An animal rights group that made headlines last year with an undercover video of a Manitoba hog barn is now urging Canadians to think of farm animals as pets and stop eating meat.
“Pigs, cows, and chickens are remarkable beings just like the animals we shower with affection and consider family,” said Stephane Perrais, director of operations for Mercy For Animals Canada.
“The ugly truth is that there is horrible suffering behind every burger, omelette, and hotdog.”
An bus ad campaign running in Winnipeg and other major Canadian cities pictures dogs next to calves or pigs with the question, “Why love one but eat the other?”
His group makes no secret that it favours what it calls a “compassionate diet,” and wants all Canadians to become vegetarians or vegans, Perrais said.
And they’re ready for that message, he added.
“Most Canadians today live in urban centres, and have been doing so for a long time now, so they don’t have the opportunity to connect with these animals first hand,” said Perrais. “I think most of these Canadians still live with the conception that these animals are raised on open pastures and are grazing outside, and so forth. So what we’re trying to do basically is show them the reality of today’s farming systems.”
The organization first garnered publicity in Manitoba last year, after undercover footage shot in an Interlake weanling facility brought national attention to pork production practices.
The grainy footage showed sows in gestation stalls, castration, tail docking and piglets being slammed into cement floors. But the group is not looking to reform livestock production practices and also opposes non-intensive or small-scale livestock production, Perrais said.
The MFA ads can be seen on Winnipeg transit buses for the next three weeks.