In the wild, pigs form small groups that typically include a few sows and their piglets. Mother pigs and their babies stay close until the piglets mature; they even prefer to sleep snout-to-snout or snuggled up together. Yet on factory farms around the United States, pregnant pigs are confined to crates so small they can’t even turn around. Soon after their birth, the piglets are taken away from their mothers, the sows are impregnated again and the cycle continues.
With no outlet for their energy, sows confined to gestation crates often display neurotic behaviors such as waving their heads back and forth or even gnawing on the metal bars in front of them.
Pigs are naturally quite hygienic. They designate specific sites for their waste, keeping their eating and sleeping areas clean and tidy. The reason they get so muddy? Wallowing in mud baths keeps them cool—and helps prevent sunburn.
One day a week can make a world of difference for your health, animals and the environment! Start by trying a new vegetable-packed dish or swap your usual entrée with a plant-based meat alternative.