“The suggestion that any feature of this ruthless business is designed to afford “protection” to the pigs, much less to the babies, is perverse. Normal, healthy mother pigs, for example, do not after birth fall over and crush their young — as if they were all just naturally clumsy. These are not exactly normal, healthy animals we’re talking about, however, after their interminable, pain-inflicting confinement in the gestation crates, among many other travails. Subject a sow to hyper-intensive breeding so that she is grossly larger than nature intended, fill her with steroids to accelerate growth still more, withhold anything resembling humane veterinary care, and through it all deny the creature her every natural need and desire, even the need to move and turn around — and, yes, she is not going to be quite herself. Just spare us this talk of how factory farmers are “protecting” the young from their mothers, when what’s needed here is protection of all these creatures from the whole wretched system.
Being immobilized for all of their existence, lying and living in their own urine and excrement, the sows are sick, sore, atrophied, usually lame, crazed or broken in spirit, and kept alive in these torments only by a massive and reckless use of steroids. The confinement of the sows, presented in terms of solicitude for the piglets, is among the causes of the welfare problem it purports to solve. And the piglets in any case are taken from their mothers in short order to begin their own lives of merciless confinement, mutilation, privation, and fear, in a process, from birth to slaughter, utterly devoid of human compassion,” – Matthew Scully, speaking truth to power, and putting governor Christie on the spot. Scully’s book, Dominion, remains a must-read on this vital moral issue.