James Cromwell Appears in Video Asking Walmart to End 'Torture' of Pigs
UPDATED: The video features a hidden-camera investigation at a pork supplier, where Cromwell claims the animals are living under conditions he describes as "animal abuse"; Walmart tells THR it's conducting its own review and that the "animal handling in the video is unacceptable."
James Cromwell is speaking out against Walmart on what he calls "cruelty" to pigs at one of its suppliers.
In a video posted on WalmartCruelty.com, the Emmy-winning actor (American Horror Story: Asylum) appears on camera and discusses a hidden-camera investigation at a pork supplier in Minnesota that he says is used by Walmart. The investigation was conducted by national animal protection organization Mercy for Animals.
"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," he says in the video.
He calls the conditions that the pigs live under "torture" and "animal abuse" and goes on to show video taken at the supplier. He also urges Walmart to adopt new animal-care standards by prohibiting its pork suppliers from confining pigs in small crates.
In addition to narrating the new video, Cromwell has signed a joint letter, along with Ryan Gosling, Kristen Bell, Zooey Deschanel and others, to Walmart CEO Mike Duke, urging him "to do away with cruel gestation crates." Cromwell also led a campaign launch protest outside a Los Angeles Walmart store.
"We think the animal handling in this video is unacceptable," Danit Marquardt, a Walmart spokesperson, told The Hollywood Reporter. "We are currently conducting our own review of the situation. 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. 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 was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Farmer Hoggett in 1995's Babe, has protested animal cruelty in the past. In February, he was arrested while protesting experimentation on cats at the University of Wisconsin.