Editorial: Protecting Pregnant Pigs
How to Use Your Pen to
Protect Pigs from Cruelty
"Forget the pig is an animal. Treat him just
like a machine in a factory."
-- Hog Farm Management (trade magazine)
There is a rare opportunity on the horizon in Florida and help is needed from all Americans. This is an animal rights issue that every human being should easily be able to support. No one is asking meat eaters to give up flesh or for factory farms to shut down. The simple request of this groundbreaking ballot initiative is to end the inhumane, cruel, painful living conditions of pregnant pigs.
The effort seeks a ban on "gestation crates"--barren metal enclosures where breeding pigs are kept pregnant for the vast majority of their lives. And it's not simply about the confinement, but the way they are confined: crates are just two feet wide, and the pigs cannot even turn around. They live in these conditions for years, birthing as many as 10 different times.
Due to the extreme confinement of these crates, pigs suffer from crippling foot and joint disorders, muscle weakness, and lameness. They develop sores on their bodies from constantly rubbing against the bars of their enclosures. Pigs confined in gestation crates experience chronic stress, frustration, depression, and other psychological disorders. They routinely exhibit neurotic coping behaviors, such as repetitive bar biting, sham chewing, and head waving. Gestation crates are so cruel that they have been outlawed in other countries, but tragically, they remain common in the United States.
Why do Americans condone such cruelty? I believe that it's mostly because few realize just how cruel today's animal farming practices are. Here is an opportunity for all Americans to make a difference.
Floridians for Humane Farms is working very hard to get the necessary signatures so this initiative gets to see the light of day on Florida's November ballot. It would be a huge victory for animal rights and freedom from suffering for living animals. A ballot victory in Florida will likely set a precedent for the same measure to be voted upon in other states.
The animals urgently need your help! If you live in Florida, please visit the Floridians for Humane Farms web site that is listed below. Once there, you can download the voter petition. I can not stress enough just how important this is: sign the form and send it in. If you can't get online for the form, contact IMPACT press with your mailing address and we'll send you a copy free of charge. And, if you live outside of Florida, contact everyone you know in Florida and beg them to get on board this effort.
Please join in this effort. As empowered creatures with a voice, we must seize this opportunity to speak for those creatures that cannot speak for themselves.
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