Many people who know pigs compare them to dogs because they are friendly, loyal, and intelligent. Pigs are naturally very clean and avoid soiling their living areas. When they are not confined on factory farms, pigs spend hours playing, lying in the sun, and exploring their surroundings with their powerful sense of smell. Considered by animal behaviorists to be smarter than 3-year-old children, pigs are very clever animals.
Most people rarely have the opportunity to interact with these outgoing, sensitive animals. These pigs spend their entire lives in cramped, filthy warehouses under the constant stress of intense confinement and are denied everything that is natural and important to them.
Piglets are torn from their distraught mothers after just a few weeks. Their tails are chopped off, the ends of their teeth are snipped off with pliers, and the males are castrated. No painkillers are given to ease their suffering. The pigs then spend their entire lives in extremely crowded pens on tiny slabs of filthy concrete.
When the time comes for slaughter, pigs are forced onto transport trucks that travel for many miles through all weather extremes. Many die of heat exhaustion in the summer or arrive frozen to the inside of the truck in the winter. According to industry reports, more than 1 million pigs die in transport each year, and an additional 420, 000 are crippled by the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse.
Because of improper stunning methods, many pigs are still conscious when they are dumped into scalding-hot water, which is intended to remove their hair and soften their skin.