In grocery stores, eggs and chicken are labeled as cage free, antibiotic free, and free range so that you know how your chicken and eggs were raised. The same cannot be said for products coming from pigs. Why don’t we have the same standards for pigs to ensure that they are humanely raised?
Kroger has been a food industry leader on animal welfare, as one of the first grocery store chains to commit to a transition to cage free eggs. World Animal Protection asks that Kroger continues to lead the industry and does the same thing for pigs that they are doing for chickens. We need to get pigs out of steel cages and barren environments that are cruel to pigs and making them sick.
In 2012, Kroger said it would transition to sourcing pork from pigs raised in group housing and phasing out cruel pregnancy cages, but this still has not happened. We need to ensure that Kroger follows through with its promise. We are calling on Kroger to publicly affirm their commitment to getting pigs out of cages and barren environments and share updates on their progress. Join us in demanding that Kroger stop sourcing pork from suppliers who raise pigs in horrible conditions.
Ask Kroger to protect pigs
As a food industry leader on animal welfare, Kroger has an obligation to get their suppliers to raise pigs right. Urge Kroger to make a public commitment to ending gestation crates and barren environments.
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Pigs are among the most intensively farmed animals on the planet. They suffer at every stage of their lives. Most never even feel the earth beneath their feet.
To meet increasing demand for cheap pork, pigs are reared in intensive, barren factory farms. Mother pigs are confined in steel cages for most of their lives, where they resort to biting the bars that confine them in frustration. Pigs raised for meat are squashed into barren pens. This unnatural and cruel environment and treatment induces abnormal behaviors in pigs, like biting the tails of other pigs in frustration.
Mother pigs are chronically depressed and are bred to give birth to large litters of fast-growing piglets, all to maximize profit. Before giving birth, a mother pig is moved to another steel cage, where she’s denied her natural instinct to build a nest to prepare for her piglets. Instead, she is alone and frightened in a cage where she can’t even turn around at one of the most vulnerable times in her life – motherhood.
More humane farming is possible.
Consuming lower-welfare, lower-quality meat increases the risk of exposure to foodborne bacteria that can cause illness. Studies of pork samples from low-welfare farms have found antibiotic-resistant E. coli, the most common cause of urinary tract infections, blood poisoning and meningitis.
Higher-welfare systems, like cage-free group housing, can reduce disease risk and require fewer antibiotics.
When pigs have room to move and opportunities to play and socialize, they are less stressed. This reduces the need to routinely use antibiotics to prevent the spread of disease. Antibiotics can and should be reserved only to treat sick animals.
Higher-welfare systems where pigs are kept on straw emit less nitrogen in manure, resulting in fewer negative environmental impacts. Successful nuisance lawsuits in the U.S. have begun to be won against pork producers due to the negative environmental impact on their surroundings.
Urge Kroger to lead by example
You can help. Consumers can help raise pigs right by telling supermarkets that they must shift to higher-welfare pork. Encourage Kroger to take responsibility for their suppliers and ensure mother pigs are taken out of barren steel cages and kept in groups with materials like straw to manipulate so they can nest.
Humane farming is good for animals, healthier for people, and a best practice for businesses. Kroger knows this – the company’s 2017 sustainability report reaffirms its commitment to getting hens out of cages by 2025 and reports that its supply chain is 18% towards this goal. Kroger needs to do the same thing for pigs!
Kroger operates 2,782 grocery stores in 35 states under these banners: 84.51°, Baker’s, City Market, Copps, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, Kroger, Mariano’s, Metro Market, Owen’s, Pay Less Supermarkets, Pick n Save, QFC, Ralph’s, Roundy’s, Ruler Foods and Smith’s. Kroger is the largest grocery chain in the U.S. in terms of revenue. Changing their practices will help millions of pigs live better lives.
Sign Our Petition Now
Urge Kroger to make a public commitment to ending pregnancy cages for mother pigs and barren environments. Please sign our petition to urge Kroger to help end the lifelong suffering of millions of pigs in the United States.