Pigs are widely considered to be one of the smartest species on the
planet, along with chimpanzees and dolphins.
Standard farming practice is to remove piglets from their mothers when
they are less than one month old, cut their tails off, cut their teeth off, and
castrate the males, all without any pain relief. Anyone who did these things to
a dog would be sent to jail, and yet because of some artificial distinctions we
have drawn, we have made dogs our companions and pigs our food. Pigs spend
their entire lives in overcrowded pens on a tiny slab of concrete. More than
170,000 pigs die in transport each year, and more than 420,000 are crippled by
the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse.
Breeding sows spend their entire lives in tiny metal crates called
gestation crates so they cannot turn around. Shortly after giving birth, they
are forcibly impregnated. This cycle continues for years until their bodies
finally give up and they are sent to slaughter.
Vansickle, J. "Quality Assurance Program Launched," National Hog
Farmer, February 15, 2002, which reports that each year 420,000 pigs are
crippled and 170,000 killed during transport to slaughterhouses, cited in
Williams, Erin E. and DeMello, Margo. Why Animals Matter. Prometheus Books,
2007, p. 49.