Poor pigs: loved for all the wrong reasons

(From a phone call to a bakery):

“Do you want the ones with bacon or the regular ones?”

“Did you say ‘bacon,’ B-A-C-O-N?”

“Yes, I did.”

OMG! and Ai yi yi! But then . . . why was I surprised? Last fall, I saw billboards for pricey chocolates, with bacon. Then I noticed the doughnuts at the supermarket café were topped with crumbled bacon. And now, it’s sticky buns with bacon.

(BTW, I ordered the “regular ones.”)

Pigs don’t have a chance, and I’ve often wondered: did they ever have a chance? Despite their being smart, friendly, loyal and playful, the main thing about pigs to most everyone in the world is, alas, their “edibility”! A New Yorker cartoon shows a pig-patient sitting on the examining table as the doctor says, “It’s your ribs. I’m afraid they’re delicious.”

What else is there to say?

Although overall, far more chickens than pigs are slaughtered for human consumption, I’m not aware of people moaning about their love of chicken breasts, wings or legs. Pigs are another matter, given the incessant rhapsodizing about bacon. or ribs. or ham. or pigs feet. and even pork rinds – “everything but the oink,” as the saying goes.

If I believed in reincarnation, I’d already be praying not to come back as a pig, “purpose-bred” to be eaten. And en route to that fate, being raised on a factory farm with routine tail-docking and gestation crates; seen as nothing but dinner in the making – not even a meal ticket, but a meal!

Only consider that a quick Google search for our state’s pig population (pigs + number + NJ) included “pig roast” in each of the eight “related searches.” They can’t escape it. For the record, our in-state pigs number around 9,000, according to a Star-Ledger story about gestation crates. And there are some 300 pig farms – or euphemistic “pork farmers” in New Jersey, according to a Wall Street Journal story. (Surely, you’ve seen little “porks” gamboling in farm yards all over . . .?!)

It’s no wonder I well up watching videos on The Dodo that feature pigs who escaped from trucks taking them to slaughter. Saved by caring people, they’re shown living au naturel, frolicking with their new, non-traditional family members: goats, dogs, cats, children . . . . There should be so much more to life than death. https://www.thedodo.com/pig-dog-goat-video-252913810.html

Besides vegetarians and vegans, here’s what we need much more of in this world. A few stories like the one below might give pause to people who are just plain pigs for pigs. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/51604

Now that is “some pig!”

— Pat Summers

 

Return to our website for details on what we’re all about
“for the animals” — http://aplnj.org/food-for-life.php

Comments 2

  • I have seen the videos of what goes on at pig farms. It is so painful to watch them. Keep spreading the word!

  • A good new book about a pet pig is “Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time”. They are much better as pets than as dinner.

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