Motorists traveling down U.S. 231 Thursday morning may have seen an unusual sight on the stretch of the road in front of Northside Walmart.
Representatives of Mercy for Animals stood beside a 10-foot-tall inflatable pig in a cage Thursday morning to protest what they call inhumane practices by the retailers pork suppliers. Mercy for Animals specific beef with the pork producers is the practice of using small, narrow crates for holding pregnant pigs.
Jenni Haines, a spokesperson for Mercy for Animals, said the practice of using gestation crates to hold pigs has been banned by several U.S. states. Haines added that many of Walmart’s competitors no longer do business with pork suppliers that use gestational crates.
Haines said pigs are intelligent, social creatures on par with pets like dogs and cats, and even if they are going to be used as food they deserve humane treatment.
Haines and Lisa Hines stood alongside the inflatable pig, which they have nicknamed “Scarlett” outside the Northside Walmart for about two hours Thursday. Haines and Hines got several honks from passersby.
Haines said most of the people they’ve met on their tour of more than 100 U.S. cities have been supportive of their message.
Brian and Kendra Bentis passed by the inflatable pig Thursday.
Brian said that he thought the protesters had a point.
“Animal cruelty is no good with me,” he said.
Kendra said treating food animals as humanely as possible was an important societal value.
“If they’re not doing it in a humane way, that’s bad,” she said.