October 24, 2012
Makers of “Chicken Run” and The Humane Society of the United States Release “A Pig’s Tail” on Food Day
Children's film highlights plight of animals on factory farms
The Humane Society of the United States has teamed up with the Academy Award-winning film company Aardman Animations to produce a four-minute animated children’s film exposing problems with factory farming from the perspective of a piglet named Ginger. The film’s release coincides with Food Day, a national movement for healthy, sustainable food.
Aardman Animations, creators of "Chicken Run," "Wallace and Gromit" and other beloved animated feature films, produced the short film under a grant from the Steven C. Leuthold Family Foundation.
"The Humane Society of the United States is thrilled to celebrate Food Day with the release of this endearing and educational short film," said Joe Maxwell, vice president of outreach and engagement at The HSUS. "We hope 'A Pig’s Tail' will ignite conversation about how food gets to the table and help end inhumane practices in the pork industry."
Sarah Cox, director at Aardman Animations, added, “I was very proud to direct this film for The Humane Society of the United States because it is about an issue I passionately believe in. It is so important that children understand where their food really comes from, particularly the connection between meat products and the treatment of the animals that they are made from. I wanted the campaign to be positive and optimistic so I created a strong and likeable lead character - a little piglet called Ginger, and gave the story a happy ending because that is ultimately what we are trying to achieve.”
The film features voices from actress Catherine Taber and voice actor James Arnold Taylor of the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Original music was produced by singer and songwriter Steven Delopoulos.
The film, intended for children ages 7 to 10 and accessible to all audiences, follows Ginger and her mother as they experience life on a typical industrial factory farm. After Ginger is taken from her mother, she is determined to escape. The film follows her journey, and the evolution of a farmer who opens his eyes to a more humane and sustainable way of farming.
The film centers on industrial pig farming where most mother pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates, cages roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies, preventing them from even turning around. The pigs are then placed into another crate to give birth, re-impregnated, and put back into a gestation crate. This happens pregnancy after pregnancy for their entire lives, adding up to years of virtual immobilization.
Recently, leading food companies like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Cracker Barrel, Oscar Mayer, Costco, ConAgra and Kroger have agreed to eliminate gestation crates from their pork supply chains. This corporate shift away from crates comes on the heels of nine U.S. state laws banning the crates.