Animal rights activists blocked entrances to a Los Angeles Farmer John plant, preventing transport trucks carrying hundreds of pigs from entering, according to a press person. Two of the activists were arrested by police, with a total of around 80 protesting outside the plant. (We have reached out to Farmer John for comment. They have yet to respond, but we will update the story as soon as we hear from them.)
The activists were joined by holocaust survivor Alex Hershaft outside the plant. Hershaft also founded the nonprofit Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM). The event, part of World Farm Animals Day, was meant to honor “the 10 billion land animals killed in the U.S. each year, which animal advocates call ‘Holocaust of the Animals,’” a FARM press release said.
Hershaft continued to compare the plant to Nazi death camp Auschwitz in a press release.
“I see a striking parallel between the deceptive bucolic images of pigs cavorting in green meadows on Farmer John’s murals and the cynical inscription ‘Work makes you free’ over the gate to Auschwitz,” Hershaft said in the release.
"Obviously, I am not equating the millions of my fellow Jews slain tragically in the 1940s and the millions of pigs slaughtered every week for U.S. dinner tables, for we differ in many ways. Yet, we all share a love of life and our ability to experience many emotions, including affection, joy, sadness, and fear," Hershaft said.
"I do see a striking parallel in the mindsets of both sets of oppressors: their self-image as upstanding members of their communities, their abject objectification of their victims, their callous use of cattle cars for transport, their continuous refinement of killing line technology, their preoccupation with record keeping and cost-effectiveness, their eagerness to hide and masquerade their horrendous deeds,” Hershaft said.
Hershaft traveled to L.A. from Washington, D.C. for the protest.
The arrests happened before the protest's scheduled 11:30 a.m. start.
The L.A. Farmer John facility is the largest pig slaughterhouse on the West Coast, killing more than 6,000 pigs a day and 1.5 million pigs per year, according to FARM. Farmer John is a subsidiary of Hormel Foods.
The trucks carrying pigs had to be rerouted to a holding facility.
World Farm Animals Day is on Oct. 2 each year, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. It began in 1983.
This story has been updated.