Babe star James Cromwell attacks Walmart supplier’s treatment of pigs

Babe star James Cromwell attacks Walmart supplier’s treatment of pigs

The actor – known for roles Babe, LA Confidential and The Artist – leads a group of celebrities campaigning for better treatment of pigs bred for slaughter
Oscars 2012: James Cromwell

Pig bigwig … actor and activist James Cromwell. Photograph: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

A famous pig helped James Cromwell to an Oscar-nomination for his role as kindly Farmer Hoggett in the children’s fantasy Babe. Now the Los Angeles-born actor is giving something back via a high-profile campaign to end „animal abuse“ at a pork supplier for the US chain Walmart.

In a new video presented by animal rights group Mercy For Animals, Cromwell details a hidden-camera investigation which he says has uncovered „torture“ at a pork supplier in Minnesota which is used by America’s best-known retailer.

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Walmart likes to tout its low prices, but when it comes to the pork sold in its stores, animals are left to pay the highest price of all: a life filled with misery and deprivation,“ says Cromwell in the video. He has teamed with fellow thespians Ryan Gosling, Kristen Bell, Zooey Deschanel and others to write a joint letter to Walmart CEO Mike Duke, asking him to stop its suppliers confining pigs in small „gestation“ crates. Cromwell has also protested outside an LA branch of the chain.

Walmart has admitted practices at the Minnesota farm are „unacceptable“, and revealed it is conducting its own review of the charges. „For the past several months, we have been working on a new comprehensive auditing and tracking program for pork, which is scheduled to roll out in the coming weeks,“ spokesman Danit Marquardt told the Hollywood Reporter. „The program is designed to track and source pork to help ensure that we purchase only from farms that are certified to meet the highest standards for the treatment of animals. We continue to work with the industry to develop animal welfare standards for pigs, and we expect our suppliers to adhere to these standards.“

Cromwell, who has also starred in LA Confidential and The Artist, is becoming well known for his animal-friendly views. In February he was arrested at the University of Wisconsin while involved in a protest against experimentation on cats. The actor credits 1995’s Babe with inspiring him to become an ethical vegan. „I decided that to be able to talk about this [movie] with conviction, I needed to become a vegetarian,“ he told the Vegetarian Times in 1998.


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