Show for the Pigs: Sayara Thurston, Humane Society International, on phasing out gestation crates in Canada; & Karen Bowman, Toronto Pig Save

Listen to this week’s show here!

We dedicate this show to the pigs.

To start this show, we chat about the hugely successful 3rd annual VegFest Vancouver that we were a part of last weekend, which took place on 3 blocks of a very busy Granville Street in downtown Vancouver.

Then, we draw for prizes! We draw for 4 prizes for our VegFest raffle, plus for a copy of Victoria Moran’s “Main Street Vegan” book, which you can still enter by “liking” our Facebook page post from July 26! (note that you have to be available to pick up the book in Vancouver if you win!)

Karen Bowman, Toronto Pig Save

toronto pig saveFor our first interview, we have Toronto activist Karen Bowman on the show. Karen is a dedicated volunteer for the group called Toronto Pig Save, whose aim is to erect glass walls at Toronto’s slaughterhouses in order to encourage people to try vegan, protect the environment, and support local farm sanctuaries. The group holds weekly vigils to bear witness of pigs being transported to a slaughterhouse in downtown Toronto, and recently, a very moving video that was taken of the group’s actions in trying to help some of the pigs on the transport truck has gone viral on the internet.

Karen is the main person featured in that video, and she tells us about the work that Toronto Pig Save does and her experiences in attending these vigils for the animals. She also speaks about how you can start a similar activist group in your own community.

You can watch the video here, in which the volunteers give water, melons, and love to the pigs as they make their way to death’s doors:

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Sayara Thurston, Humane Society International

gestation cratesFor our feature, we have an interview with campaigner Sayara Thurston of the Humane Society International. On June 1st, the Canadian National Farm Animal Care Council released a draft for the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs, which calls for a partial ban of the use of gestation crates in Canada for mother pigs. This draft Code is currently up for review for the public, and animal welfare organizations HSI and Farm Sanctuary, along with actor Ryan Gosling (who wrote this compelling commentary for the Globe and Mail newspaper), are calling upon the NFACC to completely eradicate the use of gestation crates when it comes time to implementing this updated Code of Practice.

Sayara speaks with us about exactly what gestation crates are and how they affect the pigs, and what the impending Code of Practice involves at this time in its recommendations for only partially phasing out the use of gestation crates in the animal agriculture industry in Canada. We also discuss the public pressure for nation-wide retailers (and restauranteurs) who are demanding that their pork suppliers not utilize gestation crates in their farming practices, as well as the idea of Canada being a leader when it comes to phasing out farmed animal cruelty.

Please click here to access the NFFACC’s Pig Code of Practice Public Comment Survey (ending on August 3rd).

Don’t have time to fill out the survey? You can also quickly and easily sign HSI’s petition voicing your support for a complete ban of gestation crates to the NFFACC by clicking here.

To see what gestation crates are all about, take a look at this video by Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals (CETFA) and visit their website at

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