MOST readers will have been horrified by last Thursday's incident in which 16 pigs died - including three shot by police - when an animal transporter caught fire between the Chester-le-Street and Carrville junctions of the A1(M) in County Durham.

Few who have travelled the nation's motorways could have failed to see these huge lorries, crammed full of animals on what is most likely their last journey as almost all are bound for the slaughterhouse.

Pigs are fun-loving, inquisitive and intelligent animals, yet in Britain almost all are factory farmed. Some 70 per cent of British sows are forced to give birth in metal crates so small they are unable to turn around.

Pigs bred for meat are kept in overcrowded, often filthy conditions.

If you buy bacon, sausages or pork in a supermarket it is likely to come from squalid conditions like these.

Yes, the motorway crash was shocking, but we all have the power to stop that happening again by simply not buying meat and going veggie. For a free pack on going vegetarian contact Viva!, 8 York Court, Wilder St, Bristol, BS2 8QH; telephone 0117-944-1000; or visit

Justin Kerswell, Campaigns Manager, Viva!, Bristol.