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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Intensive pig farming

There's a particularly awful report in today's Guardian about intensive pig farming, both in the UK and Europe. It outlines the horrible conditions many thousands of pigs endure throughout their short lives - bred as they are, for the plate.

A sow stall is a narrow metal cage, on a bare concrete and slatted floor,
in which pregnant sows spend all three months, three weeks and three days of
their gestation. They can move a few inches back and forwards, but not turn
around. Lying down and getting up is difficult, too.
If they're lucky, the animals may get a chain or a plastic football to play
with. But since there is rarely enough light to see by (pigs are quieter in the
dark), fighting and biting are more common than playing. To minimise the effects
of this, the vast majority of piglets' tails are routinely docked soon after
birth, and their teeth clipped, again in breach of EU rules.
If it matters to us that our morning rasher or chop or pork pie does not
comes from a genetically engineered fat-free pig that spent its brief life in a
dark, bare, windowless shed stuffed full of antibiotics and reduced to attacking
its pen-mates for entertainment - a pathetic parody, in short, of a pig - we're
going to have to reach deeper into our pockets. Right now, that seems
increasingly unlikely.

There are so many compelling reasons to go vegetarian. And it's easy!
More info and the full article, The price of bacon here.

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