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Stella, a CAFO Pig

Story ID:9106
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various Iowa USA
Year:2013
Person:Jare
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Even though I one time got permission to post Mercy for
Animals posts on oped.com, I have difficulty removing
extraneous material, so I'll just have to condense Jare's
post because in my opinion, it should be read by anyone who
is seeking to make this world a better and more humane place
for our animals.

Jare, the undercover worker in an Iowa Select Farm-one of
the largest factory farms in Iowa and a pork supplier to some
of the nation's largest grocery chains tells his story about
one of the pigs. She was number 2764, but he found this
identification so belittling for a living, sentient being who
has needs much like our own and gave her the name Stella.

Of course, if management would even consider naming their pigs,
they would soon run out of names for the thousands and thousands
they so ill use.

Imagine- I heard a Franciscan priest whose family owns a hog
factory in Iowa saying that hogs are different from his little
dog. Really? I wanted to ask him how, but he was not the
type of priest you would ask that question. He even thought
that the suggestion of one of the parishioners to have a yearly
pork chop dinner very worthwhile.

Sadly, so did most of the parishioners with the exception of me.
Were there others? Somehow I think not, and that's why I have
trouble relating to my fellow parishioners because they too
see nothing wrong with killing pigs.

Back to Stella - Jare wrote: "Her entire life was filled
with misery. For years, she stood in her crate alone, never
knowing the warmth of the sun or the feel of grass under her
hooves. Never a moment of play with others. Never a tender
touch."

How many times have I read accounts like this, yet each one
says it a little differently, but of course, the common denominator
is the terrible pain that this one pig who represents countless
thousand others like her suffers such great pain for people
who never even give her a second thought.

Someone has wisely noted that if people had to raise and slaughter
their own animals, there would probably be a lot more vegans
and vegetarians.

Yet, just knowing about the horrors of gestation crates and the
terrible suffering of the poor mother pigs who are forced to exist
in them should be enough for the compassionate to change their
diet needs.

Stella's piglets were taken from her early on- but not before she
heard their screams of pain from being castrated and their tails
cut off without painkillers. As Jare observed - the cold metal
bars that held her captive were unrelenting.

Time and the abuse she suffered took its tool and Stella became
very sick. She developed open sores and her left ear became badly
infected. I was blest with never having an earache, but I can
imagine who terribly painful Stella's ears were for her.

She received no veterinary care to lesson her sufferings. She
became depressed and stopped eating. She eventually died and
somehow even though death is basically sad, in the case of Stella-
it represented an end to her cruel sufferings at the hands of
man. I was even glad that she didn't have to go through the horrors
of slaughtering.

A reporter at a slaughterhouse noticed that the ramp where the cows
were being ushered in wss damp, and he asked an employee why. He
said the cows knew - they could smell death.

I always have to ask - what does God think of our stewardship?
In my opinion, He cannot be pleased.

Thank God for brave young men like Jare in Iowa and Darryl
in Canada who also wrote about his sad experience in a hog CAFO
there. But how many times do they have to risk everything to
witness animal suffering before we do something compassionate?
Only each one of us can answer that for ourselves, but certainly
if we can't give up meat altogether, we can cut back on this
consumption which causes so much suffering.

Plutarch wrote something very apt and true in my opinion:

"But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive
a soul of the sun and light and of that proportion of life and
time it had been born into the world to enjoy."