Confirmed victory

For three weeks I lived a lie to expose the truth while working undercover at a Tyson hog factory farm in Oklahoma. What I saw was a living nightmare.

Thousands of pregnant pigs spent nearly their entire lives crammed into cages so small they could barely move. They couldn’t turn around, walk or even lie down comfortably. I saw pigs with open wounds and bloody pressure sores from rubbing against the bars of their metal cages or lying on hard concrete.

Pigs would constantly ram their heads against their tiny stalls or spend hour after hour, day after day, biting the bars of their cages out of frustration. These intelligent and social animals were literally driven mad in these hellish conditions.

I also saw workers violently slamming piglets headfirst into the concrete and leaving them to suffer and slowly die. Some of the piglets were spiked against the ground like footballs. I found one piglet still conscious and breathing in a pile of dead piglets. Nobody bothered to make sure she was dead before just throwing her away.

Piglets had their tails cut off and their testicles ripped out of their bodies without any painkillers. Sick and injured pigs with severe, bleeding wounds or infections were left to languish without veterinary care.

I saw workers gouge the eyes of pigs, violently hit them with wooden boards, and in one case, even throw a heavy bowling ball at a pig’s head. Such sadistic cruelty was widespread at this Tyson factory farm.

While this brutality and neglect is shocking, I think the worst abuse these animals endure is being immobilized in tiny, maggot-infested gestation crates. Animal welfare experts around the world agree that these crates are inherently cruel and should be phased out. In fact, gestation crates are so cruel they have been banned in nine U.S. states, as well as in the entire European Union.

Responding to consumer concerns, nearly every major food provider in the country, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Safeway, Kroger, Kmart and Costco, have demanded their suppliers do away with these cruel crates.

Major pork producers, such as Smithfield and Hormel, have committed to phasing out gestation crates, and Cargill is already 50 percent crate-free.

But not Tyson.

Tyson continues to torture pigs by cramming them in cages barely larger than their own bodies for nearly their entire lives.

Please, help me put a stop to this. Take a moment to sign my petition urging Tyson to end one of the cruelest factory farming practices by committing to phasing out gestation crates.

Thank you.


Undercover Investigator

Letter to
Tyson Foods
President and Chief Executive Officer Donnie Smith
Chief Operating Officer James Lochner
and 6 others
Senior Group Vice President, Tyson Fresh Meats Noel White
Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer Kenneth J. Kimbro
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Dennis Leatherby
Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs Sara Lilygren
Director of Public Relations, Tyson Fresh Meats Gary Mickelson
head of animal well-being Kelly Pfalzgraf
I am appalled to learn that yet another undercover investigation has exposed sickening cruelty to animals at a Tyson hog factory farm in Oklahoma.

One of the most disturbing practices uncovered is the cruel confinement of pregnant pigs in “gestation crates”—narrow metal cages so small the animals can’t even turn around, lie down comfortably, walk, play or do nearly anything that comes naturally to them. Confining pregnant pigs in filthy, fly-infested cages barely larger than their bodies is blatant cruelty to animals. It has no place in a civilized society. The abuse of pigs at your pork suppliers is absolutely unacceptable.

Over 60 major food providers, including Costco, Safeway, Kroger, Target, Kmart, McDonald’s and Burger King, have implemented policies requiring their pork producers to phase out these inherently cruel gestation crates.

Major pork producers, such as Smithfield and Hormel, have committed to phasing out gestation crates, and Cargill is already 50 percent crate-free.

When will Tyson follow their lead?

It is time for Tyson to take a stand against this blatant animal abuse by ending the use of barbaric gestation crates.

Mercy For Animals started this petition with a single signature, and won with 369,903 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.