Hormel Foods Corporation have been producing pork products for years, practically a household name in the United States. They have not been known for treating their pigs very well, but they are now making a commitment to changing that.
The Humane Society of the United States has been putting pressure on Hormel for many years, due to their policies for confining pregnant pigs. The pregnant pigs were placed in small metal crates, which did not allow them to move, and sometimes prevented them from laying down.
Hormel, the maker of SPAM, has agreed to phase out these inhumane cages. They have made a commitment to completely eliminate the small cages by the year 2017. This commitment is similar to one made six weeks ago by Smithfield Foods Inc., Hormel’s major competitor.
While the timing of this change of heart is suspicious, the pigs are sure to appreciate it anyway. Not to mention, the exact time that this decision was made is still unclear. While it was only announced this past week, the corporation claims that plans were mentioned in their 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report.
While this change represents a great step in the right direction, there are still a number of corporations that mistreat animals in the name of higher profits. Hormel is a large name in the food product industry, so it is possible that they will set an example for all of the others.
The Humane Society has actually called out a number of other company’s within the food industry, including some of Hormel’s direct competitors. Brands such as Tyson, Prestage, Seaboard, and Triumph are all accused of using outdated ethics with the treatment of animals in their factories.