Vegan vs. Factory Farm Industry Smackdown



Emily Meredith, a meat industry flack, tries to put a positive spin on factory farming (note to Meredith and industry: if you want to get your spin out there, don’t hide it behind a registration requirement), via a field trip to a sow breeding facility. Robert Grillo of Free From Harm, is having none of it.

Here’s the setup to the takedown that follows:

As I was browsing the meat industry news site,, I came across an article called “My Week on a “Fact”ory Farm: Part I” by Emily Meredith who is the communications director for the Animal Agriculture Alliance and who also writes a column called “Activist Watch” on the same site. Meredith defends the practices of the industrial pig farms she recently visited in her attempt to bring out the facts and debunk what she sees as distortions from the activist community. In the following article, I responded to various excerpts of Meredith’s original post.

Here’s a sample of the cutting that is done:

Meredith: “No matter the industry practices I observed that first day—from tail docking to castration to artificial insemination—that theme of respect carried through.”

What a disturbing oxymoron. How is it possible to “respect” someone that you are dismembering, amputating, impregnating and ultimately breeding for the sole purpose of slaughtering them against their will?

There’s lots more where that came from. This is the kind of ultimate fighting that is worth supporting.

5 thoughts on “Vegan vs. Factory Farm Industry Smackdown”

  1. Tail biting is linked to slatted-floor housing systems.

    Click to access 20101111_agenda_parma_niamh_o_connell.pdf

    Tail docking of piglets is the quick fix for tail biting when using conventional, slatted-floor housing systems.

    Housing systems that use straw don’t have the same problems. It has been found that pigs are most interested in malleable rooting material that they can manipulate and form… i.e. soil, straw, peat. The reason balls, ropes, etc. are not as interesting to pigs is because they cannot be manipulated in the same way dirt-like substrates can.

    I know this sounds blatantly obvious: pigs like to push dirt around with their noses more than pretty much any other activity pigs participate in. For whatever reason, “modern” agriculture forgot all about this and instead puts rings into pigs noses to stop them from rooting and cuts their tails off to stop them from biting their own tail out of stress from not being able to have pig fun.

  2. Thank you for cross-posting this little tale from the meat industry’s fantasy-land files. A quick mention that activistwatch just requires a short signup in order to post comments on their version of what the truth actually is. Often it’s more effective to take on issues with those who instigate them, rather than preach to the choir…

    Nonhumans need our voice. Thank you for speaking on their behalf.

  3. It was the first of May
    A lovely warm spring day
    I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
    But my knees were all a-flutter,
    And I landed in the gutter
    And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

    Yes, I lay there in the gutter
    Thinking thoughts I could not utter
    When a lady passing by did softly say
    ‘You can tell a man who boozes
    By the company he chooses’ — And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

    And any self-respecting pig would get up and walk away from Emily Meredith. No matter how you spin it, factory farming is wrong.

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