Pigs are smart, social animals who can feel fear, pain, and stress. Studies show that they are more intelligent than dogs, and are capable of perceiving time and anticipating future events. Yet factory farms throughout the world, including in China, cram breeding sows into gestation crates for virtually their entire lives. These crates are about the size of the animals’ bodies, preventing the sows from engaging in important natural behaviors—or even turning around for months on end.
McDonald’s recently announced that it would require all of its pork producers to eliminate gestation crate confinement of female pigs from their pork supply chain in the United States by 2022. Asia for Animals coalition members are encouraging McDonald’s in China to do the same. Animals in China, including farm animals, also deserve a more humane treatment. There are more humane alternatives to gestation crates. Switching to gestation crate-free pork would vastly improve the lives of these animals.