Celebrity animal lovers are outraged and speaking out after a recent investigation by Mercy For Animals (MFA). The organization recently revealed undercover footage captured at a Christensen Farms pig farm in Minnesota, a Walmart pork supplier.
The video, which can be seen at WalmartCruelty.com, exposes horrific abuse at the factory farm. As MFA reports, the pregnant pigs are confined to gestation crates that are filthy and too small for them to turn around or lay down, and injured and wounded pigs were left to slowly die. The investigation also reveals “workers slamming conscious piglets headfirst into the ground and leaving them to slowly suffer and die,” and “workers ripping out the testicles and slicing off the tails of piglets without the use of any painkillers.”
The video is narrated by Bob Barker, a long-time vegetarian and animal advocate. Now he’s been joined by stars who want Walmart to stop selling pork from Christensen Farms or any supplier still using gestation crates. A letter was sent to Walmart CEO Mike Duke today by the long list of celebs: Zooey Deschanel, Emily Deschanel, Ryan Gosling, Kristen Bell, James Cromwell, Kim Basinger, Ed Begley Jr., Steve-O, Tom Morello, David Boreanaz, John Francis Daley and Loretta Swit.
The stars wrote “After visiting WalmartCruelty.com and learning from my friends at Mercy For Animals that Walmart pork suppliers condemn pregnant pigs to lives of misery and deprivation inside tiny gestation crates, it is now clear that the hidden cost of Walmart’s ‘always low prices’ is blatant animal abuse. We implore you to help end the needless suffering of these animals by ending the sale of pork from producers who confine pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around for nearly their entire lives.”
They add “While Walmart tells its customers they can “Save Money, Live Better,” the pork sold in your stores comes from pigs whose lives couldn’t possibly be any worse. As world-renowned animal behaviorist Dr. Jonathan Balcome puts it: ‘Gestation crates are unremitting hell on earth.’ Inside tiny gestation crates barely larger than their own bodies, these intelligent and social animals never get to walk, run, root in the soil, see the sun, breathe fresh air, or do nearly anything that comes naturally to them. Driven mad from boredom and stress, these poor animals have nothing to do, day after day, hour after hour, but to bite the bars of their cages.”
As the celebs point out, there are currently no federal laws protecting these pregnant pigs and piglets, and most states do not include pigs in anti-cruelty legislation. They add that gestation crates are banned in nine states in the U.S. as well as throughout the European Union, and that Walmart competitors like Costco, Safeway, Kroger, and Kmart have required that their suppliers stop using them. The group writes “As the largest retailer in the world, Walmart has the power–and the ethical responsibility–to ensure that the pork sold in its stores is not the product of egregious animal abuse.”
Mercy For Animals is currently conducting a tour of protests at Walmart locations throughout the country.