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Pigs are intelligent animals slaughtered by the millions. Enjoy your ham sandwich

Pigs are intelligent animals slaughtered by the millions. Enjoy your ham sandwich
Pigs look out on dozens of people bringing water and comforting words near the gates of the Farmer John processing plant in Vernon. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: One letter responding to an article on pigs going to slaughter was chilling in its utter lack of compassion and empathy for these tortured beings.

What the writer disdainfully described as “trying to humanize” the pigs was in reality the thoughtful recognition of their sentience. We know through both our own observation and through science that pigs feel many of the same emotions we feel. They are considered to be more intelligent than most dogs.

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The writer’s biggest concern was that her “pork products” might be contaminated by the substance used to wet the mouths of the desperate, thirsty animals — maybe it’s not just water!

Breaking news: The regular consumption of pork products, especially highly processed ones such as bacon, sausage and ham, is strongly associated with higher risk for heart disease, stroke, various cancers and Type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a 2018 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that pigs are getting unnecessary antibiotics, contributing to antibiotic resistance in humans.

I hope the writer enjoys her next ham sandwich.

Cathy Goldberg, Seal Beach

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To the editor: One letter writer brings up a valid point about how we’ve come to decide which particular animals to eat.

To be sure, the pig possesses one of the highest intellects of any four-legged animals on Earth, second only to the elephant, and like the pachyderm, also functions within a complex social structure.

So, why do we slaughter them? Does the fact that they’re fat, pink, hairless, have large snouts and make funny noises play a factor, thus making us a society of speciesists?

Blaine Ziolkowski, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: Thank you for printing the horrific photo of the pig being offered water on the way to slaughter in Vernon. It instantly turned me into a vegetarian.

The very thought of eating another sentient being makes me sick. I hope the photo had the same effect on everyone who saw it.

Diana M. Granat, Altadena

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