs on Pork Exports, PETA Counsels Pig Farmers to Avoid Tobacco Farmers' Fate

For Immediate Release:
August 6, 2018

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Rockford, Ill. – China has imposed new tariffs on U.S. pork imports, undermining a market that took nearly 60 percent of American exports of pigs’ heads, feet, and other assorted body parts. That’s why PETA is moving to place a billboard in Rockford—near numerous pig farms and in the heart of the country’s number four pig-producing state—that shows a pig’s face next to the words “Pig Farmers, Learn From Tobacco Farmers: Get Out Now! Vegan Is Happening.”

“The number of U.S. tobacco farmers dropped like a stone after the government stopped propping up the tobacco industry,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “As the pork industry struggles, the vegan food market is booming, which is why PETA’s billboard calls on pig farmers to stop counting on diminishing pork futures, look ahead, and get out of a dying business.”

Animal-based operations that recently went vegan include New York’s Elmhurst Dairy, which switched to producing nut-based beverages, and former pig farmer Bob Comis famously switched to all-plant farming because of ethical reasons. Tyson has invested in Beyond Meat, Bareburger announced plans to open a vegan chain, and one in six universities offers an all-vegan dining station. In today’s pork 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 the slaughterhouse, they’re hung upside down and bled to death, often while still conscious.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—also plans to run the ad in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (the country’s top pig-producing state).

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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