New undercover footage taken at a Hormel pork supplier reveals mother pigs confined to filthy metal crates, workers ripping out the testicles and cutting off the tails of baby piglets without any pain relief, and sick and injured piglets suffering from untreated injuries and illnesses.

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Tell Hormel to end painful mutilations and to stop cramming pigs into tiny, filthy crates. Act now!

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Dear Hormel Foods:

I am outraged by the shocking animal abuse recently uncovered at your contract farms.

Hidden cameras captured workers maliciously hitting and beating pigs with gas cans, sick or injured animals left to suffer without proper veterinary care, workers violently ripping out the testicles and cutting off the sensitive tails of baby piglets, and mother pigs crammed in crates so small the animals couldn’t even turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives.

This blatant cruelty has no place in a civilized society.

I am writing to ask that Hormel move quickly to adopt meaningful animal welfare policies to end the worst forms of animal abuse throughout its supply chain:

  • Eliminate abusive and extreme confinement systems, such as gestation and farrowing crates, and replace them with less cruel group housing systems
  • End agonizing mutilations, such as castration and tail docking, without pain relief
  • Provide a safe, sanitary, and cognitively stimulating environment by keeping all animal areas dry and clean and providing environmental enrichments, such as straw and other natural materials
  • Adopt a zero tolerance policy for animal abuse and install video monitoring systems that live stream to the internet to deter egregious acts of violence against animals

More than 60 major food providers, including McDonald’s, Safeway, and Costco, have already agreed to phase out gestation crates. In addition to getting rid of gestation crates, Walmart and Nestlé have committed to ending castration and tail docking without painkillers. They understand that consumers do not support these cruel practices and are demanding change.

These are common-sense improvements that would greatly alleviate needless suffering for millions of animals.

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Pigs crammed in filthy gestation crates so small the animals can't even turn around


Workers ripping out the testicles and slicing off the tails of piglets without the use of any pain relief


Pigs forcefully pushed through overcrowded hallways while trampling each other in fear


Sick and injured pigs with severe bleeding wounds or infections left to suffer without veterinary care

Cruelty Critics

"The handling of the weaned piglets was definitely NOT acceptable and was rough. There are definitely some issues on this farm that need to be corrected."

Dr. Temple Grandin

"I was greatly disturbed and appalled to watch footage of such horrifying cruelty and neglect towards pigs."

Dr. Armaiti May

"[T]he handling of baby pigs is inconsiderate, rough, and evidence of poor training and poor management."

Dr. Bernard Rollin

"The poor physical and emotional welfare of the pigs in this facility is unconscionable."

Dr. Lee Schrader

"[T]he animals are suffering from pain, fear, stress and frustration due to abusive living conditions and caretaker/management negligence."

Dr. Debra Teachout

"Many of these incidents are concerning and represent multiple forms of unnecessary pain and stress for the animals involved."

Dr. Katherine van Ekert Onay

Nature vs. Factory Farms


Pigs are highly social animals with considerable problem-solving abilities. According to Dr. Donald Broom at Cambridge University, pigs “have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than] three-year-olds.”


In gestation crates, pigs are deprived of all mental stimulation. Many pigs are driven mad from boredom, depression, and stress and exhibit stereotypical neurotic behaviors like bar biting or banging their heads against their cages.


In nature, pigs are social, playful, protective animals who bond with each other, relax in the sun, and cool off in the mud. Pregnant pigs will find quiet, secluded places to build soft nests where they can care for their piglets.


On industrial farms, mother pigs in gestation and farrowing crates are unable to turn around, walk, play, or lie down comfortably. Many pigs develop painful pressure sores and crippling leg deformities from the hard concrete and metal bars of their cages.


Pigs are considered one of the smartest animals and they have extremely complex social lives similar to those of primates. If given the chance, many pigs sleep in cozy “pig piles” and love to cuddle with each other just like dogs do. Pigs are even known to dream!


But conditions for pigs on factory farms are a living nightmare. Locked in tiny gestation and farrowing crates, mother pigs are kept in a constant cycle of pregnancy and birth. They never get to cuddle with their piglets, who are taken away from them before they are even three weeks old.

The best way for individual consumers to help end this cruelty is to leave animals off their plates.