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The Humane Society's New Pitch: This Pork Producer Is a Bad Investment

Pigs in a gestation building in Eldridge, Iowa
Pigs in a gestation building in Eldridge, IowaPhotograph by Stephen Mally/The New York Times via Redux

After years making ethical and moral arguments against meat industry practices, the Humane Society of the United States is trying a different tactic: It’s appealing to investors. In an ad campaign launched today, the animal welfare group aims at investors in Seaboard, a $6.3 billion-a-year pork producer (it also owns Butterball) that keeps breeding pigs in “gestation crates,” a practice that’s been abandoned by other pork companies.

“Nine states and dozens of countries have outlawed their use,” the ad states. “Due to these customer and regulatory demands, major pork producers like Smithfield, Tyson and Cargill are switching to better systems. Others, like Seaboard, seem to have no such plans. … Is your money tied up in pork companies that may be unresponsive to the changing requirements of the marketplace?”