You didn’t know, did you?

In factory farms around Australia, mother pigs are trapped in a cycle of suffering. Laws don’t protect them, but you can.

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A mother pig sits uncomfortably in a baron metal cage, her piglets beside her.
Pigs are one of the most unique, intelligent and sensitive animals.
... they are also one of the most abused.
Credit: Farm Transparency Project

Australian laws allow a female pig to be severely confined in a cage barely bigger than her body, for weeks on end. Metal bars prevent this deeply maternal animal from being able to nurture and care for her piglets.

They are known to suffer depression and anxiety as a result of the industry denying them their most basic behavioural needs.

Conditions in factory farms are so taxing on their bodies and minds that the industry will kill most mother pigs at about 3 years of age through lameness, or because they can no longer become pregnant.

Her piglets – destined to become pork, bacon and ham products – will often have their tails cut off and their teeth cut without being given any pain relief. When they are trucked to slaughter at a few months old, the cruelest of deaths awaits them.

The Australian pig industry’s ‘best practice’ method of killing pigs involves gassing them with carbon dioxide – at a concentration so intense, it causes extreme pain and distress.

The final moments of most pigs killed in Australia are spent in terror.

These cruel farming and slaughter systems have been built to meet the demand for pig meat products.

But consumers have not been informed of the high price animals are forced to pay.  Or that animals raised for food would be denied basic legal protections to ensure the profitability of the meat industry.



Two sweet pink piglets standing on a blue metal floor and looking up, other piglets in the background.

The meat industry relies on people ‘not knowing’. Because chances are, if they knew, they would make a different choice. A kinder choice.

This is her life.

Trapped in a cage barely bigger than her body, this is where she will give birth. It’s also where she is forced to eat, sleep and defecate. These cruel devices are part of legal industrial farming practices designed to maximise production of pork products.

In factory farms around Australia, pigs are denied the ability to mother their piglets. They are denied a life worth living.

a mother pig lying in a small cage surrounded by piglets in a factory farm
Credit: Compassion in World Farming
A ghostly grey image of two pigs inside a metal cage as it's being filled with carbon dioxide. One terrified pig is looking up gasping for air.
Credit: Farm Transparency Project

This is her death.

The very thing that makes pigs unique – their intelligence and empathetic nature – also makes them difficult to kill. The industry’s solution to slaughtering large numbers of pigs in the shortest space of time sees pigs first ‘rendered unconscious’ inside a gas chamber. Terrified animals spend their final moments struggling and gasping for air.

Whether factory farmed, free-range or organic – this is how most pigs in Australia are killed. There is no such thing as ‘humane’ slaughter.

This is her dream.

Pigs are smart. They solve puzzles, play video games and are excellent students – out-performing our canine friends in training. But they’re also highly sensitive and emotionally complex beings. Studies have revealed pigs to be optimistic, creative, innovative, playful and self-aware. Pigs also respond to love and kindness in much the same way we do – releasing oxytocin (the ‘love drug’) during positive interactions.

Behind every piece of ham, bacon and pork was a sensitive individual who deserved our kindness and compassion.

A beautiful adult pig sitting in the field under a blue sky
Credit: Alex Cearns
A pig looking upwards to the camera from inside a cage

Generations long before ours categorised pigs as food.

This was a time when attitudes and life challenges were different, and very little was known about animal sentiency and emotions.

A young piglet looking up towards the sky with what looks like a smile on her face

We live in very different times.

We now know we share with pigs and other species the desire to experience life to the fullest, to befriend and love, and to avoid pain and suffering. And with that knowledge comes the power to create change.

A delicious looking plant-based 'meat' pie with a golden crust
A delicious looking plant-based 'meat' pie with a golden crust
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