Does this sound familiar to anyone??? When I was little at a country themed church dinner, I won the hog calling contest- whether it was rigged or not, I will not say-- I mean c'mon a cute little blonde haired chick against adults- I was sure to win. I think I won a pack of bacon maybe?? That was about my extent of dealing with pigs until college when part of my animal science concentration required a swine production class. I have to say it was my favorite class of all my college classes- Here I learned to castrate piglets, ear notch, and unfortunately the ins and outs of commercial swine production. Before this class I enjoyed every bite of sausage, bacon, pork chops-- after the class not so much.
The truth and story of that pigs life isn't much to tell- if anything its a really sad story. Piglets are born in a metal cage- with the mom only able to face one way- never to walk, never to turn around, with bars around her so she cannot lie down on her young-- it could lead to downfalls in production if she were to so happen to suffocate her young you know. So they are on a lower lever where they can only drink her milk. She has a watering unit and feeding unit that is programmed to turn on when she pushes the "button" And of course for health and sanitation reasons- there is no mud to wallow in. Nothing to root. One of the things we had to do in lab was to cut off the piglets tail. Out of boredom, they will start to knawl on each other. The piglet will then be moved from the nursery to a finishing house where they will then live a few short months (like 6-8 if I remember correctly) to then simply gain weight until time to ride a transfer truck to slaughter. Once there, they are to be unloaded into cubicals to calm their nerves- stressed out pigs tend to produce a hormone/chemical that makes meat tougher, they are then lead down a death march- if they are fortunate enough it is a gas chamber, they are in there a short amount of time and dumped out dead for then the butchering of their bodies. Every part is used. then shipped to a store near you. In some slaughter plants they are electrocuted. The slaughter plant I toured moved 10,000 hogs each day...the plant a few miles down the road did 30,000 a day. North Carolina is the 2nd leading (or was then) producers of hogs in the US. Since then I still eat meat from the store, but every now and then I think about all the animals that are just manufactered each day- when I get behind a turkey truck (who are grown to sizes so large they cannot walk--which doesn't everyone like a huge turkey breast at thanksgiving?) or a chicken truck- or any other truck hauling an animal.
So here is our alternative, the past two years we have bought a pig. My dad has a movable lot- the pigs can root, toot, and live a good life...a pigs life. They eat scraps which they love and grain until their time has come. Many people say- how could you eat that, something you have fed every day? Well I don't feed them every day...my dad does haha. Hogs are also not the most friendly or cuddly either it came to our home with a purpose not a pet, but I easily eat and enjoy my meal that they have provided because it was humane.
American agriculture is producing animals and vegetables at record speed- almost on the brink of impossible. I am not a PETA person, this isn't a protest to be vegan by any means, this is an urge to support your local farmer if at all possible, find someone who will sell you a portion of cow, pig, or even free range chickens to then be processed. The animals have an animals life- not a manufactured commercial life, and you can tell it in the taste.
We have fresh sausage for sale $2.50/ pack if anyone is interested.
Also take a look at this music video that sounds this out just beautifully.