An Easter tradition here in the US has been to celebrate life and new beginnings by sitting down to a meal with a honey-baked ham as the centerpiece. Thing is… if most folks took a moment to reflect on the true meaning of this holiday, they might notice that consuming the body of a dead animal doesn’t align with the life-affirming spirit of Easter.
Pigs are highly intelligent animals, with advanced learning and problem solving capabilities. They can use tools, understand commands just like dogs do, they respond to their name only after a few months of being born, and they have a high sense of social recognition, which help them form strong social bonds. Pigs can even learn to play video games!
Pigs’ cognitive capabilities are more advanced than dogs and the average three-year-old human. They are curious creatures, who like to investigate anything new. Their heightened sense of smell and hearing lends to their good memories and allows them to quickly recognize familiar individuals. They also have well-developed vocal abilities, which make them excellent communicators.
Everyday, new research supports the fact that pigs are highly intelligent creatures who share numerous physiological and behavioral similarities to humans. And everyday, billions of pigs are suffering in horrid living conditions at the abusive hands of animal agribusiness.
Female pigs (sows) used for breeding often spend their entire lives (4-6 years) in tiny crates unable to stand or turn around. They are forcibly impregnated again and again until their bodies are used up. Male piglets are castrated and have their tails cut off without anesthesia or painkillers; a portion of piglets do not survive the process or they later succumb to infection and disease.
When pigs reach a profitable “market weight” they are prodded and crammed into transport trucks, where they go for days without food or water and are exposed to extreme weather conditions. Industry reports indicate that more than 1 million pigs die on their way to slaughter. The majority of pigs killed for food are babies, being slaughtered at only four to six months of age.
Help stop this cruelty by skipping the ham this Easter. Every time you sit down to eat, you have a choice…by making compassionate food choices, you not only spare the lives of billions of pigs and other farmed animals, but you are improving your health and protecting the planet.
Learn more at LiveVegan.org.