These days I like to buy pork products that are raised locally to cut down on food miles, or to buy free range pork products.
That doesn’t get around many of the other issues of eating meat, but I am reducing meat consumption slowly – for humane reasons and for reasons relating to the environment.
I’m still finding it quite a challenge as I do very much enjoy having meat in my diet, but I had a little tap on the shoulder to help remind me of my commitment recently.
I was pulled up in a quiet spot on a country road when I heard a terrible ruckus in the distance. I can’t even describe the noise except that it sounded like screaming. A minute or so later, a truck appeared on the horizon, loaded with pigs. As it went by, the noise these animals were making was deafening.
The pig were really crammed into the trailer and I couldn’t help but feel a little disgusted in myself as I was eating a roast chicken roll at the time – made with chicken likely from a factory farm where the birds spend much of lives in cages or crammed into barns. A guilty pleasure just became plain guilt.
I know very little about pigs, but they didn’t really sound like cries of joy, more of blind panic. Pigs are far from being dumb animals, and even if they were, dumb animals feel pain and experience fear too.
The debate regarding the cognitive ability vs. intelligence in pigs rages on; but some people believe that pigs are the most intelligent creatures in the world after man.
Every time I’ve partaken of pork products since “the screaming of the pigs” incident, the sound has come back to me. It takes some of the enjoyment out of eating a cheese and bacon roll.
And that isn’t a bad thing.