Footage of suffering endured by animals on industrialized farms is often only seen if you visit an animal welfare group's web site or YouTube page. On occasion, the footage will make the evening news, such as the Humane Society's undercover videos of workers trying to force downed cows to their feet with forklifts and a hose and water so they can walk to slaughter in its investigation of Hallmark Meat Packing Co.
However, the public will get a look at the horrors of an industrialized pig farm on Monday, March 16, when HBO premieres Death on a Factory Farm. The documentary follows the undercover investigation of Wiles Hog Farm in Creston, Ohio, by The Humane Farming Association (HFA), and the subsequent court case. Among the gory findings of the HFA's investigators: piglets being thrown into crates from across a room, an unhealthy piglet being slammed against a wall to euthanize it, and an ill sow being hung by a chain from a forklift until it choked to death.
What happened at this farm is not unusual. As Gene Baur, the President of Farm Sanctuary often reminds us, bad has become normal on today's factory farms. Gestation crates, which restrict impregnated pigs from being able to turn around, have become the standard. A life lived completely against nature, all to save a few cents.
This film airs at a crucial time: when Americans are turning to cheap food sources, including fast food, in droves, as the economy remains anemic. Yet there is an unseen price tag associated with cheap food, and that price is paid by animals in the forms of unusually cruel confinement to save pennies for their producers; workers, who abandon their humanity; the environment; and our own morality, as we have come to value cheap food at any cost whatsoever.
Learn more about the HBO special.
Humane Farming Association
PETA's Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Pigs.
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