Around 90 per cent of ‘commercial’ pigs in Australia are factory-farmed, and it's hard to imagine what these animals endure in their brief lives. As piglets, they are taken from their mother after being born and then castrated, their tails sliced off, and their teeth clipped. These procedures are all undertaken without anaesthetic. They are then forced to live in over-crowded stalls on concrete floors covered in filth and faeces for the remainder of their lives before being sent to slaughter.
Mother pigs spend their lives secured in sow stalls or farrowing crates, with no opportunity to nuzzle or bond with their babies. When they stop producing babies, they are also sent to slaughter. Breeding boars spend their entire lives in boar stalls which are so tiny that they can’t even turn around, and they are often left to die in these stalls without assistance or medical attention. An example of how breeding boars are sometimes treated can be seen in the story of Boe, which can be seen here.
Pigs have the intelligence equivalent to that of a three-year-old-child. When allowed to live without torment, pigs snuggle, dream, and sing to their young. Like dogs, they are social and smart creatures that like to keep clean. In natural conditions, pigs love bathing in water or mud and are careful not to soil areas where they eat or sleep. Yet they are never able to express any of these natural behaviours when trapped in a factory farm.
The most common method of stunning pigs prior to slaughter is via a carbon dioxide ‘gas chamber’. This is not humane and inflicts acute pain and suffering on pigs, as seen here.