A concerned member of the public, Dorothy Watkins, recently contacted Ethical Suppliers regarding Tiger Brands’
gassing of pigs. Pork constitutes a large precentage of processed meat products because pork is tasty and relatively
cheap to raise as pigs eat pretty much anything, even garbage, and have litters consisting of multiple babies. Like any animal raised for meat in a factory farm, they live an absolutely horrendous life, as you can see. Cramped unnatural conditions, no ability to wallow in mud, lie around in the shade, just eat, sleep and reproduce. And the reproduction is the worst part as sow crates are used. Sow crates are tiny little cages that the sow must spend her whole gestation period in, and she can barely move in it. Google it, it is absolutely disgusting and I can’t comprehend how people allow it. But there are many activists fighting for the abolishment of sow crates.
To be honest, many factory farmed animals’ lives are so horrible it is a blessing when they are eventually slaughtered, but the slaughtering process is terribly frightening and painful for animals. Nothing is as good as just letting the animal live a natural life and have a natural death, except for when the animal is in pain and needs to be put down. This is the most humane way to end an animal’s life but is not used in farm animals because the barbiturates stay in the flesh and could have a negative impact on people. But I am quite sure that science can come up with a solution but this research will cost money and the greedy corporations like Tiger Brands, who produce a LOT of the products you see on the shelves, will not spend a cent extra than they have to. You can see the article about how they gas the pigs here. The NSPCA approached Tiger Brands with alternatives but they were too costly. So in order to feed people’s addiction for cheap meat the animals must suffer. How anyone can be ok with that is beyond me, especially when we have large populations of people for example in India who live very happily on a vegetarian diet.
It is because of the horrible experience of being slaughtered that Ethical Suppliers eventually decided to remove meat products from the shop. There is little point in promoting free range meat if the slaughtering process is so inhumane as to violate animal rights in such a big way. If you were on the other end of the stick you would fight for your freedom, no sentient being that experiences pain wants to die. The link below shows fairly standard slaughtering procedures for pigs. It is unbearable to watch, but if you eat a lot of meat I want you to watch this and think about it the next time you eat your bacon…
There are many petitions you can sign to help improve animal’s lives and you can even start your own using sites like Avaaz and Care2 etc (see this page for list of activist groups) but boycotting the corporations that produce these products is the best way to starve them a bit till they rectify the situation (if ever). Going vegetarian is the best way to not be a part of the disgusting and cruel meat industry, even free range is not good enough but it is better than factory farming so if you have friends and family who INSIST on eating meat, look for free range butcheries such as Braeside Butchery and the Gourmet Butcher in JHB, and Farmer Angus in the Western Cape, CT Organics in KZN.