shut down the pig slaughterhouse in the city of Vernon, near Los Angeles

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The Clougherty Packing Company is a slaughterhouse which sells its packaged meat under the name “Farmer John”. According to the Farmer John website, products have been sold to grocery stores on the West Coast since 1931. Smithfield Foods is one of the parent organizations of this company. Smithfield has farms located in California, Arizona and Wyoming. As stated in the Smithfield Food website, on a yearly basis there are about 90,000 truckloads of company-owned hogs transported from farms to processing plants. Millions of pigs are born in small cages to be fattened within six months then brutally killed for human consumption. To end the exploitation of animals and to better our environment we must shut down these slaughterhouses.

Thousands of hogs are taken to the Farmer John Los Angeles slaughterhouse. Most of the pigs are four to six months old and have been treated like objects their entire lives. These innocent creatures have never set foot on anything but a bare, hard floor. There are videos all over the internet proving the mistreatment of these animals. Smithfield Foods claims that they kill their animals “humanely” by firing a bolt into their head. The truth is, there is no humanity in killing. The animals you find in the grocery store have faced nothing but abuse from the moment they were torn out of their mother. Yes, these animals have mothers, siblings and feelings. The growth of these pigs has been stimulated with hormones and antibiotics so that humans can consume their tortured flesh. The lives of chickens, cows and pigs are short and full of suffering due to the high demand in meat. Animal cruelty has been normalized but it is coming to an end.

Since December of 2016 there have been activist groups participating in the Southern California Vigil for Pigs. The purpose of the vigils is to bear witness to the plight of the pigs and take photos and videos to expose their miserable situation to the public. Vigils are held outside the Farmer John slaughterhouse every Wednesday and Sunday evening. Fifty to one hundred people show up before the trucks arrive. Activists who show up to vigils pay their respects and expose the nightmare. These individuals hold a peaceful protest with signs that say, “Go vegan,” “They’re beings, not products,” and “here for the pigs, not the drivers.”

Animal agriculture affects our environment as well as our health. The residents who live near the industrial city of Vernon have complained about headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation due to the repulsive smell. According to the article “Outside the Slaughterhouse” by Pablo Unzueta, “Neighborhoods have suffered from high concentrations of diesel fumes, decades of lead contamination and polluting factories with high tow-trucking presence.” This shows that slaughterhouses are affecting the health of residents who leave near this plant.

An individual who consumes meat uses 20 times more land than a vegan individual. There is more energy, land and water needed when processing meat. For instance, water is used to grow crops for animals to eat, animals need water to drink, the animals must be washed and the floors must be cleaned after a messy slaughter. According to peta.org, “It takes 683 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. By going vegan, one person can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.” Changes need to be made in our diet so that we can save our planet. If people keep demanding meat and dairy then companies like Smithfield Foods are willing to slaughter up to 7,000 pigs a day.

There have been successful shutdowns of slaughterhouses all around the world. Nowadays it is easier to go vegan. Many restaurants are adding vegan options due to the increase in people becoming vegan. As stated previously, vegan activists have been trying their best to shine light on this global issue. Closing down this slaughterhouses would be beneficial to the innocent animals, our planet and our dietary health.