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May 22, 2020 - Medium

Working Undercover on a Factory Farm Traumatized Me

Working Undercover on a Factory Farm Traumatized Me
Mother pig on intensive pig farm File Image: (c) Photabulous!

I remember one mother pig especially. She was physically worn out and very sick. She was sprawled out in her crate, her snout resting in a mound of stale feed, and she had stopped eating. Workers had spray-painted a red “X” on her back to indicate she would be “culled,” or more simply, killed. Eventually, every mother pig who could no longer give birth received this designation.

I knew that things would never be better for her. She had known nothing but pain and suffering for her entire life, and by the look of resignation in her eyes, I could tell she had given up. Over the course of a week, when I was sure I was alone, I’d stop by her cage, sit down next to her, and quietly talk to her — a risk I barely ever let myself take.

I couldn’t blow my cover as an undercover investigator for Mercy for Animals. But I felt that if I could impart to her a tiny bit of warmth in a life otherwise devoid of compassion, that had to count for something.

A few days later, she was gone. The workers had sent her to the slaughterhouse, and all that was left was the little mound of food, still untouched.

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