Readers React: If you eat meat, you need to go to a slaughterhouse vigil for pigs in Vernon

Thirsty pigs lap up water offered by people outside the Farmer John processing plant in Vernon on Feb. 20.
Thirsty pigs lap up water offered by people outside the Farmer John processing plant in Vernon on Feb. 20.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thank you for highlighting two grass-roots efforts to “act locally” and aid the suffering: Welcome INN and associated community groups in Dana Point, who provide warm and friendly meals to homeless people, and the Animal Alliance Network and L.A. Animal Save, who bear witness and extend kindness to pigs about to be killed at the Farmer John slaughterhouse in Vernon.

Individuals like these demonstrate that regardless of station, most of us are capable of giving direct aid and comfort to the most vulnerable among us.

I deeply respect these caring people, perhaps especially for the emotional labor and grief experienced by Save participants. I would urge anyone who still eats animal products to join one of the vigils, to make the connection between the suffering of sentient beings and the foods we do not need, but like, to eat.

One vigil participant captured an essential point: “What we can offer for just a second is basic decency for a living being.” When enough people make the connection between the meat on their plate and the brutality farmed animals endure, perhaps we can extend basic decency to animal agriculture as a whole.

Kathie Jenni, Beaumont


The writer is a professor of philosophy and director of human-animal studies at the University of Redlands.


To the editor: Thanks to reporter Gustavo Arellano for covering the vigils for the doomed pigs in Vernon. I hope your article enlightens those who may know little about these highly intelligent and sentient animals.

Their suffering is too often ignored, yet if those trucks at the slaughterhouse gates were filled with dogs to be killed for food, I can only imagine the public outcry.

People should ask themselves why they think it’s OK for some animals to be loved and for others to be eaten.

Valerie Belt, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: The biggest concern I have about these “vigils” is that the activists are allowed to put a substance into a public food source.

We’re told it’s water, but can we be certain about that? I’m surprised that Farmer John allows activists to handle the pigs. As a consumer of pork, I prefer them to be handled according to federal guidelines.

A smaller concern is the line of thinking of these activists who are trying to humanize pigs. “The pigs feel your energy…. Try not to be too sad in front of them.”

Seriously? If I were a pig headed off to slaughter, I sure wouldn’t want to be delayed two minutes to help a few humans feel better about themselves.

Anne Pichler, Covina


To the editor: Your article refers to “activists” who provide a brief moment of kindness to animals who have experienced only the most sadistic cruelty at the hands of humans for the duration of their lives, and who are about to undergo the most unimaginable horrors.

Please refer to them more appropriately as heroes.

Kara Steiniger, Marina del Rey


To the editor: If a picture is worth a thousand words, the picture of a thirsty pig being taken to slaughter drinking water is worth a thousand tears. As a vegetarian, I was heartbroken seeing it.

The fate awaiting this fellow sentient being is another example of man’s inhumanity to animals.

Joseph Gius, Los Angeles

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook