Shocking Undercover Footage Reveals the Horror Behind the Pork Industry (Video)

Shocking undercover footage taken at a major pork exporter to the United States has been released this week, showing pigs and piglets enduring a wide range of abuse and cruelty.

The video, which was produced by the nonprofit Mercy For Animals, shows workers slicing off the tails, cutting holes in the ears and grinding the teeth of piglets without any pain relief—as well as sick and injured animals suffering from untreated injuries and illnesses.

The video was taken at the Aurora cooperative pig factory farm in the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil. Aurora is the third largest meat producer in Brazil and a major source of pork products that ultimately end up on American plates. But these cruel practices aren't limited to Brazil: they are all too common in pig factory farms across the United States, as documented by numerous undercover investigations.

The undercover MFA investigator also found mother pigs crammed in tiny gestation crates, which are made of steel and are barely larger than the pigs’ own bodies. Isolated and nearly immobilized in such small crates, these sensitive animals are unable even to walk, turn around, or lie down comfortably, let alone play, explore, or engage in other natural behaviors that make life worth living.

These curious animals lose their minds from frustration and stress. They often also suffer painful pressure sores from rubbing against the bars of their crates and crippling joint problems as their muscles waste away from lack of use.

From the day the pigs are born until the day they are killed, their lives are filled with misery and deprivation. The use of gestation crates, although standard industry practice, causes extreme suffering to millions of pigs and is something no ethical company should allow. It’s time for the Brazilian food retailer GPA—the second biggest retail company in Latin America—and all other food retailers, both in Brazil and around the world, to stop purchasing from suppliers that use extreme confinement methods and painful mutilations.

Learn more about gestation crates in this video:

The use of gestation crates has been widely denounced as one of the worst factory farming practices in the world. In fact, gestation crates are so inhumane they have been banned in 10 U.S. states, Canada, and the entire European Union. A recent survey conducted by IPSOS in Brazil showed more than 80 percent of those interviewed agree that supermarket chains should stop selling products that are the result of animal cruelty.

To help stop this suffering, sign a petition calling on GPA to end the use of extreme confinement methods and painful mutilations. You can also help animals every time you sit down to eat by simply leaving them off your plate.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.