Letting pigs fly for a change


North Carolina is home to the world's largest slaughterhouse and nearly 9 million pigs. But because they live their short lives out of sight, in dark, crowded, dirty factory farms, all those pigs are mostly ignored by North Carolinians. Farm Sanctuary is trying to change that.

It just launched a "Meet Your Neighbors" campaign, designed to introduce the state's residents to each other - and create compassion in the process. “Because these animals are crowded in factory farms and rarely seen by the public, people don’t realize that they are as cognitively and emotionally complex as the dogs and cats we live with,” says Farm Sanctuary President Gene Baur. “We see each pig as someone, not something, and we want people to rethink their relationship with these neighbors.”

In response, artists in Asheville, and other cities, are putting up colorful statues of pigs and pitching slogans, like “Letting Pigs Fly,” “Let Compassion Bloom,” and “The Dreamer.” Asheville's mayor has declared the last week of August Vegan Awareness week.

But the campaign isn't only about the cruelty inflicted on pigs. It highlights the suffering that factory farms impose on the rural poor, too. Putting up with the stench and contaminated water is just part of living in one of the country's biggest pork-producing states, when you don't have any other choice.

Takeaway: We swapped out BLTs for ALTs a long time ago, inspired in part by videos like this!