Monday, May 12, 2008
I'm oinking out pork in my diet.
As some of you know, I have not eaten chicken in well over a year. With Vegetarian Week approaching next week, May 19-25, I am vowing to cut out pork this year. Pigs are as intelligent, if not more so, than dogs! And they receive some of the worst treatment on farms--they are kept in the smallest pens, castrated, force fed, essentially tortured only to be murdered, chopped up and shipped out to be put on your pizza.
It's fucking disgusting, to be honest, and I'm sad that ever I partook in it. As with any of my relinquishing, I do reserve the right to enjoy pork, as chicken (though I actually have not touched it), in certain key situations, such as fine dining or under re-assurance that the pig was essentially raised by a friend of mine on a nearby farm...etc.
I'll post some more info about vegetarianism and it's advantages, but for now I will just say that if you are a vegetarian, according to PETA, you save (on average) 100 animals a year. An alternative way to consider it is thinking of actually consuming 100 animals a year. That personally makes me feel ill.
For me to cut out chicken, all it took was to watch a film called "Our Daily Bread" which is an amazing documentary unlike any PETA video or "animal cruelty revealed" undercover thing. It's a film festival circuit documentary that I first saw at the Walker Art Center. It's a look at the food production methodology and industry in Europe, from pigs to fish to salt to nuts and grains. It shows machines and people working to produce what we eventually put in our mouths--some of the images beautiful, some disturbing, but the key feature that I adored about this film was its lack of narration. There is no direct, in-your-face message; the images speak for themselves.
Other facts about pigs/pork from PETA:
In the U.S., more than 97 percent of pigs—smart, social, interesting animals—are raised on factory farms. They spend their entire lives in cramped, filthy warehouses, where they never see the sun or breathe fresh air. Because of their hideous living conditions, more than 70 percent of the pigs have pneumonia by the time they are kicked and prodded onto trucks bound for slaughterhouses. As piglets, they are ripped away from their mothers when they are less than 1 month old and dosed with antibiotics, and they have their tails, teeth, and testicles cut off—all without any pain relief. But even that's not all that they go through.
Breeding sows are imprisoned (there's really no other word for it) in metal gestation crates so small that they can't even turn around or take a single step—many develop painful sores and bruises from being immobilized on a hard surface. Shortly after giving birth, they are forcibly impregnated again. This cycle continues for years until their bodies finally give out and the animals are sent to slaughter. After enduring these hellish conditions for years, squealing pigs are poked, kicked, and dragged onto trucks so that they can be sent to slaughter.
Something to consider.