Repent, Paula Dean!

End your association with Smithfield before your soul is lost forever!

I love Paula Dean. Who could be against someone who loves real butter? Her story is an inspiration to many who’ve struggled hard through the years and reaped a great reward for the effort. She deserves her success. And so do her sons.

But her relationship with Smithfield, the largest pork producer in the country, is so very misguided and just plain wrong.

Smithfield has so many problems I could write on and on about all the things this harmful corporation does that hurts us, our food supply, our food and our souls.

First there were all those reports about how the company has a deal with immigration officials to hire illegal and undocumented immigrant workers for its pork processing plants. They worked out a deal where they put out the word that illegals can get hired at their Virginia facilities then stand aside during the raids by Immigration officials on the workers’ camps. Dozens of working immigrants are rounded up and deported. In exchange, Immigration refuses to prosecute Smithfield for hiring them. For the company, this keeps workers in line and dissuades them from asking for better wages, living and working conditions and talks of unionization. They get away with paying below the federal minimum wage and have a constant turnover of workers.

Smithfield is also a leading developer of the factory farm. These are a terrible invention that keeps food prices low and corporate profits high. It also hurts small farmers, keeps the quality of our food very poor and treats our fellow creatures in a way that would land any of us in prison for the rest of our lives.

And now, according to Associated Press, the company has been found treating breeding animals and their offspring like so much garbage.

“The Humane Society of the United States said Wednesday that an undercover worker at a farm owned by the world’s largest pork producer saw breeding pigs abused and crammed into small gestation crates. The animal welfare organization released the results of a monthlong undercover investigation at a Waverly, Va., factory farm owned by Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc. Murphy-Brown is Smithfield’s livestock production subsidiary and is the world’s largest producer of pigs for slaughter.”

Those gestation crates are illegal throughout most of the U.S. and the civilized world. Picture putting your dog in a kennel crate for four months. It’s cruel and unnecessary. But that’s not all.

The investigation also found:

  • A lame pig was shot in the forehead with a stun gun and thrown into a trash bin while still alive. A video shows the large pig with “kill” spray-painted on its back being dragged by its snout, shot in the head and thrown into a large trash bin while trying to wiggle free, then breathing heavily as it lay dying, surrounded by dead pigs.
  • Employees jabbed pigs with gate rods to get them to move.
  • Pigs biting their crates – what the organization called a sign of frustration – so hard they bled.
  • Pigs with open sores because they couldn’t move in the crates.
  • An employee cut a basketball-sized abscess from a pig’s neck with an unsterilized razor.
  • Employees threw piglets into carts.
  • Some premature piglets fell through the slats of gestation crates into manure pits.

All this comes a week after Smithfield announced a record profit. That’s the money YOU are spending at the grocery store when you buy pork, even if it doesn’t have the Smithfield name on it.

Naturally, I think you should refuse to buy any Smithfield product. This company needs to go out of business.

And Paula, I beg you. You have plenty of money. Tell these horrible people to go away. They will drag you into the cess pit with them.

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