Where Factory Farming and Family Farming Intersect
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org


Free From Harm
April 2013

Rebeka Leah pigs
Rebeka and Leah

The two beloved female pigs, Rebeka and Leah, disappeared yesterday on Wagner Farm after several offers from Wagner Farm Rescue Fund to provide them permanent sanctuary. And Iím sure itís just a coincidence, but it just so happens that Wagner Farmís BaconFest is only weeks away. But, hey, a Wagner Farm staffer told one of our Facebook fans over the phone last week that they love their animals and would never slaughter them. And the stafferís pitch was apparently so convincing, our Facebook fan almost believed it, for a moment.

But wait! The plot thickens. According to the BaconFest event page, Oscar Mayer is the supplier of the bacon! So, why is Wagner Farm, which presents itself as a model for the modern locavore family farm, proudly announcing a factory farm behemoth the likes of Oscar Mayer as its key sponsor? Well, dig just one layer deeper and what youíll find is that Kraft Foods, who owns the Oscar Mayer brand, just so happens to have its headquarters in Glenview, the same town where Wagner Farm resides.

If you havenít read previous stories on Wagner Farm, you should know that it is owned and operated by the Glenview Park District. Now perhaps Iím being just too darn cynical, but could it be that Kraft sees Wagner Farm as a strategic branding opportunity to put a family farm facade on its extensive factory farm connections? BaconFest features Kraftís own chefs and is already sold out and no doubt the media will be covering the event heavily. So you know that Kraft has put some marketing and promotion muscle behind it.

And how about Glenview Park District? Surely they are happy to accomodate the wishes of one of the largest sources of tax revenue in their town. Itís a win-win.

It was just last year that Mercy for Animals released its cruelty investigation at Bettencourt Dairies, one of Kraftís key cheese suppliers. And even after the damning evidence that this investigation exposed, Kraft refused to break its ties to Bettencourt. And how about pigs raised for Kraftís Oscar Mayer brand? Youíd have to go far from Wagner Farm and into an industrial sow breeding plant where sows are confined to cages and artificially-inseminated to pump out lots of babies who will be castrated and torn from their mothers to be fattened up for slaughter.

Meanwhile, the media continues to blindly praise Wagner Farm as a model of locavorism without doing the investigative reporting necessary to connect the deliberately-fabricated facade of the bucolic family farm while ignoring the deep, dark secrets of factory farming lurking beyond that facade. And caught in the middle are the lives of two individuals pigs, Rebeka and Leah, who Rubenstein of WFRF points out, both had unique personalities and have now disappeared.

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