This true story was told to Viva's Juliet Gellatley,
of the Livewire Guide to Going, Being and Staying Veggie!
Jody Seymour of Welshpool, England, got her first job on
a pig farm.
There she met a special pig who changed her life forever...
When I was 17, I got my first job--it was on a small pig
farm. I "loved" animals
and enjoyed working with them. I had names for a few of the sows--Toots,
ancient middle-white cross, and Bubbles, a lovely, gentle sow who used
narrow her bottom lip into an amazingly long tubular shape and blow
She loved having her tummy rubbed and would roll over like a dog with
legs in the air. I once had a doze in a pen with two large sows. When I
they had lain down on either side of me and gone to sleep!
It seems horrifying now, but I cut piglets' eye teeth
and amputated their tails
without much thought. I was assured they soon forgot any pain this
The worst mutilation was the castration of the piglets. This I did not
do, but I
watched it done by the farmer. A piglet would be held upside down, a
slashed into each testicle, the contents pulled out and a purple colored
septic sprayed onto the open wound--no anesthetic. The screaming was
terrible, mixed with the frantic crying of the sows.
After a few months, I began to get uneasy about the
trailer taking away the
"fat" pigs, but it wasn't until I made friends with a pig I named
Charlie that I
appreciated what slaughter really meant. He was one of the runty pigs
didn't grow very well and was bullied by others, so he was kept in a
hut. I was soon having my tea break and lunch break inside that hut,
with him. He used to be fascinated by my boots. If he rubbed his nose up
sole it would make the rubber squeak; this amused him greatly.
Then one day he was in the trailer. Pigs used to be
loaded into the trailer
during the afternoon and denied food or water before being taken to the
slaughterhouse the following morning. I remember, before biking home
evening, pushing my fingers through the slats of the trailer to say
Charlie. When I touched his nose, I felt sickness in the pit of my
tears welled up in my eyes. I didn't want him to go, I didn't want him
Late the next day, the farmer told me to look in the trunk of his car. I
and saw pieces of meat. "That's Charlie," he said. I left the farm soon
After a couple of months without a job and being
pressured from my mother,
I took another pig farm job. Nothing but crates, slatted doors, tiny
no straw. One night one of the workers left a piece of the slatted floor
behind the farrowing crate. The sow gave birth and all the newborn
into the manure pit below. I was physically sick thinking about it. The
laughed--despite the financial loss, they found it funny.
At another time, I saw a sick pig being thrown onto a
concrete floor for a joke,
to see if his back might break. I wanted desperately to intervene but,
shame, I didn't, my only excuse being that I was scared of the men and,
they saw I was upset, they'd hurt the pig even more. Pigs being kicked,
shouted at and generally manhandled was a regular occurrence on this
I witnessed pigs being loaded onto a trailer with electric prods applied
rumps and faces. I remember one pig in particular looking totally
blood oozing from his nostrils.
I lasted less than a month in this porcine hell. A year
later, I saw a film of pigs
being slaughtered. I felt sick and ashamed that I used to be a part of
(although, of course, everyone who buys a package of sausage or orders
bacon, is a part of it, too). First I gave up pork. Now I am a vegan and
that other people will join me in turning the tide for these wonderful
YOU CAN HELP!
* Don't eat the animals, please. When you shop, think of
the animals who
just hours before were fighting for their lives, and decide not to
From PETA's Animal Times, Summer 1998
Go on to Bug Problems?
Return to 31 January 1999 Issue
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