Pigs: Pets or Dinner?

Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more

Wilbur the Pig Is a Household Pet, Judge Rules; Community Association Can't Evict Him

Wilbur the Pig Is a Household Pet, Judge Rules; Community Association Can’t Evict Him
ABA Journal Law News Now
By Martha Neil
May 8, 2012

Wilbur the pig is a household pet, a Texas judge ruled Monday, in a finding that prevents the porker's family from having to find a new home for him.

Potbellied Vietnamese pigs like Wilbur are routinely kept as pets, Harris County District Judge Mike Engelhart found, in a decision greeted with relief by his tearful owners. Attorney Mitchell Katine, who represents the pig's family, had argued that the animals are not livestock because they are not routinely raised for food, fiber or farm labor, according to the Houston Chronicle and a joint report by KHOU and CNN.

"Sometimes associations go too far and this time we feel that they did and we're very pleased with the court's ruling today. I'm very happy I helped keep this family together," said Katine. He said he is not aware of another such court ruling recognizing a pig as a household pet.

Attorney Mark Rabe represents the Thicket at Cypresswood Community Improvement Association, which sent Alessandro and Lee Ann Sardo a letter (PDF) in April 2011 contending that they had violated a deed restriction prohibiting livestock. He declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper.

A Facebook page for Wilbur provides additional information about the yearlong legal saga and KHOU provides a photo gallery of Wilbur at home in Spring. He appears to spend much of his time sleeping, hanging out with the family's dog and focusing on food.

The Sardos reportedly plan to give him a special treat of strawberries in celebration of the courtroom victory. Read more


Urge Pork Companies to Treat Pigs Better

Humane Society - Pigs


Pigs are one of the smartest animals on Earth—brainier than dogs or three-year-old children! These gentle animals naturally form close-knit groups led by females who raise their young together. Sadly, millions of pigs live abysmal lives on factory farms. But you can make a big difference for them. Learn how. Read more

More about Pigs

The underestimated animal

Humane Society United States

Pigs are highly intelligent, curious animals who engage in complex tasks and form elaborate, cooperative social groups.


Their uncanny physiological and behavioral similarities to humans have given pigs a mysterious and often mythical quality that lends itself to folklore and fables.


Pigs were once considered wicked and dirty, but science has helped to shed light on the depths of their remarkable cognitive abilities and to extend a greater appreciation for these often maligned and misunderstood animals.


Ecologists, zoologists and naturalists now remark on their impressive ability to survive and adapt to different environments around the world. Read more

McDonald’s to Phase Out Suppliers’ Use of Sow Crates

McDonald’s Set to Phase Out Suppliers’ Use of Sow Crates

The New York Times

by Stephanie Strom

February 13, 2012


The McDonald’s Corporation said on Monday that it would begin working with its pork suppliers to phase out the use of so-called gestational crates, the tiny stalls in which sows are housed while pregnant.

Animal rights advocates have singled out the crates, known as sow stalls, as inhumane, and several states have moved to ban or restrict their use not only in pork production, but also in the production of eggs and veal.

"McDonald’s believes gestation stalls are not a sustainable production system for the future," Dan Gorsky, senior vice president for supply chain management for McDonald’s North America, said in a statement. "There are alternatives we think are better for the welfare of sows."

At a little more than 2 feet by 7 feet, sow stalls are too small for a pregnant pig to turn around. Being confined in a stationary position for the four months of an average pregnancy leads to a variety of health problems, including urinary tract infections, weakened bone structures, overgrown hooves and mental stress, according to animal rights advocates.

About 60 to 70 percent of the more than five million breeding sows in the United States are kept in the crates. Read more


Related story: OMG: McDonald’s Does the Right Thing, New York Times, by Mark Bittman