Hold Off on the Christmas Ham

Pigs are intelligent animals; they are smarter than dogs and three-year-old children. They have complex emotions and, just like us, feel pain and experience joy. Pigs dream, have long memories, can solve mazes and other puzzles, and like to play just for fun! Pigs are all-round awesome. So it’s sad that most pigs in New Zealand, especially those who become a traditional Christmas ham, lead miserable lives on factory farms.

While we celebrate, for a sow on a factory farm December 25 will be a day of suffering just like every other day of the year. Kept in a farrowing crate, a mother pig is denied her most basic rights and needs—even being unable to turn around—whilst her piglets are kept in barren concrete pens to be fattened up to be hams.

But, it doesn’t have to be like this. The best way you can help end their suffering is to leave the ham off the menu. Instead, enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner with our easy, cruelty-free, festive recipes.

SAFE and Farmwatch have exposed the ongoing cruelty on pig farms. The animal welfare standards in New Zealand are so low that ham from pigs living in the manner shown in shocking footage may be ‘Pig Care’ approved.

“Even the worst factory farm practices are approved under the NZ pork industry’s ‘Pig Care’ scheme, which makes the label meaningless. It’s nothing more than a marketing ploy to trick caring people,” says head of campaigns Mandy Carter.

Like dogs, pigs want to enjoy a life free from harm, playing with friends and searching for food.

And it doesn’t have to stop with holding off on the ham. Turkeys, chickens, fish and cows are also eaten as part of a Christmas meal.  Make this Christmas a real celebration of caring. Join Kiwis around the country that are enjoying a cruelty-free Christmas – for everyone.

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1 December 2016