Toronto Pig Save

Animals in Distress

Every day we are alive, we encounter many sets of rules. Normally, we do not even have to think about what we are supposed to do or not do because the answers come naturally to us. Doing the opposite of what most of society would do is widely considered bad, strange, or even extreme, but it does not have to be. One example of positive deviance are the actions of the organizations known as the Toronto Pig Save. The Toronto Pig Save was established in December 2010 and has been meeting three times a week since July 2011. It is a vegan animal rights group that has been known to stop trucks packed with the animals en route to the slaughter houses. The animals are usually very squished, overheated, and have gone days without something to eat or drink. While the activists typically cannot actually save the animals and get them off the truck, they decided they deserve at least one act of kindness in their small lives, so they often give the pigs water straight from water bottles through the tiny holes in the sides of the truck.

In June 2015, the cofounder of the Toronto Pig Save, Anita Krajnc was harassed and called names by the driver of one of these trucks after giving water to the pigs in Burlington, Ontario. The incident was caught on tape, but unfortunately it was used against Anita because on September 9th of 2015, she was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and interference of property, facing jail time of up to 10 years or a fine of up to $5,000. Anita did not back down from these charges and instead faced them with dignity saying it was not a crime but an act of compassion. The pigs were showing sign of severe heat stress and undoubtedly needed some way to cool down. The counter argument, made by the truck driver, was that he could not be sure that Anita was actually giving the pigs water and not poisoning them. While this is understandable, it was obvious the pigs were in distress and that many of them would not even make it to the slaughter house alive. The water Anita gave them was the only source of water the pigs had since they had first boarded the truck. Anita has also used the religious argument: “Jesus said, ‘If they are thirsty, give them water,” hoping to spark some compassion into those who see the pigs as “just pigs” and therefore do not think they are as valuable as humans.

While most people would see these trucks drive by and think that what these animals are going through is sad, they just go on about their day, usually forgetting about them entirely. They may want to help in the moment, but they may not know how they can, or what the legal ramifications are if they do try, so it is easier for them to just continue living their life as if they saw nothing. However, the members of the Toronto Pig Save will never look away, and never stop helping these animals in their last moments of life. They see it as a moral duty and imagine themselves being the pigs’ shoes, so to speak, without considering species. They take the stance that no species is better than another, and we all have the right to a quality life free from suffering. You do not have to be vegan to see what these animals go through on the trucks as inhumane and wrong, but even the members of the Toronto Pig Save know that there is not much we can do other than offer the little help that we can to these animals while trying to bring awareness in hopes that one day, the torture that we put these animals through will stop. 

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