(CELEBRITIES/ANIMAL WELFARE) The fangs come out for The Vampire Diaries star Paul Wesley in response to pig gestation crates.
The New Jersey-born actor wrote a letter to pork industry behemoth Seaboard Corporation urging the company to end its inhumane use of gestation crates.
“Until relatively recently, I was oblivious to factory farming conditions innocent animals endure on a daily basis. More specifically, I discovered that Seaboard insists on locking mother pigs in tiny gestation crates, with apparently no plans to move away from that particularly inhumane practice,” Wesley wrote.
The barbaric practice confines breeding pigs for four months in crates so small the poor sows are unable to stand or even move one inch in either direction. Soon after giving birth the pigs are re-impregnated and then returned to the crate for the cycle to repeat. These intelligent, extremely social creatures are forced to live like this, immobilized, for virtually their entire lives.
Seaboard is one of the largest pork producers in the United States and raises more than 4.3 million pigs annually. Wesley went on to write:
“I can’t seem to comprehend how we, as inherently good people, still take part in some of the cruel methods of the past. I urge you take steps toward eliminating outdated gestation crates, both for the pigs at your mercy and millions of people across the globe who believe the way we treat animals reflects our own humanity.”
Made famous playing the vampire with a heart, Stefan Salvatore on “The Vampire Diaries,” Wesley proves his heart is even bigger in real life and asks his Twitter fans to help him stop the brutality:
Wesley’s not the only New Jerseyan celeb hoping to put an end to this horrible practice. Fellow Garden State native Martha Stewart wants them to clean-up their act as well.
Last May, the New Jersey legislature voted to ban the use of gestation crates, but reportedly under political pressure, NJ Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill. Like Wesley, the cooking maven wrote a letter asking lawmakers to reaffirm their support.
With the help of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and outspoken animal advocates like Wesley and Stewart, nine U.S. states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, and Rhode Island—have passed laws to prohibit the use of gestation crates.
Many family farmers nationwide don’t use gestation crates and according to the National Pork Board, a majority of pork producers are in the process of switching to crate-free housing methods.
McDonald’s also thinks pigs deserve a break today—as does Costco, Oscar Mayer, and more than 60 other major food companies who have all announced their shift away from gestation crate operations.
Seaboard’s competitors Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods, and Cargill responded with similar plans. All of this is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.
With the duration and severity of their confinement, the torment inflicted on these pigs is among the worst of all factory-farmed animals.
Regardless of what our individual diets may be, if you agree that no living creature should have to endure this kind of pain and suffering, join the HSUS in taking a stand against gestation crates.
— Lisa Singer, exclusive to Global Animal
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