“Virtual Gestation Crate” Simulates Walmart’s Pork Suppliers From a Pig's Perspective

Project Urges Walmart to Require its Pork Suppliers to Drop Cruel Cages

Contact: Mark Middleton, mark@animalvisuals.org

(October 18, 2012) –If we could experience life from the perspective of animals on factory farms, would we treat them better? A new online 3D simulation enables viewers to experience intensive confinement in a gestation crate from the perspective of a pig. Gestation crates are metal cages that confine mother pigs for their entire pregnancies, and are so cramped that the pigs cannot even turn around for nearly their entire lives.

The Virtual Gestation Crate targets Walmart for continuing to purchase pork from suppliers that use inhumane gestation crates to confine pigs. Walmart pork suppliers have been exposed twice by Mercy For Animals in undercover investigations of Iowa Select Farms and Christensen Farms. Viewers of The Virtual Gestation Crate are asked to take action by signing Mercy For Animals' petition urging Walmart to phase the crates out of its supply chain.

Gestation crates have become the focus of a nationwide controversy about how the pork industry treats animals. Nine states have banned gestation crates and in recent months many of the nation’s largest grocery stores, fast food chains, and food manufacturers have created gestation crate-free policies. However, unlike many of its competitors like Costco, Kroger, and Safeway, Walmart has not announced plans to rid its pork supply of these cruel cages.

"Pigs are highly intelligent, sensitive animals with individual personalities," said Mark Middleton, the creator of the experience. "Most people will never be able to visit an actual breeding facility that produces pigs for Walmart’s pork—as the company would prefer, but The Virtual Gestation Crate will help them imagine for themselves the misery and deprivation these crates cause."

For more information or to experience the Virtual Gestation Crate, please visit animalvisuals.org.