Here's a video produced by the animal-rights group Mercy for Animals which shows a bunch of pigs getting thrown around,>"/>
Pssst! Wanna ruin your day?
Here's a video produced by the animal-rights group Mercy for Animals which shows a bunch of pigs getting thrown around, castrated, kicked, and otherwise abused at Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa--a farm that supplies "Swift" brand pork to Costco.
Big caveat: Any video produced and edited by an activist group--be it James O'Keefe or Mercy for Animals--should be taken with a softball-sized grain of salt.
And frankly, one could likely set up a hidden camera at any commercial slaughtering plant and come back with images that would shock and offend.
Not that any of that makes this video any easier to watch.
Note: The state of Iowa has many animal-cruelty laws that would be violated if the pigs in this video were legally considered "animals."
But these pigs are not legally "animals" under Iowa law--they're "livestock."
And livestock are exempt from the state's animal-cruelty laws.
Though there are "livestock abuse" laws in Iowa:
A person is guilty of livestock abuse if the person intentionally injures or destroys livestock owned by another person, in any manner, including, but not limited to, intentionally doing any of the following:
Administering drugs or poisons to the livestock, or disabling the livestock by using a firearm or trap. A person guilty of livestock abuse commits an aggravated misdemeanor. This section shall not apply to any of the following:
1. A person acting with the consent of the person owning the livestock, unless the action constitutes livestock neglect as provided in section 717.2.
2. A person acting to carry out an order issued by a court.
3. A licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine as provided in chapter 169.
4. A person acting in order to carry out another provision of law which allows the conduct.
5. A person reasonably acting to protect the person's property from damage caused by stray livestock.
6. A person reasonably acting to protect a person from injury or death caused by stray livestock.
7. A research facility, as defined in section 162.2, provided that the research facility performs functions within the scope of accepted practices and disciplines associated with the research facility.
So unless the farm doesn't own the pigs shown in the video, it would appear that (in terms of cruelty laws, not health-code violations) the farmers are free to castrate, de-tail, or otherwise be horrible to their pigs.