An Ottawa couple is heartbroken after their two companion animals, potbellied pigs named Rosie and Pickles, were shot and killed by a hunter on their property last week.
In an interview, Matt Nooyen and Lianne Guilbeault recalled the pigs’ personalities, saying they “were like dogs” and would run to you when you whistled. When the couple went out, they put Pickles and Rosie in an outdoor enclosure on their 40-acre property. Frank Laplante, a hunter living nearby, spotted the pigs and, thinking they were wild boars, shot them.
"I basically shot them point blank," Laplante admitted. "I thought I was doing a good thing. It never once crossed my mind that I was shooting somebody's pets. It's the biggest regret that I'm going to have to live with for the rest of my life."
While devastating for all involved, it’s important to note that in the United States alone more than 150,000 pigs are brutally killed every single day. Like Pickles and Rosie, pigs at factory farms are sentient beings who experience joy, loneliness, frustration, fear, and pain.
Pigs are considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world—even more intelligent than dogs—and they can play video games with more focus and success than chimps.
At factory farms, pigs endure torturous conditions and mutilations. For their entire lives, many mother sows are confined in metal cages barely larger than their bodies, making it impossible for them to lie down comfortably or even turn around.
Piglets have their testicles ripped out without painkillers and sometimes suffer herniated intestines due to botched castrations. Their tails are painfully sliced into and yanked off with dull clippers. Piglets who do not grow fast enough are horrifically killed by “thumping,” or being slammed headfirst onto concrete floors. These extremely cruel practices are all standard in the pork industry.
Don’t believe us? Just watch.
There’s an obvious contradiction in loving some animals while eating others. The only difference between pigs like Rosie and Pickles and those suffering at factory farms is our perception of them.
We can live our values of kindness and compassion by leaving these intelligent, sensitive creatures off our plates.
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