NSPCA says Pick n Pay misleading consumers about sow friendly pork

by Lara Whybrow

Pick n Pay has started labeling certain pork products as being “sow friendly” but the NSPCA claims this is misleading. Click here to read about the NSPCA’s claims. They basically say that Pick n Pay producers still use sow crates and that Pick n Pay have their own ideas about what “sow friendly” is.

Sows are female pigs and they have absolutely miserable lives as they are mostly kept pregnant their whole lives and confined to tiny metal cages indoors.

sow crates

This extract details more about the horrific conditions:

When they’re old enough to give birth, female pigs, or sows, are artificially inseminated and imprisoned for their entire pregnancies in “gestation crates,” cages that are just 2 feet wide and too small for them even to turn around or lie down comfortably. They often experience health problems, such as ulcers and pressure sores, from lack of movement—and worse. One worker describes how a mother pig with a broken pelvis was treated:
[My supervisor] kicked her and then grabbed her by both of her ears and attempted to drag her out of the gestation crate in the breeding barn. She screamed in pain and protest .… [He was] riding her like a surfboard with one leg on her back and one on her neck. He then grabbed her by her tail, lifted her body, and forced her to walk out of her crate. As she did this, it was a horrific sight. The back half of her body was unable to move …. [My supervisor] was then trying to kick her and push her to keep her still as he shot her. She turned to the sows in crates alongside her as if asking for help. They kissed and sniffed, and then she was shot.


If you have read enough and want to keep eating meat but at least support free range pork farms (which don’t use sow crates) then visit the following link:

How did we get here – and do the authorities and farmers even care about animal welfare? An explanation of why pigs are kept in sow crates, from the American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Division:

Advantages: Individual Access to Resources—Stall housing allows each sow to be given an individually tailored diet10,11 and secure access to water. Enrichment materials, such as straw or balls, chains and ropes also may be provided, although this is not common in most installations. Accessibility—In facilities providing front and rear alleys for viewing sows, individual housing makes it easy to identify, inspect and intervene on behalf of specific sows, such as for veterinary treatment.1,10 Protection from Aggression—Stall-housed sows are unlikely to receive injuries associated with physical aggression, but agonistic interactions may still occur between adjacent animals.12 Disadvantages: Behavioral Restriction— Stall-housed sows are less active,13 and spend more time sitting and standing and less time walking than sows housed in pens.11 Sows in gestation stalls can stand-up and lie down, but are prevented from turning around and performing behaviors such as communal lying and movement to preferred micro-environments. Confinement Injuries—Stall-housed sows may have a higher incidence of injuries such as pressure sores, ulcers, and abrasions.14,15,16 Stereotypy—Sows in stalls may perform more stereotypic behaviors such as biting, chewing, licking, and rubbing than sows housed in the other systems.11,17,18,19.20


All of these advantages are available with larger systems that give the sows more space. Piglet mortality is higher in organic farming, but this problem is being researched and ways have been found to reduce this.

Consumers put pressure on producers by preferring lower prices. Producers implement aggressive tactics to increase their market share, often because they needed many investors on board to get the farm running in the first place so they need to provide a certain ROI, so they slash prices as much as possible to claim and increase their market share. Family farms which have been in operation for generations find themselves competing with these companies and resorting to tactics they don’t really like – either that or go out of business.

Recalling how his family operation began moving pigs from pastures to confinements in the 1970s, Borgic said: “We started using the stalls to protect the sows. I let science and the market tell me what to do. I’ve done both. I know in my heart and my brain what is better.”
His unapologetic defense of maternity crates was shared by other leading Illinois pork producers, who credit the individual stalls for bigger litters, heavier piglets and reduced workforce costs.
“Everybody looks at pigs and thinks of themselves,” said David Conrady, whose Logan County-based TriPork Inc. markets nearly 11,000 pigs per year. His animals have hearts similar to humans’ and highly evolved minds, he notes, but they are destined to make food, not serve as companions or pets.
“They’re raised for a purpose. We’ve got to feed the world first,” Conrady said.


It sounds like this agri company didn’t want to make the change, but exterior aggregates influenced their business model.

“They’re raised for a purpose”… I’ve come across too many times in my experience. Would we like it if we were treated the same? Of course not. And this sentiment is echoed in multiple sayings such as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” and on and on. I have had people tell me that animals were put on Earth by God to feed us. Well, let’s say that WE were also put on Earth to feed something more powerful than us – would we want to be kept in tiny cages all day or left outside permanently with no protection from the elements such as the Karan Beef feedlots?

I don’t think anyone that own or works in a factory farm feels in their hearts that they are doing the right thing – but it makes them a living and they just won’t reduce profits to make animals lives better. Open pasture free range farms are unarguably the gold standard in farming:

Commercial outdoor farrowing systems are often comprised of individual farrowing paddocks or runs in which sows will have individual access to a farrowing site but share a portion of pasture with other sows. Outdoor systems for farrowing have been cited as the gold standard of farrowing systems as they facilitate high standards of welfare while still remaining economically efficient. Outdoor systems satisfy the biological needs of both the mother and offspring by allowing for key natural behaviours to be performed during the time prior to farrowing and throughout lactation.


If prices are to remain the same there needs to be some sacrifice in the profit margins and consumers need to pay more if required to keep the operations profitable and sustainable. Consumers should boycott any factory farms – literally put them out of business and support companies that care.

So we would think that the main problem is the consumers. But then why is the push towards crate-free farming mostly instigated by the consumer? Because there are two types of consumers – conscious and unconscious.

Conscious consumers are uncomfortably aware of how much power they have – and disconcerted by their low numbers in relation to the unconscious consumers. Unconscious consumers don’t care (or CAN’T care…) about prices as they are in “survival” mode and need/want to prioritize the needs of themselves and their families over the needs of the animals producing their food. Even when these consumers are shown factory farming in black and white they either don’t care or can’t care. Conscious consumers are kindhearted and educated, and they understand that they vote with their buying power and that current trends are merely a reflection of this power.

We all created this mess. And it is up to us to fix it.

All of our current standards can be changed – if we choose to support those that are in accordance with the changes we wish to see. And that is why Ethical Suppliers was created, to create more conscious consumers. Please support free range meat and improve living conditions for all animals.

Google Says Factory Farming Too Graphic

Were you aware that Google doesn’t allow Adsense Ads on our factory farming post because the content is TOO GRAPHIC? That’s right – because of the horrific pictures and videos on our post, Google’s automatic bots and policies flag it as containing TOO MUCH GORE and so it violates their advertising policies.

So please support free range farming and help end cruelty to animals.

Click here to view a list of free range meat suppliers

pork factory farming

Factory Farming (warning NOT for sensitive viewers)

WARNING: What you are about to see regarding factory farming is extremely upsetting for most normal people. Not For Sensitive Viewers.

Free Range Meat Suppliers List

Activist page with petitions where you can vote against or donate towards the fight against sow crates and other cruelties.

Modern meat chickens (broilers) are genetically modified to grow extra large in a really short amount of time. This puts such stress on their organs and bones that they sometimes get leg deformities, further reducing their ability to move. They are so heavy they sit a lot, and this results in sores from their feces. To further compound the problem they are often so squashed together they couldn’t really run around and get exercise even if they were able to move.

This is where fast food companies such as KFC and most retailers get their meat from.

Switching to free range chicken helps a little because even if the free range chicken breeds are the same ones above (intensively genetically engineered), they have a bit more exercise and a better quality of life. Ask your free range chicken supplier what breed – if it is a breed like Boschveld, Koekoek, Australorp or any of the other non GM breeds then this meat is a bit better as these chickens grow at a normal rate.

Pork farming is just as bad. Many farms use sow crates. This confines the sow (female pig) to a tiny pen that she can’t even move around in. She is confined in this cage for almost her whole life, solely to breed, like a machine.

The picture below is a particularly bad case

pork factory farming

Beef farming is almost as bad. Look at the following picture

The dots in the feedlot on the right are cattle. They have no shade or grass and are fed an unnatural diet of corn instead of grass. Many beef farmers also feed their cattle chicken manure, it is a dirty little secret. The public votes for this type of farming with their buying power because corn fed beef is usually a bit more tender than grass fed beef. Grass fed beef is free range so the meat is less tender due to the exercise the animals receive.

This picture is a typical feedlot and this is how most beef is produced. There are hundred of thousands of animals – this picture is just a small fraction! As you can see, there is absolutely no shelter from the sun or elements. All the animals are fed a maize-based feed which fattens them up as quickly as possible. This diet is not natural for the animals.

Even if animals are free range, they are usually mass slaughtered and many cows are terrified wrecks while they wait in line to die. There are videos of them being viciously poked in the eyes and even pushed along the ground with forklifts because they are so scared and wont cooperate.

Mass slaughter means that some animals aren’t stunned properly or their throats aren’t slit cleanly so they either lie in pain dying slowly or they get thrown in vats of boiling water while still alive.

Below are some videos of factory farming, Youtube is full of them. Seeing pictures is one thing, actually watching the videos and hearing the animals is more than most decent people can handle. Please go vegan or at least only buy free range, preferably from your local farmer who has a family to support.
South African Unethical Pig Farm

Meet Your Meat: PETA video

Can You Handle The Truth?

Many cows suffer greatly in the worldwide beef, dairy and veal industries. Here is some information on typical factory farming methods used around the world:

from: http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/farm-animal-cruelty/cows-factory-farms

Quick Facts
Cows can live to 25 years, but beef cows are generally killed at just one to three years of age.
While beef cows begin their lives grazing on pasture, most spend their final months standing in their own waste in a barren feedlot devoid of pasture or shelter.
On feedlots, beef cows often suffer from severe digestive disorders caused by the unnatural diet they are forced to consume.
The Basics
Cows raised for meat are the only factory farmed animals still raised largely outdoors. However, this does not mean they have easy or pain-free lives. They are branded and castrated without painkillers, may have their horns removed without painkillers, and live outdoors amid all weather extremes.
Between the ages of six months and one year, beef cows are sent to live their last few months in feedlots with hundreds or even thousands of others. Without pasture and often without shelter, the cows must stand in their own waste, and sometimes mud and ice. To increase their weight, they are fed an unnatural grain diet that is very hard on their bodies, causing illness, pain and sometimes death.
Dairy Cows

Quick Facts
Today’s dairy cows each produce about 100 pounds of milk per day—10 times more than cows living just a few decades ago. This is due to bovine growth hormones, unnatural diets and being bred selectively for massive milk production.
75% of downed animals are dairy cows.
About 9 million cows are being used for milk production in the United States at any given time.
read the rest of the article at: http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/farm-animal-cruelty/cows-factory-farms
Related Links

Legal Protections for Farm Animals
While most Americans expect our laws to protect farm animals, the reality falls far short. Animals raised for food are among the least-protected class of animals in our nation. The U.S. has no federal laws protecting farm animals while they’re actually on the farms where they are raised.

Making Welfare-Conscious Choices
We believe that farm animal suffering can be reduced through expanded education about more humane farming methods, smart shopping, and reduced consumption of animal products. At every step of their lives, farm animals must be treated with compassion and protected from suffering.

The ASPCA and Farm Animals
Since 1866, the ASPCA has worked to stop cruelty to animals involved in the food production process. The industry has fallen into the hands of large corporations, and the issue of cruelty remains. The ASPCA continues its efforts to create distress-free lives for the many animals raised for food.

Pigs on Factory Farms
The U.S. raises some 100 million pigs for food each year, virtually all in factory farms. Industrial-scale pig farms are known for their intensive, inhospitable conditions. Pigs can live up to 15 years, but most of those raised on factory farms are slaughtered at just six months.

Birds on Factory Farms
Birds are by far the most abused type of animal in the United States. Roughly 8.5 billion chickens are killed for their meat every year, while another 300 million languish in tiny cages producing our country’s eggs. All birds are excluded from all federal animal protection laws.

Farm Animal Cruelty Glossary
Billions of farm animals nationwide suffer under inhumane conditions on factory farms, which are large, industrial operations that raise large numbers of animals for food. Read these terms to find out more about the cruel practices associated with factory farming.
Free Range chickens – this label can be misleading!

Crammed in: Chickens are huddled into a barn in a free-range farm

Look for “pastured” or “grass-fed” labels as sometimes an unethical farm can label their eggs as free range because there is an open door to go outside, but outside there is just a cement courtyard or something.
Animal cruelty charges for ex-agriculture MEC

August 14 2009 at 08:56pm – www.iol.co.za

If you are still reading this, you deserve a medal for bravery! Here are some pictures of free range farming to help you feel a bit better

free range hens for sale
This is one of the members of my personal chicken flock. A blue leghorn pullet (young female chicken) walks next to my Jack Russel dog in companionable silence.

Animal Cruelty Name and Shame Time Again!

I see this a lot, but every now and then I just get even more angry than usual and I have to name, shame, share, do whatever it takes to expose the way that eggs are farmed and how absolutely disgusting it is! Almost as disgusting as everyone else giving this man a pat on the back for doing such a “good” job! And this is normal and accepted by society!

I will update this post with comments, sometimes they are really funny for example “these animals are fine” or ” I am just trying to make a living” RUBBISH – hens come back every night, they don’t need to be caged. What you are seeing here is greed for more profit or just laziness. Why pay staff to pick up eggs?


more animal cruelty egg farming SILVER NDLOVU NAME AND SHAME

Tiger Brands Defends Gassing of Pigs But That Is Not The Worst Part

A concerned member of the public, Dorothy Watkins, recently contacted Ethical Suppliers regarding Tiger Brands’
pig gassing
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 sick pork factoryslaughtered, 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.



Adopted Battery Hen Rehabilitation

Battery hens produce 80% of the eggs used in the world (that was a conservative estimate but I’m sure it’s actually even more), and this kind of factory farming is one of the most abominable things man has done to Nature. For about a year, or half it’s life basically, the hens are kept in small cages and not allowed to dust bathe, forage for insects and greens, and generally just be free and happy. They are kept in cages only because it makes their price cheaper because you don’t need to spend so much time or manpower collecting eggs. actual

Pictured here is an actual battery hen operation by a small scale farmer in South Africa. They are overcrowded and small. All they can do is eat and lay eggs, for a year, until they are roughly bundled into cages and sent off to the abattoir or sold live in informal settlements. In the latter case, the hens are often without shade for the whole day, and with the current heatwave in the highveld at the moment this really half kills the hens.

An animal lover by the name of Cindy (thanks Cindy!) has adopted 2 battery hens Photo-0025and I have adopted the other 2 so a total of 4 hens were rehabilitated this weekend. It was horrible for me to see these poor animals with red diseased looking wounds by their undersides, and their bodies felt fragile and brittle. It really broke my heart I actually wore sunglasses just to hide the tears. I put them in their own outside room so that they could feel safe and gave them food and water and left the door open. When I checked up on them, they were outside and on the earth for the first time in their lives. They were able to walk around and nibble on grass and insects and other things, which they had never done before – they were literally fed the same thing every day for their whole lives.

The picture of them looks much better than the reality. Their feathers look white, and the pink bald spot looks not too bad. But actually the skin on the whole underside of their bodies was red and inflamed looking, and the feathers were matted, broken off, and filthy.

I have taken a picture of one of my hens, see how fluffy and clean her feathers look. And no bald patches at all, just thick healthy fluffy feathers.


The males suffer an almost worse state. They are usually not kept in cages (but still not free to go outside) but with many of them towards the end of their lives they are so heavy that their legs can’t cope and they spend a lot of time lying around, not roosting on perches as they would normally, and as a result they get inflamed and infected skin as you can see Photo-0022in this picture.

These are extreme cases but they are VERY common and ALL the animals suffer a high level of physical discomfort and unhygienic, unnatural conditions.

KFC, McDonalds, all chicken in Pick n Pay, Checkers, Spar etc, they all use chicken from factory farms that keep chickens from living happy, healthy lives.

Here you can see one hen and one rooster. This rooster’s legs are so powerful, he has no problem running around and he is HUGE, about 3kg I estimate. If we switch to free range meat we can have the same thing under better circumstances we just need to use our massive buying power, which is the only power in this world of money worship, to improve the lives of animals.

Compare this picture of my chickens having an absolute ball, and tell me:


to get involved in adopting battery hens contact info@ethicalsuppliers.co.za or call 011 818 0153 or whatsapp 071 930 5697. Hens usually cost R50 each.


KFC Chicken – Animal Abuse In Most Cases of Chicken Farming

If you have always wondered how your meat and animal products are produced, here’s how. On this website, modern farming is also called factory farming or conventional farming. Over the next few articles I will share the basics of modern food production. What you are about to read is not pleasant, and represents one of the most crucial things we need to change in our world along with other issues such as abuse, poverty, hunger etc.

Chickens raised for KFC and other chicken products have horrible lives in factory farms. Factory farming produces most of the food that the average South African eats and this food might as well be produced in a test tube for all the humanity that is in it. If the corporations could grow our food in a test tube they would, and believe me this kind of scenario is not far off! I have already heard they are looking at cloning cows!

Since many people are not aware where their food comes from and how the animals live, it can be hard to find out at first because of all the industry jargon and polished imagery. To test this, I tried to imagine that I knew nothing about farming, didn’t even know what a broiler (male chicken bred for meat) was, and Googled questions I imagined the average curious South African would ask. Such as

where does kfc get their chicken in south africa

I let Google autosuggest so that I know these are the most popular search terms. The first result is Rainbow Chickens. After a search on their website I could not find any pictures of the actual chicken farms. They are clever that way, they will have pictures of their chicken burgers, but none of the farms. So let me help you out here. This is a contract farm for Goldi Chickens, not Rainbow Chickens but the farming method is the same.

Goldi Chicken Farm NON Free Range Chicken













These are young chickens (chicks) in a large poultry barn which usually has no open windows or doors. The barn is temperature controlled and fluorescent lighting is used to regulate the chickens behavior. For example if they are not putting on weight fast enough the lights will be left on longer to encourage the chickens to eat more. Which is incredible because they already put on weight and grow at an alarming pace – it takes about 2 months for these chickens, known as broilers, to reach the age at which they will be slaughtered. Sometimes they grow too fast and their bodies can’t keep up so they become lame and can’t move. Because there are so many, they are not always removed quick enough and many have open wounds from sitting in their excrement for too long. Chickens are not just dumb animals that only care about eating. They are active, curious creatures and enjoy freedom, sunshine and fresh air just as much as any creature including you and me. They love scratching in the dirt, something they don’t have in the factory farms as pictured above and they are probably bored to death, unhealthy and depressed.

Below are some pictures of factory farm chickens close to the time when their short miserable lives are about to be over. After that are some pictures of my personal flock of chickens so that you can see what a healthy happy flock looks like. To buy free range chicken go to the online shop or contact the suppliers directly by searching through the site on the left. To start your own free range farm contact me on lara@ethicalsuppliers.co.za

broiler shed broiler-chickens-slide4 broiler-chickens-slide8 PEW_Big_Chicken














































personal free range chickens 2














Goldi chicken contract farmer we found on Facebook (plus pics of one of my own chickens)

Picture below of a typical broiler farm in South Africa. Broiler = chicken burger, KFC, chicken nuggets, chicken samoosas, chicken a la king….

A non free range chicken leads a disgusting, boring, uncomfortable and unnatural life. These poor animals are kept inside all the time. They never feel the warm sun on their backs, take a flying run down the field, never eat a juicy bug – all things that they love to do! Please compare the two – if the prices were the same which would you choose?

Most chicken is produced like this

Most chicken is produced like this



















This is one of the members of my personal chicken flock. A blue leghorn pullet (young female chicken) walks next to my Jack Russel dog in companionable silence.

This is one of the members of my personal chicken flock. A blue leghorn pullet (pullet = young female chicken) walks next to my Jack Russel dog in companionable silence.