Largely in response to consumer demand, Tyson will be sourcing their pork meat from pigs raised without antibiotics. This could mean, by default, that Tyson’s pigs will be treated better. We shall see. 
This is a new trend, it seems, since just last year mega-companies like McDonald’s promised to move away from chicken raised with antibiotics, and would only use cage-free eggs.
Though this is not the same thing as humane treatment of animals used in agriculture, it is a move in the right direction.
Antibiotic-Free, but Riddled with Animal Cruelty
Recently, Tyson was charged with 33 counts of animal cruelty when a Mercy for Animals activist filmed a video during a routine work day at a plant in Carthage, Mississippi. Affidavits were filed in a Leake county Justice Court against Tyson and 6 of the company’s workers.
Here is a link to a video showing the cruel treatment. Warning: it has graphic content.
Tyson made the following comments about the video that was taken:
“We’re appalled by the actions shown in this video and have been investigating a claim of animal mistreatment in this area of the plant since late last week. We have already terminated two of the workers shown in the video, who were clearly in violation of the company’s animal handling policy. Mercy for Animals has reportedly submitted a misdemeanor complaint with county officials over this matter, however, to our knowledge no criminal charges have been filed by any government agency.
We believe proper animal handling is an important moral and ethical obligation. Everyone who works with live animals in our plants – including the person who secretly shot this video – is trained in proper animal handling and instructed to immediately report anything they believe is inappropriate. Workers are encouraged to report bad behavior to their supervisor as well as the Tyson Foods compliance and ethics hotline. “
The National Resource Defense Council says that 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the US are meant for farm animals, not humans, but they still contribute to antibiotic resistance in us. Most of these antibiotics aren’t even given to animals that are sick, but are used in their feed every day to counteract poor living conditions and a less-than-pristine environment that might promote sickness.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.