Pig Beach in the Bahamas is one of the several tourist attractions where people can see swimming pigs in apparent freedom, but visitors who look deeper have discovered that this is still animal exploitation where the pigs suffer and are killed. In a blog written by Michelle Cehn for World Of Vegans, she visited the island and discovered that, as in an open farm, when the pigs grow older they are killed and eaten by the locals, and these beaches are just tourist attractions where the wellbeing of the animals is compromised — due to the exposure to the elements and unreliable food sources.

Pigs are exposed to sunburn which can only be prevented by avoiding the sun or covering the skin with mud. This later remedy is something pigs may do naturally if they have access to mud, but on a tropical island where instead of mud they only have sand, and the sun is very intense, they cannot do that. Michelle Cehn writes, “After recovering from the glee of fraternizing with little piglets in paradise, I started to notice the abrasions on their skin. I looked closer and saw that the skin on their snouts was peeling, and they had little scabs and marks on their tiny heads.” She also discovered why there were only young pigs visible: “I got a more upfront answer from one of the locals who grew up on a neighbouring island. With confidence, she said:’Oh, they have to kill the pigs or there would be too many — especially when they get aggressive. They can be a danger to the tourists, so they have to go… but don’t worry, they roast them on a skewer and eat them, and nothing goes to waste. And no, we don’t serve them at the restaurant here!’”  

Due to the popularity of this island, entrepreneurial locals are bringing pigs to create new pig islands, reinforcing the circle of exploitation. Vegans who rightly avoid visiting bullfights, zoos, camel rides, or circuses with animals, should also avoid these tourist attractions, which are just another unethical form of animal exploitation.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.