Pigs of God is a cruel contest where pigs are force-fed to become as heavy as possible before being publicly slaughtered and paraded through the streets for a festival procession.
It takes as long as two years to force-feed the animals which is both psychologically and physically cruel. While the pigs are being fattened they are likely to suffer from organ damage, pressure sores from lying down for long periods and some owners will feed the animals metals and sand to make the pigs especially heavy.
It is against the law in Taiwan to force-feed or slaughter animals inhumanely in public. However the government is unwilling to intervene for fear of a backlash from religious groups who claim the contests are part of their tradition, even though the practice has only taken place for 30 years.
An animal-friendly alternative
The Environment and Animal Protection Society of Taiwan (EAST) is campaigning to end this cruel and unnecessary contest. Instead, it is promoting an alternative, animal-friendly festival, where real animals are replaced by pigs made out of flowers, or other materials.
This would allow communities to continue celebrating their traditional festivals while putting an end to the pigs’ suffering and benefiting the Taiwanese tourism industry.