When Dutch animal rights group Ongehoord ("Unheard" in English) secretly filmed 26 pig farms in the Netherlands, it found that cruelty was just as prevalent on organic farms—and on those that labeled their meat with the misleading "Better Life" stamp from the Dutch SPCA—as it was on factory farms.
Video taken on a farm belonging to a supposed advocate of humane housing for pigs shows baby pigs left dying, a sick sow left unattended while suffering a miscarriage, a struggling pig who was unable to stand, and pigs as they cannibalize sick cratemates.
Ongehoord says that its investigation proves that all types of farmers "create a false picture of the pig industry" and that there is still no such thing as "humane meat."
Shoppers frequently buy products with reassuring labels such as "free-range" and "natural" believing the animals are treated humanely.
But on organic farms all over the world—including in the U.S.—pigs are crammed into feces-strewn pens, mutilated without being given any painkillers, and sent to slaughter in the same filthy slaughterhouses as factory-farmed pigs, where their throats will be cut, often while they are still conscious. Despite all this cruelty, the meat can still be called "organic" as long as the pigs were given organic feed and weren't drugged.
Don't be misled by deceptive marketing. The only meats that are truly cruelty-free are the delicious faux varieties.
Written by Michelle Sherrow