If Pigs Could Speak

I am a pig.  I am a happy and affectionate animal by nature.  I like to play in the grass and raise my young.  In the wild, I eat leaves, roots, grass, flowers, and fruits.  I have a terrific sense of smell and I am highly intelligent.

I am a pig.  I can learn tasks as quickly as chimpanzees and faster than dogs.  I roll around in mud to cool down  but I am a very clean animal  and don’t excrete anywhere near where I live.  I speak my own language that you cannot understand.  I am often loved as a house mate.  I like being in groups and live a long natural life in the wild or a safe home.  I enjoy interacting with people and I am very gentle.

I wish I could do and be all of those things but I was born on a factory farm like billions of other pigs  and so I experience none of them.

I am a pig.  If I could speak  I would tell you that I spend my life  in a crowded and filthy warehouse  in a tiny metal crate.  The owners call it a farm so you won’t feel bad for me.  It’s not a farm.   My life is miserable from the day I’m born until the day I die.  In many cases, I live my entire life in a gestation crate  where I can’t even turn around.  I try to escape but can’t.

I suffer severe emotional and physical ailments  as a result of my confinement. I have bruises all over my head and face from trying to get out of my cage.  I bang my head against the bars.  It is analogous to living in a coffin.

I am a pig.  If I could speak I would tell you that  I don’t ever feel the warmth of another pig.  I only feel the cold metal bars of my cage  and the feces that I am forced to sleep in.

I don’t see daylight until a trucker drives me to a slaughterhouse.

I am a pig.  I am beaten often by ruthless factory farmers  who take pleasure in hearing me squeal. In their own words, “One time I took my knife – it’s sharp enough – and I sliced off the end of a hog’s nose, just like a piece of bologna. The hog went crazy for a few seconds. Then it just sat there looking kind of stupid. So I took a handful of salt brine and ground it into his nose.”

I am constantly impregnated and do not have any interaction with my piglets. When I was born, I was separated from my mother.  In the wild, I would have stayed with her for several months.  Now I am forced to have 25 piglets a year through artificial insemination as opposed to six per year I would have in the wild.  Being in a constant state of pregnancy is slow torture.

Overcrowding and the smell of being covered in raw sewage causes many of us to go insane  and bite each other through our cages.  Sometimes we kill each other.  It’s not our nature.   My home smells of ammonia.  I sleep on concrete.  I am tied up so I can’t even roll over.

I am a pig.  I am bored and have nothing to do  so I bite my tail and the tails of others  so the factory farmers cut off our tails  without any pain killers.  It is excruciating and causes infection.   When it’s time for us to be killed,  we are supposed to be stunned to death with a bolt gun  until we can’t feel pain  but often the gun is not properly charged or the stunner misses,  or we’re too big for it  and it fails to work properly.  Sometimes we go through the slaughter process sticking, skinning, dismembering, and eviscerating –  alive, conscious, and kicking.

I am a pig.   If I could speak  I would tell you we suffer horribly.  Our death is slow and violent torture.  It can last as long as 20 minutes.  If you saw it happen,  you would probably never eat an animal again.  That’s why what happens inside factory farms  is the best kept secret in the world.

I am a pig.  You can dismiss me as a worthless animal.  Call me filthy even though I am clean by nature.  Say I don’t matter because I taste good to eat.  Be indifferent to my suffering.  But now you know,  I feel pain, sadness, and fear.  I suffer.  Even though I will be killed  and deprived of a humane and natural life, you now know it is wrong  and if you continue eating animals like me when you don’t need to eat them to survive, it will be on your conscience and you bear responsibility for the cruelty  because you’re funding it by purchasing my remains.

You have a choice  to live a more compassionate life.  It’s much easier than you think  and it is a very fulfilling lifestyle —  healthier for you,  better for the environment,  and most of all,  it does not contribute to the abuse of animals. Please give it some thought. I am no more meant to be eaten by you  than you are meant to be eaten by me.

The idea of eating me is a human creation for profit not a divine one or one born of necessity but rather choice. If you could choose not to abuse an animal, would you?  If the choice of ending cruelty to animals  meant making some simple changes in your life,  would you make them?  Forget about cultural norms.  Do what you know is right.  Align your compassionate heart and mind  with your actions.   Please stop eating pork, ham, bacon, sausage  and buying other products made from pig body parts such as leather.

I am a pig.  I’m begging you to develop the same respect for me that you have for your dog or cat. During the time it took you to read this story, more than 26,000 pigs were brutally slaughtered on factory farms.  Simply because you didn’t see it happen doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.  It did.

I am a pig.  I had only one life on this earth.  It’s too late for me  but it is not too late for you to make a change like millions of other people and save other animals from the life I lived.  I hope animals’ lives will begin to mean more to you now –  now that you know.   I was a pig.

Andrew Kirschner, Ed.D., is the founder and CEO of Animal Rescue Bar, a delicious plant-based snack for health-conscious people that donates 50% of its proceeds to non-profit animal rescue and advocacy organizations. To subscribe to this blog and receive new articles via e-mail, enter your e-mail address in the “Follow Blog by E-Mail” link at the top right of the page.

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20 Responses to If Pigs Could Speak

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  3. Petra Abrar says:

    SAD,SAD,SAD…

  4. Amy says:

    Thank you for your voice.

  5. jean thornley says:

    because you are a pig,i love you,because you are a pig i have cried for you,because you are a pig,i am now a vegan,because of this i respect you and thank you,i cannot bring you back but i will remember you because you were a pig x

    • Mj Mack says:

      I am so sorry .. Because you we’re so special, I cry for you every day. You are a pig. But not just a pig. I am a human. But I am just a human. I am vegetarian because I know you are the same as me. And you should have the rights I do. One day, everyone will know, you are not just a pig!

  6. Scott says:

    I am a human. Although I am personally a vegan and outspoken activist, attempting to educate others about the plight you are suffering through because you had the NERVE to be born with DNA other than human, I am part of a species whose cruelty and unspeakable penchant for atrocity knows no limits. I am a human. Although I practice a peaceful, vegan way of life in an attempt to save yours, I am reviled by most other members of my race, who if they could would gladly inflict the same cruel torture and murder upon me and my vegan friends as they inflict upon you, out of nothing more than spiteful hatred for those who refuse to participate in their crimes. I am a human, and because I share the collective guilt of my race, I am, at least in this lifetime, nothing more than a dangerous, cruel, unwelcome parasite on this planet. I am human. And I am so sorry most of the members of my race did this to you. Please forgive me. I am human, and I am ashamed of it. :_(

  7. Inga says:

    Я думаю,что вегетарианство в генах, у некоторых людей этот ген спит, иногда его можно разбудить

  8. Joanne Anand says:

    Moving to the extreme. This is soul destroying and I hope through reading this people come to see this for the atrocity that it is. The pig in your last photo has very real ‘worry lines’ creasing his or her forehead – we aren’t the only ones to feel deep anguish, fear, isolation, misery, terror and pain. I love pigs, and I will always fight to raise awareness for their kind. They are very much like us and share our DNA. May we learn the error of our ways. Thank you Andrew for another wonderfully written and enlightening piece.

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  10. cybergabi says:

    I hate people. Go vegan, it’s the best you can do.

  11. Jill says:

    As a vegetarian for almost 30yrs I still sob over animal suffering. I, we, must continue to do more. Thank you for this writing and reiteration of the lives of factory farm animals. Sometimes one gets so caught up in our day to day (cruelty-free) lives that we become out-of-touch to what still goes on. You’ve brought me back to the reality and I’m standing by your side.

  12. Thomasina Knight says:

    What’s really sad is that humans just don’t know…….throughout the millennia we have been “unconscious” and since we just arrive on this planet with no guide book we are subjected to the workings of the mind and the culture we live in. But people are becoming more and more aware of what we have done….and how others suffering immensely at our hand. Lets hope the more outcry there is the quicker the change. My heart bleeds for any animal who suffers. They don’t deserve it. Instead we do.

  13. Mavex says:

    I won’t give meat up but If I can i will choose meat from animal that has been treated nice through its life.

    • Scott says:

      Sadly, Mavex, even if she or he (as opposed to it) got treated well during her life, she met her demise in a painful, violent manner. That’s the nature of slaughter. The very word sounds insanely violent, and it represents insane violence. There is simply no getting around it. The only way to avoid that would be to choose meat that was grown in a lab rather than stripped off a murder victim. Since you choose to continue to purchase and consume this violent product, you are making the choice to support unnecessary violence against other animals to satisfy a desire and preference rather than fill an actual need.

      • jean thornley says:

        Scott i totally agree with your comment,it is of no use to sympathise with the victims if you help hold the knife

      • Scott says:

        True, but my statement was not intended as approval for those who continue with carnist lifestyles. Rather, it’s a statement intended to strip away everything except the hard, cold facts…to make the philosophy less susceptible to political spins, snarky dismissals, and name calling, such as “oh, you bleeding heart liberals only care about pigs and not about feeding humans, blah blah blah.” It’s a strategic approach to sharing the obvious.

    • That is still taking a life for no good reason…but, Mavex, it is a start.

    • Pat Volk says:

      halfway measure avail nothing.treated nice?you have got to be kidding.

  14. Hamed says:

    so much pain in the world, the world I’m not sure I want to live in anymore. one thing I’m kind of sure is I dont want to have kids in this cruel and empty world! There is just so much to attend to, one cant even begin to count our atrocities anymore. what should we REALLY do? other than trying, hoping…

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