Pigs Spared Slaughter in Tribute to Killed Activist

Regan Russell Was Run Over by a Pig-Transport Truck Last Week—This Week, PETA Saves Pair of Pigs, Talks to Farmer About Quitting Killing

For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2020

Contact:
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Alvord, Iowa – In honor of Regan Russell—a longtime PETA member who died after being run over by a pig-transport truck outside a Toronto-area slaughterhouse one week ago today during a peaceful protest—PETA has persuaded an Iowa farmer to spare two pigs being sold for slaughter. These photos show the pigs, now named Regan and Russell, on their way to a new life at Arthur’s Acres Animal Sanctuary, where they will be fostered, hopefully becoming permanent residents, and where they’ll be able to frolic, wallow, forage, and enjoy the companionship of other pigs.

“These sweet, smart pigs are on their way to a wonderful life, while scores of other intelligent, sensitive individuals just like them will face the knife until people decide not to buy meat anymore,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Regan Russell spent her last moments on Earth showing kindness to animals, and everyone can honor her memory by going vegan.”

PETA gave the farmer a gift basket filled with Beyond Sausage, Pig Out Pigless Pork Rinds, Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan, and other vegan foods as well as a heartfelt offer to help him get out of the animal-killing business and get in on the ground floor of the booming market for vegan food as an increasing number of others have done. Recently, pig farm worker Justin Reineke from Manitoba, Canada, decided that he couldn’t witness pigs’ suffering any longer and is now engaged in helping others go vegan.

The novel coronavirus originated in a meat market, and previous influenza outbreaks originated in pigs and chickens. Slaughterhouses across the country have emerged as hotspots for the transmission of COVID-19, as workers are forced to labor together in close conditions with little protection, and farmers have used extreme heat and other cruel methods to kill “excess” animals after the subsequent backups in the meat supply chain.

In the 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—often without any pain relief. At slaughterhouses, they’re hung upside down—sometimes while still conscious—and bled to death. Each person who goes vegan saves the lives of nearly 200 animals each year.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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