Target: Joe Biden, President of the Senate, Patrick Leahy, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Goal: Convince the United States Congress to impose a national ban on the use of gestation crates.
Imagine spending your entire life in a cage. Gestation crates are considered tools by the pork industry, but they are really cages where breeding sows are kept. The sows are placed in the cages as soon as they are of breeding age, and this is where they will spend their entire lives. These awful devices are frequently too small for the pigs to turn around, or even to move more than one step forward or backward. The average pig will reach sexual maturity at six months of age, and can live to be up to fifteen years old.
More than 60 major food companies have begun the process of removing gestation crates and the companies that employ them from their supply lines. These include a number of big names in the fast food industry such as McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and Subway, a number of supermarkets, and a host of brands like Hillshire and Smithfield that produce a large amount of pork and pork products. If you enjoy a Jimmy Dean sausage or a Ballpark hot dog, you can rest easy in the knowledge that these products have been produced by companies that are committed to eliminating the use of gestation crates.
However, many major pork companies still employ these atrocious devices, despite the fact that they have already been completely banned in three states (Florida, Arizona, and California) and are in the process of being phased out in five more (Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Oregon). While these efforts, and those of the previously mentioned food companies, are noble, they are simply not enough. We need to convince Congress to step in and implement a national ban on the use of gestation crates in pork production.
Dear Joe Biden, Patrick Leahy, and John Boehner,
In spite of overwhelming evidence that they are detrimental to the pig’s health, the majority of large pork producers in the United States still insist on the use of gestation crates. These crates are frequently too small for the mother pig to move more than a single step forward or backward, and she is unable to turn around. For a highly sensitive and social animal like a pig, this is torture.
A number of states have already banned the use of these barbaric crates. We ask that you follow their example and establish a national ban on the use of gestation crates, as well as a sustainable plan to convert existing ‘factory farms’ into more efficient and humane group housing breeding formats. There is no excuse for animal cruelty, especially for animals that we use for food.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Farm Sanctuary via Wikipedia