Updated: Mar 15, 2021
We have a mascot, Gabe, we found him, unloved and unwanted in a basket and decided to bring him back to the Young Vegan HQ. His snout and trotters are grubby, so we know he's not had an easy time.
Once Gabe was settled we sent him out to find out as much about pigs and to take a look at how pigs are used in the meat industry and what the alternatives are. This is what he told us.
Pig Facts - By Gabe
Pigs, like me, are really intelligent and are smarter than dogs. We love company and don't like living on our own.
We have an amazing sense of smell and use our noses to find our food; we follow the smell then dig and root around in the soil with our snouts to get to it.
We're not dirty animals, as people like to say, we roll in mud to keep cool in the heat and protect our skin from the sun. The mud also keeps insects off of us and helps to keep us clean as dirt gets stuck in the mud then flakes off, taking the dirt away.
Because we don't have any fur, only some hair, we don't like the cold. In the winter we need somewhere warm and dry to stay, we can't live outside all year round like cows.
The problem is that pigs are farmed for meat as well as having their trotters and other body parts used for things like gelatin. Also, because their body parts are very similar to those of humans they are often used in medical research. The life of a farmed pig isn't a good one and is nothing like the kind of life a pig would have in the wild.
On farms pigs have their tails docked, cut off, when they are tiny piglets. This is done without giving them anything to take the pain away and the wound isn't even cleaned. This is done as, on farms where animals are kept very close together and where they are incredibly stressed, they will bite and chew the tails of other pigs leading to serious injuries. Farmers will also cut down the teeth of pigs so that they won't hurt the mother pigs as they suckle. This doesn't sound too bad, but imagine someone holding you down and using cutters on your teeth.
For pigs that live outdoors nose rings are used to try to stop pigs rooting in the ground. Having the rings inserted is really painful and, even when healed, they are not comfortable, this is how they stop the pigs from digging in the ground, it feels horrible to dig and root with a nose ring.
We can stop this maltreatment, the pain and suffering, of pigs by not eating anything that is made from their bodies. We can campaign against them being used for experiments and refuse to buy anything that we know to have caused the suffering of animals. If the people and companies that use animals in this way aren't making any money they'll stop, they'll find alternatives that people will pay for. Kind alternatives. We need to tell people the truth about where meat comes from, about the damage it does to their bodies and the environment and, most importantly that we don't need to eat pigs or any other animal and we are healthier if we don't.
Try to think of ways that you can encourage people to make animals friendly choices and put them in the comment section.