The Humane Society of the United States applauds “Movie 43” star and mom-to-be Kristen Bell for calling on the National Pork Producers Council to end its endorsement of an inhumane pork industry practice that results in millions of pigs being nearly immobilized during their pregnancies.
At issue is the pork industry’s use of gestation crates — cages used to tightly confine breeding pigs to the point that the animals can’t even turn around.
The actress, whose comedy “Movie 43” opens this week and who plays Jeannie Van Der Hooven in Showtime’s “House of Lies,” is serious when it comes to defending female pigs used for breeding in the pork industry.
“I love being pregnant, but I can only imagine how awful and unnatural it would be to be physically restrained for the entire process, and for these pigs, it’s for life,” Bell wrote in a letter to Neil Dierks, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council. “The pork industry’s defense of cramming pregnant pigs into small crates where they can’t even turn around or stretch their limbs is just a house of lies.”
Kristen Bell joins a long list of food industry titans, veterinarians and family farmers who have taken a stand against gestation crates. Announcements made recently by McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Oscar Mayer, Safeway and more than 40 other leading food companies signal a reversal in a three-decade-old trend in the pork industry that leaves most breeding pigs confined day and night in gestation crates during their four-month pregnancy. These cages are roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies and designed to prevent them from turning around. The animals are subsequently transferred into another crate to give birth, re-impregnated, and put back into a gestation crate. This happens pregnancy after pregnancy for their entire lives, adding up to years of virtual immobilization. This confinement system has come under fire from veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare advocates, animal scientists, consumers and others.