‘Pups for Pigs’ Rally Will Call For End to Farm Animal Cruelty

The event on Beacon Hill will ask people to support legislation to keep animals from being placed in restrictive cages.
Image via Pups for Pigs Rally

Image via Pups for Pigs Rally

On Thursday, Beacon Hill will become Bacon Hill when protesters use dogs dressed as piglets to call attention to legislation that would ban farmers from keeping animals in tightly packed cages and crates that almost completely immobilize them.

At noon on Thursday, members of the MSPCA, the Humane Society of the United States, and elected officials plan to host a rally, called “Pups for Pigs,” in support of bills filed by state Senator Bob Hedlund and Senator Jason Lewis. The bills fight animal cruelty and would prohibit the use of “gestation crates” for pigs, “veal crates” for calves, and “battery cages” for egg-laying hens.

If passed, Hedlund and Lewis’ respective bills would put an end to the use of the space-limiting cages, which keep animals locked in place for long periods of time without the ability to sit down, turn around freely, or stretch out their limbs. Any person that violated the proposed laws, known as the “Massachusetts Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act,” would be subject to a $1,000 fine and some minor jail time. “This common-sense legislation helps stop animal cruelty, protects the environment, and protects our state’s family farmers from massive factory farms that threaten their livelihood,” Hedlund said of the legislation.

The bill was first considered in 2011, but later stalled at the State House. A newer version of the proposal was recently referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

To get the point across about their cause, event organizers are putting puppies in pig costumes and letting them parade around on the steps of the State House for comforting and comedic effect. They will also be letting strangers crawl into human-sized crates to show how inhumane it is to lock up farm animals with little to no room to move around or lay down comfortably. “We will stand together in front of the State House with signs, chat with campaign organizers, try out the human gestation crate, meet cute dogs, listen to some inspiring speeches, let the media snap some great photos, and then head out for lunch somewhere,” organizers said of the event on Thursday.

The national chapter of the Humane Society of the United States has been traveling the country letting people get a feel for what it’s like to be an animal inside one of the restrictive holdings by hosting the “Great Crate Challenge.” They said the challenge is a mission to spread awareness about the confinements by seeing if people can withstand at least a few minutes behind bars. “After four minutes, people understandably wanted out. Four minutes is nothing compared to four years, which is how millions of pigs are living their lives right now,” the group claims.

So far, over 200 people claim they are committed to attending the rally in Boston, according to details on the Humane Society of the United State’s Facebook page. Nine other states already have similar bans on theses types of crates in place, including Rhode Island, Maine, Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and California.

Below is a video demonstrating what a human gestation crate looks like:


Steve Annear Steve Annear, Digital Writer at Boston Magazine sannear@bostonmagazine.com


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