MFA Adopts Pig As Birthday Gift for Walmart CEO

MikeDukeCropped.jpgWhat do you get the CEO of the world's largest retailer for his birthday? For us the answer is easy: a rescued pig. As a friendly gesture, MFA is trying a softer approach to an otherwise aggressive campaign to convince Walmart to stop supporting blatant cruelty to pigs in its pork supply chain--sponsoring a lovable pig, Julia, in honor of the company CEO Mike Duke's birthday on Friday, Dec. 7.

In an open letter sent to Mr. Duke, along with a birthday card featuring Julia, MFA's executive director Nathan Runkle encourages the CEO to visit the precious pig at Farm Sanctuary, writing:

"Like millions of pigs who are raised and killed for Walmart's pork, Julia spent most of her life confined to a filthy, metal gestation crate barely larger than her own body. In such a small cage, Julia was unable to walk, run, play, root in the soil, see the sun, breathe fresh air, or do nearly anything that would make her life even remotely worth living. ... But it doesn't have to be this way. Now that she has been rescued from a life of agony and deprivation, Julia is free to live the way nature intended."

The letter continues:

"After meeting Julia, and seeing her vibrant personality shining through, despite the years of torment she endured locked in a tiny cage, I hope this birthday present inspires you to give a gift in return: a better life to the pigs who currently suffer lives of constant misery at Walmart pork suppliers."

Read the entire letter here.

Numerous undercover investigations at Walmart pork suppliers, including MFA's investigations at Iowa Select Farms and Christensen Farms, have documented thousands of pregnant pigs forced to live inside narrow metal gestation crates barely larger than their own bodies, piglets slammed headfirst into the ground, workers cutting off piglets' tails and testicles without painkillers, and animals suffering from bloody open wounds.

While all of the abuses documented during these investigations are horrific, condemning intelligent and social animals to lifetimes of misery and deprivation inside gestation crates so small they can't even turn around or lie down comfortably is perhaps the cruelest form of institutionalized animal abuse in existence.

This unique birthday gift to Mr. Duke is the latest in a series of efforts by MFA to convince Walmart to do away with gestation crates in its pork supply chain. Here's hoping Julia and her inspiring story of survival will motivate Mr. Duke to consider the plights of pigs who are born into abject misery at Walmart pork suppliers.

For more information about how you can get involved in this important campaign, visit