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Pork, the Other Downer Meat

Pork, the Other Downer Meat

In a recent article in Farm Week, pork producers are patting themselves on the back for all the love they’re showing their pigs.

“We’ve had … activist groups that have gone after the pork industry,” said Neil Dierks, CEO of the NPPC. “But when you look at how the industry has developed its (production) practices, we’re doing the right thing. The problem is we’re not telling anyone about it.”

I’m curious about what, exactly, it is they’re not telling us. Could Dierks be referring to the recent lawsuit in California that would make it alright to drag non-ambulatory, downer, pigs “too weak or stressed to stand up” to slaughter despite a state law to the contrary?

That’s right. In yet another blatant example of the meat industry’s complete disregard for animal suffering and a lack of concern for food safety over profit, U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill ruled that a federal food safety law that prevents this from happening means nothing.

Last year there was an acknowledgement from the industry that pigs arriving at slaughter are often sick and injured due to both a lack of love on the farm and grueling transport. Now they’re saying the pigs aren’t sick, they’re just injured or don’t feel like marching into the slaughterhouse, but with a little rest they’ll be fine.

Right, maybe if they spend the night at the Four Seasons, they’ll be perfectly up to it the next day. Given the attitude of the pork industry, they find that is perfectly acceptable to kick, prod and electrocute these animals right down to the last minute of their miserable lives, after they’ve suffered on factory farms and for days packed on top of each other  during transport with no food or water.

A former pig transporter told PETA that pigs are “packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually comes out.” Clearly pork producers are very concerned about animal welfare.

Of course, when every animal is treated like a dollar sign, sick ones are going to get into the food supply too. And we all know by now that stressed and sick animals have a much greater risk of harboring bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella, which kill hundreds of people every year.

Studies in the International Journal of Cancer and the Diabetologia have also linked pork products to cancer and diabetes.

With about 100 million pigs being slaughtered each year, that amounts to a whole lot of suffering for animals that, despite the stigma that they’re just dirty animals, are actually quite clean and intelligent. They bond with each other and can even play video games.

Next time you go for that ham sandwich, ask yourself which pig you got. Was it a sick one? Or just crippled.

On that note…

Sign Care2’s Petition to ask restaurants to offer more vegetarian options here

 

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56 comments

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3:48PM PDT on Mar 12, 2009

Sarah W.--first, learn to spell. Second--so you are trying to tell me that Judgment Day is a silly fairy tale? By the way, no, I do not speak of Judgment Day as if I will reign supreme on that day, I know I have plenty to answer for myself. As for this site being for those who care, just who are you to tell me I don't care? Again, I care more about animals than I ever will people, you are a good example of why. Judgment Day and God are not fairy tales, I have read the Bible multiple times, have you? Apparently not. I stand by my beliefs, and no one, including you, has to like them. A pity people like you cannot respect another's beliefs, much less respect another.

3:55PM PDT on Mar 10, 2009

Beth (and Carol), you speak of judgement day like you will reign victorious on that day. It is amazes me that humans with a functioning brain believe in silly fairy tales. Anything living and breathing should not be harmed in any way, even stupid and naive ones. Simple as that.

This website is for people who actually care.

8:15PM PST on Mar 7, 2009

I hate to break it to all you vegans, but I have never lived in denial, unlike many of you apparently. I know exactly what goes on in this world, with much clarity, hence my total disgust with most of the human race. As for you, Delight S., I take it you are an atheist. The consumption of animals from the beginning of time has been and always will be God's law, not man's. Are you trying to tell me God makes mistakes? If so, I feel sorry for you come Judgment Day, when you will have to answer for your whole life. I feel no guilt eating meat, and I guarantee I will never apologize for it, I know the truth, there is nothing new you can tell me. You have the right to live as a vegan, treated with dignity and respect, why is it, you can't show the same consideration to us meat eaters? Are you that threatened by us? Whatever your problem is, whether or not I eat meat does not, absolutely NOT, detract in any way my love, concern, care and stance for animals. They are always honest, they have no hidden agenda, or any agenda except to live by their nature, only humans are vindictive, cruel, inhumane, childish and stupid. Go ahead and attack me if it makes you feel better, but don't sit there and try to tell me I live in denial, or my original post was done in guilt, you don't know me, and that's your loss. I stand by my words, I stand by my beliefs, I don't care who likes them and who doesn't. My objection is still being crucified by vegans. I eat meat, and I still care about animals.

7:26PM PST on Mar 7, 2009

WATCH this you meat eaters...then sit down and enjoy your tortured flesh...There is NO SUCH thing as HUMANE slaughter...
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1755841/hormel_supplier_caught_abusing_mother_pigs_and_piglets/?cd=44fe83cba1a99834b71e76a0141270c900500002346868usa

11:14PM PST on Mar 6, 2009

Torturing, cruelty or mistreatment of ANY animal should be outlawed. These poor pigs go through hell and then they are slaughtered. Sometimes, they cannot even stand up, they are so ill from the journey to the slaughterhouse. If animals were not slaughtered for their meat, people would soon get used to a vegetarian diet and meat alternatives. We need to stop the slaughtering, cruelty and mistreatment of ALL animals worldwide. Treat animals with compassion and love them as we would our friends and families.

SALLY DIX

3:49PM PST on Mar 6, 2009

There ARE animals who are deliberately tortured, especially in factory farms. "If slaughterhouses had glass walls we would be vegetarians."

2:08PM PST on Mar 3, 2009

I am so sick of the meat-eaters argument "You eat plants, and they feel pain, and when you cut your grass it's silently screaming!" What a load of crap. I mean, really. Do you know what pain is? You need a nervous system to feel it, and a brain. Plants simply do not have those. It's ridiculous to say otherwise. If you're gonna be an angry meat-eater, at least come up with a decent argument (not that you really have one, but you could try...).

1:19PM PST on Mar 3, 2009

I am not Vegan ...but I personally do not eat meat very often, but this is a personel choice for me .
I do however beleive all animals including chickens , Pigs and Cattle should be raised in a humane manner without forcing suffering upon the animal.
Though That is simply not the case anymore because of Factory Farms . Mankind needs to quit Trading decently for the greed of Money.
It is the responsbitity of the human race to insist on a better way of living and dying, for these animals.
There is no valid reason any animal should be TORTURED ....Even the actual slaughter
Should be kept as painless as possible.
Factory Farms are just no Good and should be done away with.

9:08AM PST on Mar 3, 2009

Anyone who says animals raised for food are not being mistreated or abused are total denial. anyone who knows anything about animals and says the way aniamls are treated on factory farms is humane does not know anything about an animal. When an animal is left penned in a stall or gestation cage 24 hours a day with nothing to do but stand and eat and potty dont say that animal is humanely treated. maybe some of the poeple who believe that raising animals for food is acceptable should a month in the same identical conditions the animals they eat are put in. Would you still feel raising animals for food is humane,ethical and ok? all animals feel pain, fear, and all emotions. dont try to ease your selfish desire to be a barbarian and eat animals by saying animals are meant for food, or that raising them for food is humane or ethical or acceptable. It is just the way it has been for so long poeple accept it. Was slavery ethical and acceptable? For centuries society tried to say it was,until a few enlightened poeple began to fight against it. Just because animals have been used for food for centuries doesnt make it right or acceptable.

6:24AM PST on Mar 3, 2009

guess what Carol and Beth; Did you know that women are treated as badly as animals? Animals cannot speak for themselves. You can. You must not think to highly of yourselves.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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