|Posted on May 1, 2012 at 2:25 AM|
Gestation crates made national news a few months back. I loved the energy of the e-waves, calls to action to end the production practice. Well the fervor has died down - and I don't know of a single factory that has removed a single gestation crate. Focusing on the positive, the attention did get several large corporations to begin looking at mandating producer’s end use BUT as I write this today there is no change.
To anyone who knows us our stance on this practice is not surprising. But I feel the need to educate about what it's like to be a girl pig in a factory farm. From the time a girl pig is sexually mature, around 6 months old she is bred and lives in a gestation crate. I don't know why the mere name doesn't make a person's skin crawl. As we near Mother's Day can you imagine a human being confined to a crate that doesn't allow for the simple act of turning around? A pig pregnancy lasts 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. Somewhere around the 3 month and 3 week mark the mom to be is moved to a farrowing crate to prepare for birthing. The farrowing crate is no larger it's simply differently scaled on the outside to accommodate piglets to be confined closely with Mom after birth.
Did I mention the insane cruelness of these enclosures? Concrete floors, no space to walk, sleep in communal packs or play. In a production facility a girl pig is simply a means to an end - giving birth to a saleable carcass or more breeding stock. And a girl will go from the farrowing crate back to the gestation crate to repeat the process until she is 'culled' when no longer useful. This is not a 4 month anomaly but an entire lifetime of confinement. Hour after hour, day after day, month after month and year after year.
I have been in a production hog facility. It was where I got the hands on training to prepare for our own on farm births. My single day long training was instrumental in understanding production hog practices. But my intent is not to beat on the production machine but raise up those who do it right.
My ask to anyone who reads this, if you don't buy your pork from us PLEASE check the practices of who you do buy from. There are other small farmers just like us that don't use crates. Support them. Only by supporting a -0- crate tolerance will we change life for all these girls.
I love each of our sows and gilts and the freedom they enjoy. Our girls have something that so many of their sisterhood should have dignity, honor and respect.
For more information on the issue I invite you to check this link www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/pork/.