Rooney Mara recently teamed up with animal rights organization Animal Equality. The American actor went undercover to investigate the conditions of factory farms in England.
Mara described the experience as “devastating.” She released an 8-minute documentary about the investigation called “With My Own Eyes.”
The footage shows the 34-year-old actor walking around facilities in the middle of the night. Mara visited one farm that kept more than 3,000 pigs, whilst another had approximately 50,000 chickens. Mara said the conditions are “more awful than you can even imagine.”
According to the chicken farm’s records, 1,936 birds had died within the first seven weeks of their life. This amounts to an average of 42 dead birds per day. Animal Equality explained that chickens are bred to grow so large that their legs and organs can’t function. This leads to organ failure, leg deformities, and heart attacks. The undercover team found multiple injured chickens who were unable to move.
‘Looking Into the Eyes of a Mother Pig’
On other farms, mother pigs are kept in small cages, known as sow stalls. Sow stalls confine pregnant pigs for 6 to 16 weeks. The stalls are so small that pigs can only manage to take one step forward and backward, and cannot turn around at all. They must stand and sleep where they defecate.
“Nothing prepares you for looking into the eyes of a mother pig whose life is to be impregnated and left in a cage until she’s slaughtered,” Mara said.
“I kept thinking about my sister who just had a baby, and how beautiful that instant desire to nurture and protect your child is. I can’t imagine how awful it must be to be literally trapped and crushing your own babies and not be able to do anything about it,” she added.
Animal Equality said it found dozens of dying piglets who were not receiving medical attention. Many had severe hernias.
‘What the Meat Industry Doesn’t Want You to See’
Mara was motivated to go undercover after watching similar footage of a pig farm.
“Even though I’ve seen a lot of that kind of footage I really wanted to see it for myself,” she explained. “Hopefully I could make something that could impact other people who want to change their minds as well.”
Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality, said that the organization’s undercover investigators “face great personal risk” in order to “expose what the meat industry doesn’t want you to see, and what the public has every right to know.”
Núñez continued, “We are deeply grateful to Rooney for bravely looking into the eyes of these animals, and joining us in our promise to them to share their cries with anyone who will listen. Her courage is truly inspiring.”