Smithfield Foods: the truth behind its pigs and factories
Robert Kennedy Jr
1st December, 2003
The Ecologist goes inside the workings of Smithfield to reveal the true horrors of its pig production business
We ignored the ‘no entry’ sign at a recently opened Smithfield pig factory, clambered over wire barriers and wrenched open the ventilation shaft of one of three vast concrete and corrugated iron sheds.
Inside, 5,000 squealing pigs were crammed into strawless compartments. Outside, effluent from cement cesspits, though now frozen, had over-flowed and sent a small stream of brown stinking liquid into the lake below. In a large plastic bin (empty the previous night) we found 20 dead pigs. Astonishingly, it seems that the entire operation is illegal.
When the German army launched its invasion in 1939, much of the world declared war to save Poland. Now, when the trans-national agribusiness firm Smithfield Foods threatens the livelihoods of 4 million farmers, Poland’s best foreign allies come from an unlikely source: Robert Kennedy Jr, lawyer and leader of a US coalition of family farmers, fishermen, environmental and animal welfare organisations; Tom Garrett, an ecologist from the state of Wyoming; and Tracy Worcester, actress-turned environmental activist.
Who are Smithfield Foods?
When Robert Kennedy...
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