Pork Industry Leader Launches New PR Campaign to Counter Criticism

A sow in a farrowing crate. The expression on her face says it all. A recent university study found that pigs express sadness and joy much as humans do.

Smithfield puts a positive spin on pork production in a new multimedia campaign that it claims “takes the mystery” out of how they use pigs to make pork products.

This follows shortly after The Humane Society of the United States released its undercover investigation of a Smithfield subsidiary where sows were found to be raised in extraordinarily cruel and inhumane conditions. The video footage from this investigation made international headlines and was seen by millions of online viewers.

By “lifting the veil,” as Michael Pollen puts it in the movie, Food Inc., Smithfield is showing us a side of factory farming that will ironically still trouble many viewers. While the sows do not look like they are necessarilysuffering, they are still imprisoned, exhausted and flat on their sides on a concrete floor, nursing large litters of piglets, artificially inseminated with huge needles, housed in dimly lit warehouses all their lives, etc. Some key difference are that the facilities are clean and quiet, the workers are “humane” and the narration is provided by a sweet, angelic female voice who I swore I heard in the movie Babe.

More: World’s Largest Pork Producer Counters Criticism with New PR Campaign

Photo via johnmcnab

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