1 Pigs snuggle close to one another and prefer to sleep nose to nose. They dream, much as humans do. In their natural surroundings, pigs spend hours playing, sunbathing, and exploring. People who run animal sanctuaries for farmed animals often report that pigs, like humans, enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages.
2 Pigs communicate constantly with one another; more than 20 vocalizations have been identified that pigs use in different situations, from wooing mates to saying, "I'm hungry!"
3 Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers' voices and to recognize their own names. Mother pigs sing to their young while nursing.
4 According to Professor Donald Broom of the Cambridge University Veterinary School, "[Pigs] have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than human] 3-year-olds."
5 Pigs appear to have a good sense of direction and have found their way home over great distances. Adult pigs can run at speeds of up to 11 miles an hour.
6 Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University has found that pigs can play joystick-controlled video games and are "capable of abstract representation." Dr. Curtis believes that "there is much more going on in terms of thinking and observing by these pigs than we would ever have guessed."
7 Pigs do not "eat like pigs" or "pig out." They prefer to eat slowly and savor their food.
8 Suzanne Held, who studies the cognitive abilities of farmed animals at the University of Bristol's Centre of Behavioural Biology, says that pigs are "really good at remembering where food is located, because in their natural environment food is patchily distributed and it pays to revisit profitable food patches."
9 Pigs are clean animals. If given sufficient space, they will be careful not to soil the area where they sleep or eat. Pigs don't "sweat like pigs"; they are actually unable to sweat. They like to bathe in water or mud to keep cool, and they actually prefer water to mud. One woman developed a shower for her pigs, and they learned to turn it on and off by themselves.
10 In his book The Whole Hog, biologist and Johannesburg Zoo director Lyall Watson writes, "I know of no other animals [who] are more consistently curious, more willing to explore new experiences, more ready to meet the world with open mouthed enthusiasm. Pigs, I have discovered, are incurable optimists and get a big kick out of just being."
This video investigates all factory farming, but shows quite of bit of the cruelty endured by pigs.
Life on the farm isn't what it used to be. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes portrayed in children's books have been replaced by windowless sheds, tiny crates, wire cages, and other confinement systems integral to what is now known as "factory farming."
Today the majority of farmed animals are:
confined to the point that they can barely move,
denied veterinary care,
mutilated without painkillers,
and finally slaughtered -- often while fully conscious.
Fortunately, each one of us has the power to help end this suffering by simply choosing to eat vegetarian.
The majority of the 100 million pigs killed in the U.S.
for their flesh each year spend their lives in cramped
metal pens inside filthy sheds. The animals are given
almost no room to move and they are deprived of
everything that is natural to them—they won't be
allowed to step outdoors or breathe fresh air until
the day that they are loaded onto trucks bound for
slaughter. They are pumped full of drugs to make
them grow faster, and many become crippled under
their own artificially massive weight.
In factory farms, mother pigs are intensively confined and forcibly impregnated. A mother pig (sow) spends her entire adult life
confined to a metal crate so small that she can't even turn around or lie down comfortably. Forced to live lying in her own feces and
urine, she and millions of other pigs like her will not be allowed to step outdoors until they are forced onto trucks headed for
Pigs are social and intelligent animals who often go insane from their intensive confinement and complete lack of mental
stimulation in factory farms. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, many pigs spend their days compulsively chewing on the metal
bars of their stalls.
"Dead piles" are a constant presence in factory farms. While pigs are fed massive amounts of antibiotics to keep them alive in
conditions that would otherwise kill them, hundreds of thousands succumb to the stress of violent mutilations and intensive
confinement. Dead pigs are sent to rendering plants, where they are made into dog and cat food or into feed that will be given to
pigs, chickens, and other farmed animals.
Pigs are generally given no food or water for the entire trip to the slaughterhouse, which often covers hundreds of miles. One former
pig transporter told PETA that pigs are "packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually
comes out." The pigs are shipped through all weather extremes, and many collapse in the heat of summer or become frozen to the
sides of the truck in the winter. One worker reports, "In the wintertime there are always hogs stuck to the sides and floors of the
trucks. They [slaughterhouse workers] go in there with wires or knives and just cut or pry the hogs loose. The skin pulls right off.
These hogs were alive when we did this."