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Smithfield Farms Accident Leaves 25 Dead on the Highway

As we talk about the death and destruction overseas, with much concern and desire to end it, don't overlook the destruction of sentience and life that you contribute to in your own life. It's easy to be an activist outraged at what happens across the world; much harder to be one who looks at the suffering one contributes to personally, and to change.
On March 29, a Smithfield Farms pig truck overturned on Virginia Route 10. The truck, loaded with 180 pigs bound for the slaughterhouse, tipped over on a straight road. The crash scene was littered with beer bottles and injured pigs. The driver, Edwin Batts of Warsaw, North Carolina, was charged with reckless driving, but no charges have yet been filed against Batts or against Smithfield for the hideous cruelty inflicted on the 180 pigs. Sadly, what transpired next was entirely legal.

Most of the pigs were forcibly thrown from the truck into a nearby field; some were killed on impact. Many of the survivors were severely injured: Some suffered broken legs or ribs. All were confused and terrified. The injured pigs lay in the field for hours, most unable to move, while Smithfield workers attempted to corral other pigs. Finally, after more than two hours of chasing down the other animals, the Smithfield employees went to work killing the injured pigs. The workers used a "captive-bolt gun," a tool that propels a metal shaft into the animal's brain. Many animals had to be shot several times before finally dying, causing them to scream out in agony and terror each time they were shot unsuccessfully. When all the animals were killed, the workers used a front-end loader to shovel the piles of dead bodies into the back of another truck.

PETA field officers at the scene of the accident tried to help out, asking to be permitted to humanely euthanize the injured animals, which would have spared them hours of pain and suffering. Smithfield refused and the pigs continued to suffer. Their excuse? The animals' dead bodies could not be sold if they were humanely euthanized! The Virginia state veterinarian, contacted by PETA, also refused to come to the scene to help oversee or properly euthanize the suffering pigs. Go to the site listed at the bottom of the article to read an eyewitness account from one of PETA's field officers, and to see video.

Such accidents are common in the factory-farming industry, where transport is largely unregulated and laws protecting animals on their way to the slaughterhouse are non-existent. PETA is lobbying the state of Virginia to enact strict policies mandating that animals injured in transport accidents be humanely destroyed—and asking for Smithfield's help.

The only real way to ensure that you are not supporting such cruelty is to adopt a vegan diet.

Eat Compassionately 07.Apr.2004 17:12


How sad to hear about this, and how sad that, had the pigs not been killed as they were, they would have been killed in a slaughterhouse. Humans waste far more food than they could ever possibly use, so that millions upon millions of animals die of "consumption," literally, in slaughterhouses all over this country every single day. Being a vegetarian, or better yet a vegan, is one of the most tangible steps a person can take toward creating a better world. If you stop eating meat today, who knows how many animals you will save this year. Your body will thank you, the animals will thank you, and the earth will thank you.

(For a horrific look at how our consumption habits impact the rest of the world, see The Price of Consumption. It can be downloaded for free at  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/static/pdxvideo.shtml.)

you dumb fucks! 09.Dec.2004 07:19


fuck peta

signed a pissed off 5th grader