Animal Profile: Pigs

Care of Bonnie Shulman    Photo care of Bonnie Shulman Nobody respects a pig. Just ask President Barack Obama, who famously tried to reduce rival John McCain by saying, “You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” Pigs are far more sophisticated than the President realizes. Watch pigs living in peace and freedom on a sanctuary and you’ll find that pigs are tidy, playful, loving and intelligent, worthy of human compassion and respect. Pigs are far from dirty – they are some of the cleanest animals around. When given the room and freedom to decide, pigs choose to be clean and tidy. The reason they roll around in mud during hot weather is to cool off, as they do not have sweat glands. When the wind blows over them, the water from the mud evaporates, thus cooling the pig and acting as a sunscreen. Talk about smart! But we know that pigs are not given the room and freedom to decide how they live. Today, 63 million pigs live in horrific conditions in factory farms. Factory-farming conditions are no better in Canada, which exports more than 8 million live pigs to the U.S. Read More

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Animal Advocacy: Toronto Pig Save

Know someone you want to nominate for the Animal Advocacy Profile? Tell us about someone in the community doing inspiring work for animals.   Photo care of Susan Morris Toronto Pig Save: Giving Slaughterhouses Windows Care of Anita Kranjc Nobel laureate John Coetzee has his protagonist in the self-titled novel, Elizabeth Costello, give a university lecture on “The Philosophers and the Animals.” She tells her audience: “‘I was taken on a drive around Waltham this morning. It seems a pleasant enough town. I saw no horrors, no drug-testing laboratories, no factory farms, no abattoirs. Yet I am sure they are here. They must be. They simply do not advertise themselves. They are all around us as I speak, only we do not, in a certain sense, know about them.” The slaughterhouses are here in Toronto, too – downtown and in the outskirts.      Art by Sue Coe   Quality Meat Packers (QMP) is located in the downtown core, off King and Bathurst, at 2 Tecumseh. You get a good panoramic view of the colossal QMP industrial complex if you stand on the hills of Fort York and direct your gaze across the railway lines. Walking with… Read More

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Animal Advocacy: Weekly Vigil at Toronto Slaughterhouse

  Visit www.torontopigsave.wordpress.com to learn more about the Toronto Slaughterhouse and get involved. Care of Gwen Dunlop I have been holding a one-woman, Sunday vigil since December 13, 2009, at what I call the Toronto Slaughter House. Its actual name is Toronto Abattoirs Ltd., with “Quality” Meat Packers Ltd. alongside it off Tecumseth St. The shockingly barbaric and primitive holding-compound (as apt a word as I can find) where the pigs are held overnight, is at the end of two driveways off Wellington St. It is at this latter location where I first began this project. Let me just say that for me, the French word “abattoire”, does not do “justice” to what goes on there, because in my opinion, there is neither justice nor mercy where the animals are concerned. And the word “slaughter” suggests violent killing on a massive scale. Given there are one hundred and sixty-four, three-tiered transport trucks making weekly “deliveries” (taken from the Latin word “deliberare”, meaning ironically, to liberate, to set free), the name slaughterhouse calls this very dark and heavily guarded place (with fifteen hundred employees) for what it truly is: a house of killing for which I believe we… Read More

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