Crammed into 18-wheelers, pigs struggle to get air and are usually given no food or water for the entire journey (often hundreds of miles). They suffer from temperature extremes and are forced to inhale ammonia fumes and diesel exhaust. A former pig transporter said that pigs are “packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually comes out.”
According to a 2006 industry report, more than 1 million pigs die each year from the horrors of transport alone. Another industry report notes that, in some transport loads, as many as 10 percent of pigs are “downers,” animals who are so ill or injured that they are unable to stand and walk on their own. These sick and injured pigs will be kicked, struck with electric prods, and finally dragged off the trucks to their deaths.
In winter, some pigs die frozen to the sides of the trucks. In summer, some die from heat exhaustion. Some fall and suffocate when additional animals are forced to pile in on top of them. All are in a panic—screaming and desperately trying to get away—and some die of heart attacks.
One worker reports, “In the wintertime there are always hogs stuck to the sides and floors of the trucks. [Slaughterhouse workers] go in there with wires or knives and just cut or pry the hogs loose. The skin pulls right off. These hogs were alive when we did this.”
You know those people you’re sorta friends with but you kinda try not to talk to them too much or you’ll become their next host to cling on to and have all their gossip and life problems spilled on you every waking moment that they’re with you?
I have no patience for this.