In the wake of PETA’s release of whistleblower footage that revealed appalling cruelty to animals on an Indiana pig farm, we’ve sent an urgent letter to former Indiana governor Vice President Mike Pence, who is Christian, urging him to intervene in the animals’ behalf.
In the letter, we explained to Pence that eyewitness video footage of East Fork Farms shows pigs with bloody open sores, mother pigs so injured that they could barely move, dying piglets, dead ones left to rot in filth alongside their surviving siblings, and many other instances of abuse. The disturbing findings prompted JBS USA—the nation’s second-largest pig slaughterer—to cut ties with the farm, yet animals continue to suffer there.
“Pigs were left to experience agonizing, prolonged deaths at a squalid operation just a short distance from Vice President Pence’s hometown,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is asking him to show mercy and respect for all God’s creatures by aiding the vulnerable animals trapped there, as Christ would want him to do.”
PETA’s letter to Pence reads:
Dear Mr. Vice President,
Peace be with you. I’m writing on behalf of LAMBS, PETA’s Christian outreach division, regarding eyewitness video of agony and prolonged death for pigs at East Fork Farms near Brownstown, Indiana, a short drive from your hometown. PETA has asked U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel to heighten their inspections of pigs at the JBS USA slaughterhouse that had been killing them, and the Indiana State Police are investigating the farm. I pray that you will consider the following information and—as a Christian, a Hoosier, and a leader—intervene for these suffering animals.
Christ commissioned His followers to proclaim the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). But there is no good news for mother pigs and piglets trapped at East Fork Farms. These individuals, created by God’s wondrous hand, can feel joy and sadness, just as your family’s rabbit does. Leaving them to suffer with bloody sores, abscesses, and injured legs and hooves and languish on filthy floors mocks their Creator. In the video, you’ll see a sow who was unable to reach water and drank desperately for nearly two full minutes when the eyewitness offered it. This poignant ministry of giving the thirsty a drink reminds us that animals raised to be eaten—who have no federal protection from cruelty on farms and whom Indiana law allows to be mutilated without painkillers—are among the least ones in our society and in need of our mercy (Matthew 25:35, 45).
Having cleaned stalls on your father’s cattle operation while growing up, you’ll be appalled to see pigs kept amid feces and just above the reeking pit that held their manure, while maggots and roaches teemed nearby. Unlike the cattle on your family’s farm, pigs used at this factory for breeding cannot walk or even turn around. Pregnant sows were forced to give birth in gestation crates and even more restrictive “farrowing crates,” which prevented them from tending to their babies for the first few weeks of their lives. Some suffered miserably and died slowly.
Will you join PETA in working toward the peaceable kingdom (Isaiah 11:6–9) by granting these animals relief as well as a chance to live as pigs should and praise the Lord (Psalms 148, 150)? As Matthew Scully, who helped craft your convention speech, asks, shouldn’t we be “just instead of merely dominant … the creature of conscience and bring mercy into the world?” Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours in Christ,
Daniel Paden, Vice President
You can take action for suffering animals at East Fork Farms as well. Ask other slaughterhouses in the region if they’ll keep the facility out of their supply chains.