Anita Krajnc doesn’t take all the credit for founding Toronto Pig Save; if it wasn’t for her four-legged companion, Mr. Bean, she wouldn’t have been exposed to the transport trucks carrying pigs to the slaughterhouse in her neighbourhood.

“When I moved here in 2006, I was already vegan. I was already an activist, but I did nothing. It didn’t even occur to me to go to the slaughterhouse to see the pigs. I just thought, oh, look at the chimney in the distance. Isn’t that awful? Somebody should do something.

“When I adopted Mr. Bean, we’d walk on Lake Shore Blvd. That was the first time I saw seven or eight trucks moving slowly during rush hour traffic, so I could see the pigs looking out, their snouts and their sad, sad and terrified eyes.”

Toronto Pig Save formed in December of 2010. The first six months were spent undercover—getting footage of the Quality Meat Packers slaughterhouse from the railway line.

“You could hear the pigs screaming at 90 decibels. It was really awful,” recalls Anita.

Their work also included art shows and fundraisers, and the group would meet monthly for potlucks to build the base. Then in July of 2011, they started doing three vigils a week, every week.

“Groups formed pretty quickly after that; Burlington Pig Save formed in September of that year, and within a year there were groups forming in Melbourne, Australia. Then New York Animal Save formed because they saw a viral video that we did of giving water to pigs.

In five years, Toronto Pig Save grew to thirty-five chapters. Then something happened that changed the course of the next five years: Anita was charged for giving water to thirsty pigs on a transport truck.

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