What does the next generation think of today’s issues? The Big Smoke’s Next Gen program publishes Australian students mentored by TBS writers. Today, 14-year-old Bailey comments on the conditions of pigs being factory farmed in Australia, and discusses why changes need to be made to their treatment.
Student: Bailey Mason – 14 years old
Mentor: Jordan Rivkin
Topic: Why Australia needs to put an end to pig farming.
In Australia millions of innocent pigs are being born into a life of horrific suffering.
Pigs are seen by many Australians as dirty unintelligent animals that are ours to butcher for ham, bacon and sausages. The truth is pigs are actually highly intelligent animals that are much like your pet dog at home. They come when called and love belly rubs, and obviously love a yummy treat! Pigs can be taught tricks just like your pet dog such as shaking hands and playing fetch. Studies show that pigs are more intelligent than dogs and have the intelligence of a 3-year-old child.
Sadly their intelligence isn’t being recognised on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, where they are in extreme confinement for their short lives and their suffering only ends with the slit of their throat.
The industry wants us to believe that the animals live a happy life on green pastures and then their lives are ended quickly and cleanly. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Factory farming is the biggest cause of animal cruelty in the world. Many consumers are not aware that 94% of pork in Australia comes from factory farms where pigs are either locked in sow stalls that make it impossible for them to even turn around, or are being kept in a overcrowded dark sheds. For many pigs living on factory farms, the first time they see sunlight is on the truck to the slaughterhouse.
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Animal rights organisation, Animal Liberation Victoria, has obtained shocking footage of the “stunning” method that most pigs in Australia face whether factory farmed, free range, organic or RSPCA approved. The method is carbon dioxide gas chambers and it is said to be “best practice” for pigs at slaughterhouses, and that they gently fall asleep. This lie has been exposed. The footage was filmed by secret cameras put in place by activists at three Victorian slaughterhouses. The heartbreaking footage shows the pigs being forced by electric prods into small metal cages and lowered down to be gassed. For pigs, it’s the elevator of Hell. The footage shows the pigs screaming in agonising pain and desperately trying to escape.
In December of 2015, Animal Liberation activists staged a protest at Diamond Valley Pork Slaughterhouse in Melbourne with activists on the roof and blocking the slaughterhouse trucks from coming in and out. They held signs that read “Stop The Slaughter” and “Stop Violence” followed by Pigtruth.com a website campaigning to stop the consumption of animals. The protest sounds pretty intense as it is but it became a major shock to the police that four activists had been so moved by the footage that they had chained themselves to the gas chamber in the slaughterhouse, making the killing of hundreds of pigs in the abattoir impossible from 4.30am to 7.30am. This was an absolute disaster for the slaughterhouse, and to make matters worse for the Australian pork industry, this act of bravery and compassion was noticed by the media which spread the activists’ message and undercover footage across the country.
Pigs are intelligent animals that are capable of feeling happiness, love, pain and sorrow. We need to stop paying others to cage and kill them. As awful as this footage is, it’s important people know the truth of what’s happening and how their decisions of purchasing meat are causing such pain on innocent lives.
This article is part of a series for The Big Smoke Next Gen.
The Big Smoke Next Gen is a program which matches professional and experienced writers, academics and journalists with students who wish to write non-fiction articles and voice their opinions on what is shaping the nation.
For more information about our program at The Big Smoke, or to become a mentor, please contact us.