Ryan Gosling has written a new article calling on Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council to improve the living conditions for female pigs. For those 18 and under, the Gosling meme takeaway would go something like this: "Hey girl - gestation crates just aren't cool."
The 32-year-old Canadian published "A tiny cage is not a life" in today's Globe and Mail, describing pigs as incredibly intelligent creatures and detailing the cruel confinement female sows face on factory farms.
"Currently, mother pigs are kept in these cages called “gestation crates” for four months while pregnant, moved to another cage to give birth, reimpregnated and put back into a gestation crate for the cycle to repeat. It adds up to years of immobilization and millions of smart, inquisitive animals relegated to iron maidens," he writes.
While Gosling is encouraged by the NFACC’s new regulations mandating the pork industry to stop relegating pigs to gestation crates for nearly their entire lives, he singles out a loophole in the new laws that would still inflict serious mental and physical harm on the animals.
"As written, the draft still allows the pork industry to lock pigs in gestation crates for up to five weeks at a time," he writes. "Over a pig’s short life, which is just four years long, this amounts to about nine months of solitary confinement in a cage so small she can’t even turn her own body around.
"Pigs in tiny crates suffer beyond anything most of us can easily imagine. They are unable even to turn around for weeks at a time, so that their muscles and bones deteriorate. And these extremely social and intelligent animals lose their minds from being denied any social or psychological stimulation at all."
According to Farm Sanctuary and Humane Society International/Canada (which have partnered with Gosling on the campaign), more than 60 of North America's largest pork buyers, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and Tim Hortons have made commitments eliminating gestation crates from their supply chains within the next two-to-nine years. Canada's new Code of Practice will take effect in 2014.
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