Whistleblower video of Walmart meat supplier shows pigs locked in cramped gestation crates

By Michael Miller
December 05, 2014 08:10 PM
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

The pigs waiting to be turned into pork products sold at Walmart have some famous new allies in Hollywood – and it’s all thanks to Joaquin Phoenix and his friends at Mercy for Animals.

The animal rights group tapped the Inherent Vice actor, 40, to narrate a video detailing alleged animal abuse at a Walmart pork supplier. The video contains graphic and disturbing undercover footage of what they claim is one of those suppliers. The short film went viral after it was posted on the group’s site on Tuesday – and now many of Phoenix’s famous colleagues are taking to Twitter to voice their support.

Jessica Chastain, Emily Deschanel, Pamela Anderson, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Sia, and Moby are just a few of the celebrities tweeting their outrage against the world’s largest retailer. Ryan Gosling, Kristen Bell, Zooey Deschanel, Tom Morello, Kim Basinger, David Boreanaz and James Cromwell have also spoken out against the company’s alleged mistreatment of pigs.

The video claims that the pigs raised for pork products sold by Walmart are forced to live in gestation cages – iron boxes so small the animals can barely lie down comfortably inside them. Phoenix says these pigs will live their entire lives in the torturous containers. The crates are considered so inhumane that nine U.S. states have outlawed them completely. Even fast food giants like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s refuse to do business with suppliers that use them, according to the Humane Society.

Sadly, the abuse these animals are subjected to does not end with the cages.

Undercover footage also shows farm workers chopping off piglet’s tails and testicles with what Phoenix describes as dull instruments. The screams of the pigs and the conditions of the cages are difficult to watch.

Phoenix – along with his famous supporters on Twitter – believe Walmart needs to reform its treatment of livestock immediately. His online petition of support has been posted on change.org.

“The extreme confinement of a gestation crate is cruelty no socially responsible corporation should support,” Phoenix says. “Walmart pigs deserve to live better.”

So far, Walmart has not commented on the video.