Re: "Utah farm among 460 U.S. operations to phase out controversial pig cages," Tribune, Aug. 1.
While I'm glad pigs at Circle Four Farms will have a bit more room in their cages, we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking these pigs have good lives. Confinement into tiny gestation crates is only one abuse that pigs on factory farms endure. Piglets' teeth are pulled, ears mutilated and testicles cut off without any painkillers. Farm workers routinely kill piglets by grabbing their hind legs and slamming their heads on the concrete floor in a procedure the industry calls "thumping" or "knocking." And, of course, they will endure a harrowing transport crammed into the back of a truck before meeting their demise at a slaughterhouse.
As another recent Tribune article explained, pigs are highly intelligent, sensitive animals. In many respects they are more intelligent than the dogs and cats many of us consider members of our family. Fortunately, despite the industry's desperate efforts to lobby for shameful ag-gag laws, more Americans than ever are learning the truth about factory farms and cutting cruelty out of their diets altogether by going vegan.