By Candace Kelley
Pigs like this one named Edison don’t deserve being crammed into crates. The Humane Society of the United States tried to make a point to lawmakers and visitors on the steps of the Statehouse in Trenton with this human crate — that pig crates are inhumane.
“It is horrifying to think about for four minutes, I felt claustrophobic. I felt like I just wanted to get out and stretch. But to think about a mother spending four years of her life, I can’t even imagine” said Matthew Dominquez, Spokesperson, Humane Society
The crates are used for pregnant pigs to prevent them from fighting, farmers also say the pigs are much easier to house this way — but advocates say pigs need to socialize.
“When people get a chance to meet Edison they see what a warm, passionate animal that a pig is,” said Edison Wetlands Association Executive Director Bob Spiegal.
But just like this man- the crates prevent the pig from turning around, lying down, or fully extending their limbs. Nine states have banned the crates and while New Jersey’s farmers don’t use these crates, the Humane society doesn’t want businesses from other states migrating to New Jersey to do so. They are urging Governor Christine to sign legislation that’s already been overwhelmingly approved by the Assembly and the senate.
Gov. Christie vetoed a similar bill last year because it didn’t involve the Department of Agriculture but the Humane Society says that the department is now key to the bill.
“This bill would have the department of agriculture the power to give the sows enough room to turn around and promulgate regulation in any manner they see fit,” said Dominguez.
The Humane Society says that the extreme confinement of the pigs literally makes them go insane and that they spend most of their lives biting on their metal cages to get out.
That’s according to these pig advocates.
“I’d rather see pigs rolling in mud in their natural state then spending years in their feces and blood.” said Dawn Jeronowitz.
Some Democrats have accused the governor of bowing to farmers in Iowa — a state with over 20 million pigs — and the first presidential caucus of the 2016 race. But pig advocates say that the governor would fare better by signing the bill.
“We did a poll in Iowa of Republican voters and found out that they would look upon him more favorably for signing this modest animal protection bill into law,” said Dominguez.
The group believes that this demonstration will help Gov. Christie see that pigs in crammed crates just doesn’t make sense and that pigs are no morally different from pets people keep at home.