Blogs and newspaper coverage
Our short video: “Water for pig angel victims in Toronto’s heat wave” was featured on US network news on the Jane Velez-Mitchell show. Jane Velez-Mitchell poignantly says, “look… look at these images Those are pigs now on the way to slaughter and a group — there`s a group actually in Toronto called the Toronto Pig Rescue that runs up with water to the trucks carrying pigs to slaughter and gives them water because there was over 110 degrees and they were in this sweltering, sweltering truck.”
Free From Harm: “Meet Your Bacon: Footage of Pigs In Transport Truck Goes Viral” (July 24, 2013)
Footage of the pigs frantically scrambling for water, and of heart-broken volunteers telling the pigs, “I’m sorry,” has pushed the video into the viral mainstream. -Ashley Capps, Free From Harm
Our Hen House: “A sip of water for pigs heading to slaughter” (July 30, 2013)
Toronto Pig Save forces people to see these animals as the individuals they are. Like us humans, they need food and water. Like us humans, they feel pain. And like us humans, when their dignity is stripped away from them, and they are relegated to a mere commodity, their only hope is in others who are brave enough to bear witness, savvy enough to get the word out far and wide, and alive enough to actively advocate for a new world that is free of animal suffering. SHARE THIS VIDEO! – Jasmin Singer, Our Hen House
Christian Cotroneo, “Pigs In Toronto Heat Get Water En Route To Slaughterhouse (VIDEO)” The Huffington Post (July 29, 2013)
Volunteer Karen Bowman described the experience as “incredibly overwhelming.”
“It’s impossible to relay the suffering I witnessed that day. I just can’t. I don’t know how to.”
She was grateful, however, that the plight of the doomed pigs was captured on video.
“This video is important because it shows, without question, the suffering of living beings that are the meat and dairy industry,” she explained. “How can one watch this video and ignore the connection between a life and a meal?”
ecorazzi: “WATCH: Activists Bring Coolness, Love to Slaughter-bound Pigs” (Amanda Just | July 22, 2013)
VegNews: “Animal Activists Help Hydrate Factory Farm Pigs” (Tommy Dean | July 23, 2013)
- The work of Jo-Anne McArthur / WeAnimals.org is featured in the January 2013 issue of Alternatives Journal. Click here to read more and see her heart wrenching photos for Toronto Pig Save. Also, see interview with Jo-Anne McArthur in “The Witness “ in the Laika Magazine, January 30, 2013 and Jo’s photo essay “We Animals: One Photographer’s Compassion in Action,” in Photo Life magazine, March 31, 2013
Barbi Lazarus, Why I hold vigils for pigs and cows being led to slaughter, The Globe and Mail, March 12, 2103
Noëlle Vieau, Toronto Pig Save Creates Glass Walls In Local Pig Slaughterhouses, An1mal March 11 2013
“Sparking grassroots movement to end farm animals’ misery: Anita Krajnc,” Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals (CETFA), CETFA blog, October 14, 2012
Thomas Walkom, “Walkom: Slaughtering pigs a never-ending horror,” Toronto Star, July 25, 2012
Catherine Porter, “Toronto Pig Save activists protest slaughter weekly at Quality Meat Packers abattoir,” Toronto Star, May 9, 2012.
Bearing Witness — a guest blog by Anita Krajnc, Co-Founder of Toronto Pig Save Jo-Anne McArthur’s We Animals project, May 1, 2012
Marc Bekoff (University of Colorado), author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, “Babe, Lettuce, and Tomato: Dead Pig Walking“, Psychology Today, October 2011
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The Toronto Pig Save is a collective of artists, activists and writers based right here in Toronto; the group’s almost weekly protests bear witness to the suffering of pigs en route to Toronto’s biggest slaughterhouse, Quality Meat Packers. ”Bearing Witness with the Toronto Pig Save,” Animal Voices, Click here to download an MP3 of the show, November 15, 2011
Doris Leung’s fantastic, fast paced and informative one-hour segment on “Pigs and Toronto Pigs Save”, along with some poignant animal rights music, on “Hands and Tails: arts, animals and everything else” on CFRU 93.3 FM. Listen to the mp3 file here.
Freedom of Species – animal advocacy on the airwaves with Kate Elliott (Australia) 855 AM podcasts available via 3CR website. Toronto Pig Save is an animal rights, pro worker group that holds weekly vigils on ‘Pig Island” to bear witness to the pigs in transport trucks on their way to Quality Meat Packers slaughterhouse in downtown Toronto. Find out about the power of bearing witness and how this group is committed to “giving slaughterhouses glass walls.” Listen to podcast here.
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By Catherine PorterColumnist, Toronto Star
I spent an hour Wednesday morning talking pigs and Leo Tolstoy on a traffic island outside the Princes’ Gates.
Anita Krajnc and her group call this “Pig Island.” They come here most weeks to watch and photograph the pigs en route to their death at nearby Quality Meat Packers.
They call it bearing witness. That’s what Russian writer Leo Tolstoy did, Krajnc said, quoting him: “When the suffering of another creature causes you to feel pain . . . Come closer, as close as you can to him who suffers and try to help.”
Krajnc did her political science doctorate on social justice art. To call her a Tolstoy aficionado would be an understatement. She is a Tolstoy-ophile, a Tolstoy fountain. She could tell you 20 things about Tolstoy a minute.
Did you know he wrote pamphlets on prison reform and vegetarianism? Did you know he funded the resettlement of the pacifist Doukhobors — whose refusal to serve in the Russian military made them targets — to Canada?
I knew he was an exquisite writer — if you haven’t read Anna Karenina, for shame! — but I was in the dark on his social activism. Krajnc educated me: for Tolstoy, the purpose of art was to evoke brotherly love. He listed a bunch of literary examples in his book What Is Art. Krajnc has read them all. She’s writing a book about it called Tolstoy’s List.
She was reading Romain Rolland’s biography of Tolstoy two winters ago when, out walking her newly adopted Beagle-Whippet one morning, she noticed the trucks roaring up Lake Shore Blvd. Ten of them in an hour, each three levels high, each sprouting little pink pig snouts. Tolstoy inspired her.
“When there was a famine, he started up soup kitchens for a year,” she said. “He took action.”
Krajnc’s action: Toronto Pig Save, an animal-rights activist group that gathers every Sunday afternoon outside Quality Meat Packers’ abattoir a few blocks away, on Wellington St. near Niagara St. They are secretaries and nurses and writers and vets, all holding up protest signs. Some are animal welfarists, protesting the conditions of pig farming, transport and butchering. Krajnc is a pig abolitionist.
“I agree with Gandhi who said, ‘The life of a goat is equal to the life of a man.’ I don’t want death camps on Earth,” said Krajnc, 45.
“Pigs are the fifth most intelligent species, after whales, dolphins, chimps and elephants . . . They are just like dogs. They wag their tails.”
A woman jogged by across the street, a black lab at her side. It was hard not to see Krajnc’s point.
We are surrounded by double standards and injustices. We work to not think about them. The Styrofoam and cellophane helps.
It’s harder, though, when face to snout with a mud-speckled pig. Or dozens of them, jammed on a three-level truck, stopped at a red light beside Pig Island. Through the holes in the side of the truck, I could see their curly tails, their soft ears, their spray-painted backs and when I crouched down and peered inside, their curious eyes.
This is the power of bearing witness, I realized. It cracks your practised indifference. Looking into the crowded truck, for a moment, I imagined myself trapped inside it.
Less than five minutes later, these pigs arrived at Quality Meat Packers, where they were prodded into a gas chamber. Then their throats were cut.
Quality Meat Packers is the second biggest pig abattoir in the province. Between 5,000 and 5,500 pigs are killed there every day, right in the middle of the city. There’s a dog park across the street.
Krajnc thinks the weekly vigils have had an effect. She told me about new converts to vegetarianism. She thinks the drivers are handling the pigs more humanely. The owner of one pig farm called her about a complaint she’d made to the Ontario Society for the Protection of Animals.
“He’s a Mennonite. I told him I appreciate the Mennonite devotion to non-violence. Tolstoy was also concerned about animals. I asked him, ‘Why don’t you extend your circle of compassion?’”
Nick Johnson, the vice-president of human resources at Quality Meat Packers, said the weekly vigils haven’t changed the company’s practices “in any way.” Calling the protesters respectful and sensible, he said the company supports their right to express themselves.
Except that Krajnc has been charged with criminal mischief and intervening with property, which means someone complained to the police.
She figures the mischief was touching the snouts of pigs passing by Pig Island. Or giving them water on a hot day last summer. Pigs, she told me, are more susceptible to both heat stroke and frost bite than humans.
“This is a nice day. You should see the tragedy of an extremely cold day. It’s like a scene out of Dickens,” she said. “They are so cold, they’re huddled together, they’re filthy. It’s right out of Oliver Twist.”
Dickens was big on Tolstoy’s list. All those poor orphans evoke compassion.
We stayed on Pig Island for 50 minutes. In that time, five truckloads of pigs passed by on their way to slaughter. By the time you read this, they will all be dead.
Catherine Porter’s column usually appears on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Grid Jan. 19-Jan 25, 2012, page 7.
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Protesters at t Quality Meat Packers in Toronto’s west end. (JACK BOLAND, Toronto Sun) Print this story
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Pork plant targeted by protesters
Dennis Smith, SPECIAL TO BURLINGTON POST Oct 12, 2011
While some Burlington residents were anticipating Thanksgiving turkey dinner, animal rights protesters were condemning the slaughter of pigs at a local processing plant owned and operated by Fearmans Pork Inc. Nearly 20 Toronto Pig Save supporters picketed last Saturday (Oct. 8) at Appleby Line and Harvester Road, beside the pork processing plant. “We’re talking about how animals are inhumanely treated,” said Patti Blersch. “I live in Burlington and one of Ontario’s largest slaughterhouses is down the street.” Blersch wore a pink pig costume while protesters also spread their message with signs, pamphlets, a megaphone and video-audio display. While not specifying Fearmans’ operations, Blersch recalled a video of United Kingdom slaughterhouses. “It shows the gross brutality,” said Blersch. “The animals suffer and feel fear.” Fearmans Chief Executive Officer Patrick Sugrue declined to comment or answer questions about the protest when contacted by a reporter yesterday (Tuesday). The Fearmans website says the company’s mission is to “feed the world delicious, safe and high-quality meat products.” It states that farms supplying Fearmans are committed to quality and their standards include best practices of the Canadian Quality Assurance program. Blersch said she and her husband have stopped attending Ribfest. (Fearmans was the title sponsor of Ribfest in 2011.) Toronto Pig Save advocates moving to an organic, local, whole grain, plant-based (vegan) food economy — away from meat. “In a world with so many alternatives to meat and dairy products, there’s just no need,” said Blersch. More protests will be held in Burlington, said one of the animal rights group’s founders. “We feel it’s very dramatic to be on site and bear witness,” said Anita Krajnc. She claims 8,000-9,000 pigs are killed each working day at Fearmans. “We don’t want to shut the plant down and have it moved somewhere else,” she said. “We don’t want jobs that involve killing enslaved animals.” Krajnc said a whole grain, plant-based food economy will create jobs. She said the group protests three times weekly at another pig slaughterhouse, Quality Meat Packers in downtown Toronto. Krajnc doesn’t blame workers at these processing plants. “We get along with workers,” she said. “When we started, a few people were giving us the finger. Now people honk at us.” Krajnc said leaflets are passed to motorists at stoplights during pickets in Toronto. At Saturday morning’s protest in Burlington, some motorists reacted by honking horns. One driver yelled “Get a job!” at the protesters. Meanwhile, the nearby Fearmans parking lot was nearly empty, with only three or four vehicles. Krajnc said she’s making a film in Burlington and Toronto that combines the protests, scenes of quiet streets and the slaughterhouses.
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Courtney Greenberg, “Pigs suffer from the heat too, group seeks to remind people,” The National Post, Jul 21, 2011
The weather Thursday is supposed to reach 38 degrees Celsius, which isn’t so bad for those of us with air conditioning. But one animal rights group is seeking to remind citizens that pigs being transported to slaughter aren’t so lucky. According to Toronto Pig Save, the pigs face record hot temperatures inside the trucks, and are often dehydrated and must stand or lie in their own feces. The group planned to take temperatures from inside the trucks as they stopped at the intersection of Lake Shore and Strachan. The pigs were taken to Quality Meat Packers — a slaughterhouse that has the capacity to kill 6 000 pigs — in downtown Toronto. The group’s pro-labour, animal rights rally was set to start Thursday afternoon. National Post email@example.com
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Pause before you chow down on pork: group
Toronto Pig Save shines light on food origins
Andrew Baulcomb, staff March 23, 2011 Pulled pork sandwiches have long been a favourite among pub-dwellers – a delicious, late-night snack that complements just about any lager or ale. But how often does your average deli connoisseur stop to consider where his sandwich came from, or how it was made? Ian Purdy wants to address these questions and more through Toronto Pig Save. “We want to individualize the creatures,” said Purdy – a Brock University grad student, and co-curator of Toronto Pig Save’s “Thinking About Animals” art exhibition, along with Anita Krajnc. “Basically, we want to change peoples’ consciousness. We want them to think twice about this product we call ‘pork.’’ The duo’s collective of artists, writers and academics was founded on the ideals of veganism, and strives to expose some of the myths and unknown realities surrounding the meat industry. Their overall objective is to “erect windows at Toronto’s slaughterhouses,” metaphorically speaking, so consumers can better understand what’s involved in the mass-production of animal products. “You can see it in their eyes,” said Purdy, discussing the individual quirks and characteristics of individual pigs. “They all have a different personality.” For the Brock exhibition, Purdy wants to balance the tragedy and joy of a pig’s life—pairing “bleak” images of animals heading to a slaughterhouse with those of rescue and sanctuary. Artists from across Canada, the United States and Europe will be showcasing their work at the exhibit, including Susan Morris, Sue Coe, Dirk Giesselmann and renowned animal rights investigator Twyla Francois. Giesselmann’s stark graphic design work includes slogans such as, “I was born into this world to die for your appetite,” featuring a gutted pig strung up on crucifix. Others, such as Jo-Anne McArthur and Sue Morris’ photographs of a pig sanctuary, highlight the more “hopeful” side of Purdy’s curatorial vision. “We stand for veganism, but we want to appeal to the masses and change some minds,” said Purdy. Over the next month, Toronto Pig Save will also be gearing up for their “vegan challenge” initiative, inspired by none other than Oprah Winfrey. As part of the challenge, offices are encouraged to “go vegan” for an entire month, eliminating all meat, dairy and animal products from the workplace. “We’ll be available with literature and moral support those who want to try (veganism) for a month,” said Purdy. The larger Thinking About Animals conference will be held a Brock University between March 29 and April 1, and also features a series of lectures and educational seminars. Visit www.brocku.ca and search “Thinking About Animals” for more information, or to peruse the expanded schedule.
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Hog Town Is What Toronto Is Known For BUT Toronto PIG SAVE Has Different Plans! This video, by Bob Timmons – Artist for the Ocean – focuses on Quality Meat Packers located in a residential area downtown toronto. 7,000 Pigs a day are killed here and 35,000 per week! “Since Toronto Pig Save have been protesting them its costing them employees and money put out for Security! I AM ASKING ANYONE IN THE AREA OF QMP PLEASE BRING YOUR CAMERAS AND ANNOY THEM WHILE RECORDING EVERY ACTION.”
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Letters to the Editor, NOW | January 20-27, 2011 | VOL 30 NO 21
“Pig’s not the thing”
Now is a forward-thinking magazine giving voice to the under-represented and marginalized, which is why I was disappointed to see a feature celebrating pork in the last issue (NOW, January 13-19). Social justice for animals means not butchering their bodies for the sake of a few moments of gastronomic pleasure. Sure, most people eat meat, even those who consider themselves progressive, but many of your readers may not know that most breeding sows are kept severely confined for the duration of their lives in crates where they can hardly move. Their offspring reared for meat have miserable lives in barren, crowded pens, breathing in toxic fumes from being forced to live above their own excrement. One only needs to walk by Quality Meat Packers at Niagara and Tecumseth to hear the pigs’ screams. How about NOW Mag promoting veganism as the future? Lynn Kavanagh, Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, Toronto