Animal-rights activists display thousands of paper hearts in protest at Farmer John slaughterhouse

Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, which owns Farmer John, defended its treatment of pigs.


City News Service

via Los Angeles Daily News - Feb 15, 2021


Animal-rights activists displayed 7,000 paper hearts in front of the Farmer John slaughterhouse in Vernon on Monday, Feb. 15, to honor the 7,000 pigs they estimate are killed at the facility each day.


The demonstration came amid a growing COVID-19 outbreak at the facility, where 882 workers have been infected with the coronavirus. That’s more than double the number of cases reported just six weeks ago, and by far the largest outbreak at a nonresidential setting in Los Angeles County.


The only other similarly sized outbreak at an industrial facility is the 601 cases at Northrop-Grumman in Palmdale, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.


The activists from the group Direct Action Everywhere were there to protest the company’s treatment of pigs, but they also wanted to call attention to the public health danger they say exists at slaughterhouses and factory farms everywhere.


“It’s time to shut down factory farms and slaughterhouses and create a future that prioritizes compassion, public health and the environment,” DXE organizer and schoolteacher Brittany Michelson said.


Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, which owns Farmer John, told City News Service that characterizing the plant as the site of the county’s largest industrial COVID-19 outbreak was “a misleading and unfair” statement...