Tyson Foods, one of the largest meat suppliers on the planet, was forced to cut ties with a Denver-based pork provider after undercover footage taken by the Humane Society revealed deplorable levels of barbaric cruelty.
Tyson misleadingly claimed to have no connection with Wyoming Premium Farms. However, evidence collected by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) eventually pushed Tyson to take accountability, resulting in an announcement from the company that it will temporarily suspend shipments from the pig farm while conducting an investigation.
Whether Tyson's investigation will uncover and correct the horrors documented by the HSUS is yet to be determined. For those unwilling/unable to watch the HSUS video, such horrors include:
- Farm workers riding on top of pigs
- Farm workers beating pigs with clubs
- Farm workers stomping/kicking pigs
- Farm workers lifting piglets by the ear, tossing them
- Farm workers slamming pigs with metal doors
- Neglected pigs with blisters, sores, and broken limbs
- Pregnant pigs (sows) confined/immobilized for life (gestation crates)
Many states are considering laws -- or have already passed them -- which make it a crime to take an entry-level job at a farm with the intent of documenting animal welfare abuses. Such legislation has (perhaps unsurprisingly) been heavily backed by the meat industry. In the age of internet, where information travels like a swift fire on brush, keeping a lid on animal welfare issues has apparently become a priority worth investment to the meat industry, which seems to find cruelty more profitable than exposure and correction. When animals are viewed as trivial products -- mere cogs in a giant machine -- is it really so surprising that this kind of blatant abuse is so widespread?