Over the last few days, we’ve participated in the slaughter and butchering of two full-grown saddleback pigs, Bubble and Squeak. These pigs lived a good life. They had plenty of room to run, root, and wallow in the mud. They had shelter from the rain and shade from the sun. They ate vegetables multiple times every day. They lived and died so that we could slaughter them humanely and eat their meat.
This is a stark contrast to the life of an animal raised in a factory farm. They spend every minute of their life confined in a box so small that they can’t turn around, sleeping in their own shit and piss, and being force-fed a cocktail of chemicals designed to get them to optimal size as quickly as possible. You may think that the villains here are the owners and operators of factory farms, but they’re simply providing us with a product that we’ve asked for: cheap meat.
The real criminals are the consumers, loading their grocery carts with beef and ham that’s easy on the wallet at the cost of cruelty. Is your conscience really only worth the few extra dollars that it costs to buy from your local independent farmer? Does convenience trump morality? I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been guilty of these crimes every week of my life, until now.
I’m happy to pledge that, beginning today, I won’t buy or eat meat of questionable provenance ever again. It’s a difficult step to take, but it’s the right one. It means that, when ordering at a restaurant or dining at a friend’s home, I’ll have to awkwardly ask if the meat they’re serving is humanely raised. If enough people ask, restaurants will be forced to buy better meat. Perhaps in the meantime I’ll be eating a lot of salad, but that’s not a terrible option. The alternative is far more disgusting.
Will you join me?