https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... hB4vyu_rTY
Here, I am an advocate of ahimsa or nonviolence and veganism.“Factory farming of pigs in the Netherlands is a dead end,” he says. “We now know that a pig is not a thing: it is a sentient being with a high level of intelligence, comparable with the intelligence of a child. What I see worldwide is that many pig farmers don’t know any more what pigs are about. They just don’t have the skills to know what’s right and what’s wrong.”
Scheepens believes animal cruelty at abattoirs and intensive farms cannot last; his own turning point came after the swine flu epidemic of 1997–98, when he was forced to euthanise about 10,000 newborn piglets.
“At the time I just did my job. But later on, I developed very serious epileptic seizures. I said to myself: ‘You have euthanised healthy pigs. As a vet you are trained to cure animals that are sick or to keep animals healthy, not to butcher piglets.’”
Returning from a period working in England, during which he was diagnosed with epilepsy, he decided he wanted to be a farmer like his forebears. “I think when you want to work with animals and have them play a role in agriculture, it has to be sustainable,” he says.
But at the same time, I would like to emphasize outdoor farming over factory farming for nonvegetarians. At least in outdoor farming the pigs have a life of their own and can experience happiness in natural conditions, while in factory farming it is sheer hell for the pigs from birth to slaughter.
These sentient animals who are noted for their high intelligence, gentle behavior and empathy, should not be subjected to such conditions, and hopefully factory farming of pigs will come to an end in the near future.
Pigs are considered to be more intelligent than dogs or three year old children, and hopefully we can create methods creatively which can utilize this intelligence in a more productive manner. Pig sanctuaries for example can be a source of therapy for stressed adults and a source of entertainment for children.