DAY 328: AND THE MYSTERY ANIMAL IS…..
Four legs, oink oink, ketchup, british policeman
Not so mysterious at all.
Or is it?
How much does the average person know about the average animal that they eat so regularly for their average breakfast?
I’ve decided that over the next few months I will tell the life of a typical pig from birth to death and the welfare issues associated with it. At this point I hear the click of departure to other blogs and to more entertaining animal fodder. Kitten dances to ABBA. Monkey sticks finger up bum.
But I want to strike a deal. If its true that the prevalence of intensive farming depends largely on ignorance (or denial) of what happens behind closed doors then the last thing I want is to make you turn away. You clearly CARE. Who will listen if not you?
I’m not travelling to India to see pigs attacked with hammers. I’m not going to tiny farms in remote Laos. I’m heading to good upstanding EU countries that are subjected to strict welfare laws far more rigid than in China or India or Brazil (where they kill far more pigs than in Europe). In return I hope you’ll carry on reading.I don’t want to seek out gore, I don’t want to show pictures of death or slaughter or one in a thousand cruelty. I want simple truths about what happens to a EU pig from birth to death. Should we not know?
Every year around 1 billion pigs are killed. Nearly half are killed in China but a large proportion of the rest in Europe, with Germany being the biggest consumer.
I will witness for you the life of one of the many millions of EU pigs. I will describe my emotions with honesty and I will show the good side of European farms as well as the not so good.
1) The first problem is that 90% of pigs that are farmed in Europe are intensively farmed. Which means living their lives indoors for a few months before they meat, I mean meet, their end. I’ve no doubt that many of you are vege/vegan or organic meat eaters. But clearly if I’m to do justice to a TYPICAL EU pig I have to spend a fair amount of time looking at typical intensive farms.
2) The second problem is: how on earth do I get access?
But first I’m going to go and meat, I mean meet, some happy pigs. I’m off to visit a wonderful woman in London who has two pet pigs and who knows about the animals and also abotu farming.
This may sound ridiculous but I figure if I don’t know pigs as individuals – what they are LIKE, then how can I begin to understand their emotional journey? A pig in Fulham is not an intensively farmed pig – but that is the point.
Come with me as we get to know pigs in all their guises.