Buzzfeed Breaks Out 14 Things About Your Bacon
Things you need to know:
#3 - Gestation crates and pig intelligence.
Tell me how this is the best housing system for anyone’s well being?
About 90% of mom pigs live in the 2-by-7-foot metal-sided stalls known as gestation crates. “Basically, you’re asking a sow to live in an airline seat,” says animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin. The crates cause open wounds, pressure sores, infections, and bleeding gums from biting the bars. Their waste falls through the slatted floors, meaning the pigs sit immobilized above the fumes. But the crates are “the best housing system for ensuring the well-being of sows,” says the National Pork Producer Council.
Studies on pigs’ intelligence indicate that they’re aware of their shitty living situation. “The fact that pigs can learn to use a mirror [to understand their surroundings and find food] means they are capable of a type of awareness called assessment awareness, which means they can understand the significance of a situation in relation to themselves,” says animal behavior expert Donald Broom of the University of Cambridge.
…Other studies have shown that in the wild, pigs are social animals, that they communicate with each other, and raise their young communally.