Protesters flock to Smithfield in Tar Heel

TAR HEEL​ – Animal lovers and animal rights activists from across the United States have descended upon Tar Heel, NC to protest the Smithfield Slaughterhouse operation there. According to organizers, it’s the largest crowd of protesters to ever protest at Smithfield.

“We’ve been planning this event for six months,” says event organizer, Dacia Thorson. “We were hoping for 400 activists to show up today, but this amazing crowd has just blown me away.

“We’re all here protesting Smithfield’s daily torture and killing of 33,000 innocent beings,” she added. “And we have a message for the people who eat animals that keep Smithfield in business: you are directly responsible for this horrible cruelty and terror these pigs endure. Stop eating animalsrise up- join us- and let’s shut down this Smithfield slaughterhouse!”

Smithfield Foods is the largest “pig producer” in the world, killing over 31 million pigs per year for an estimated $15 Billion in annual revenues. Smithfield’s slaughterhouse in Tar Heel is considered the largest pig slaughterhouse in the world, killing about 33,000 pigs every day.

Pigs are considered smarter than dogs– but they receive almost no protections from cruelty in North Carolina farms, and are subject to brutal abuse in slaughterhouses like the Smithfield plant in Tar Heel.

“In addition to all the suffering that Smithfield inflicts on these pigs, Smithfield’s massive pig farming operation causes human health epidemics, including birth defects and premature deaths for North Carolinians. And scientists say the original swine flu epidemic of 2009 started at a Smithfield farm,” Thorson said. “The swine flu infected one-fifth of the world’s human population and killed over 400,000 people worldwide.

“And Smithfield’s impact on the environment– Smithfield dumps billions of gallons of pig feces, urine, blood and rotting pig body parts are collected in open cesspools across North Carolina, killing millions of local marine life and wildlife.

“What are the annual healthcare costs to North Carolinians due to Smithfield’s toxic operations? What are the costs to remediate all the pollution Smithfield dumps in North Carolina? State legislators in North Carolina have obviously been paid off by Smithfield because North Carolina has the weakest environmental and animal welfare regulations of any major pig-producing state.

“We can no longer trust government or industry with the welfare of animals, our health, nor the environment. That’s why we named this campaign, ‘Rise Up, Shut it Down.’ Today is just the beginning …”