How U.S. Farms Roasted Animals Alive During COVID-19

How U.S. Farms Roasted Animals Alive During COVID-19

Can you imagine being slowly roasted alive while you're trapped in a place that is completely sealed? Can you imagine being fully conscious as you die with thousands who are in the same situation as you are? When everyone around you is equally trapped, equally powerless. To have to hear their screams of desperation and terror, for hours, because that’s all any of you can do.

The bodies of thousands of pigs who were roasted alive
The bodies of thousands of pigs who were roasted alive
The bodies of thousands of pigs who were roasted alive
The bodies of thousands of pigs who were roasted alive

This is exactly what meat farms across the US did to millions of pigs and chickens because slaughterhouses were temporarily shut-down due to COVID-19. Unwilling to keep the animals alive for longer than their scheduled slaughter date, farms across the US decided to exterminate animals while lobbying the government to pay them the profits they could have made from sending the animals to slaughter, using taxpayers money.

In one brave investigation, activists from Direct Action Everywhere, placed a camera inside the largest pig farm in Iowa, Iowa Select Farms. When the farm decided to exterminate thousands of young pigs using the newly invented torture of a “Ventilation Shutdown”, the camera was there to record this monstrosity.

The investigation of Direct Action Everywhere inside Iowa Select Farms.

What is Ventilation Shutdown?

In the US, it is estimated that more than 98% of chickens, turkeys and pigs raised for meat live inside huge closed-up warehouses with no access to the outdoors, often referred to as “factory farms”. Since factory farms don’t usually include windows, they rely on artificial ventilation to keep the animals who are held inside alive.

During a “Ventilation Shutdown”, or VSD, farmers switch off the ventilation after they’ve sealed off any entrance of air from the outside. As the thousands of trapped animals struggle to breathe, their body heat increases the temperature inside the sealed space. After long hours, many of the animals die from a combination of heat-stress and suffocation.

Some farms, like Iowa Select Farms, add burning steam or use other methods to increase the temperature inside the farm. According to The Intercept, workers from Iowa Select Farms were filmed entering the farm the morning after, to execute survivors with a bolt gun.

Pigs who survived the night of torture were killed with a bolt gun.
Pigs who survived the night of torture were killed with a bolt gun.
Pigs who survived the night of torture were killed with a bolt gun.
Pigs who survived the night of torture were killed with a bolt gun.

Why are animal farms using such cruel methods?

Whenever animals can’t be sent to slaughter, for whatever reason, farms prefer to kill all the animals at once to cut costs. This is how Ventilation Shutdown came into existence, it’s a very cheap and easy way of exterminating thousands of animals at once.

Other popular methods that are being used around the world for mass killings include burying the animals alive, suffocating the animals using a dense foam, and setting live animals on fire.

Once the animals are exterminated, farms can continue to ask the government or their insurance provider to cover their lost profits. Sadly, governments all around the world are aggressively funding the meat industry and additional compensations, apart from the regular subsidies, are very easy to secure.

Pigs buried alive in Malaysia.
Pigs pushed into a mass grave (Malaysia).
Pigs buried alive in Malaysia.
Pigs pushed into a mass grave (Malaysia).

But what about the animals?

In the eyes of the law and the industry, these animals are nothing more than (live)stock or merchandise. The terror and pain they have to endure by the meat industry are seen as irrelevant.

The only thing that matters to the industry and to many politicians around the world, is what the public believe is being done to the animals, as opposed to what is actually being done. This is how laws that prohibit animal organizations from filming inside meat farms came into existence, and why the industry uses dishonest marketing to generate a false perception that meat comes from happy animals.


Perhaps the saddest part is that the monstrosity of Ventilation Shutdowns is just the tip of the iceberg. After all, these pigs, chickens, and turkeys are held in farms that torture them from the moment they are born. These animals endure mutilations (cutting off tails, teeth, beaks, toes), beating from impatient workers, extreme confinement, living inside filthy closed-up spaces filled with secretions, and eye-burning ammonia, and so much more.

For those of us who care, and there are many of us, it’s really time to ask ourselves if we want to continue to support an industry that does these horrible things to innocent animals?

How can I help?

In order to help more animals escape a fate of misery, please give vegan food a try. For an easy start, join Challenge 22 to get free guidance and support for 22 days.

About Kinder World

Kinder World is a non-profit initiative dedicated to encouraging compassion for animals. You can reach us at


  1. deepak on June 8, 2020 at 3:43 PM

    usa is a devils country

  2. Vijayant on June 8, 2020 at 5:08 AM

    This is very cruel and heart breaking

    • Anne waite on June 8, 2020 at 5:44 AM

      I just want to cry I’ve not eaten animals for over 30 years

  3. Sandra Wilson on June 8, 2020 at 1:09 AM

    The first time I saw this video on Facebook and they took it off with in an hour it me sick at my stomach and I kept dreaming about it all night long… I can’t believe we do this to hogs…It’s against the law to lock a dog in a car to die being cooked to death and against the law to break a window to save that dog but American farmers can do it to hogs by the thousands that will no longer make them money…I am in California and I am an old lady but I will stand up for these hogs if someone will tell me how I can make a difference…This is wrong, damn wrong and needs to be stopped.

    • Blinkersoff on June 14, 2020 at 10:03 AM

      If you are not already a vegan, become one… and encourage everyone you know to do the same. This is what will bring the horrific meat, egg and cow breast milk industries to their knees. If no-one buys their suffering product, theri businesses will crash.

  4. Maria Sciacchitano on June 7, 2020 at 11:10 PM

    There are kinder WAYS please find them and stop killing for no real reason . Then you all will feel better in what you are doing when needed to kill defenseless animals .

  5. Nick Azzaro on June 7, 2020 at 9:42 PM

    It’s needs to be stop animal cruelty!!! Very sad and, heart breaking!!!!!!!!

    • sparsh kataria on June 13, 2020 at 12:55 AM

      This is the reason God is punishing every human from corona pandemic and I think we deserve it.

  6. Gerri Ochinero on June 7, 2020 at 7:56 PM

    What the hell is wrong with these people?! I can’t even bring myself to read the entire article. The pictures alone are horrendous portrayals of the brutal treatment of helpless animals. Everyone should see these nightmare photos and be aware of the atrocities innocent animals are enduring.