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  • The more atheists tell me that pigs have more value than human babies (born or unborn), the more pigs I'm going to eat. Bring on the crates!! We've ...

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  • The "hot air" is the paper by McGee, not in organic farming. Please see the response of IFOAM - Organics International at www.foam.bio.

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  • I just ate a pork chop. Yummy. And i grew up on a farm and we put pigs in crates. Of course they can lie down in there. But lose sows often lie on their ...

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  • Translating Food Technology: Why do Nebraska ranchers still brand cattle?

    Why do ranchers still brand cattle?

    Q Seriously, I know Nebraska is a big cattle-ranching state, but this is not the wild, wild west anymore. But you still see cattle with brands burned into their hides? Why?

    A You're right. Branding young calves every spring carries remnants of the ranching heritage of cattle raising. But the practice also has an important purpose on today's ranches--so important that, according to USDA estimates, almost half of all cattle and calves across the nation are still branded.

    For more than 500 years, burning a distinguishing mark into the hide of large animals like cattle has been a common, easily visible means of distinguishing their ownership. That system of identification was--and still is--especially important in the western U.S. states, where cattle still graze on large areas of publicly owned lands. On those large tracts, it's not uncommon for cattle owned by one person to get mixed into herds owned by somebody else. Branding makes a quick and permanent way to separate those cattle out and return them to home herds.

    But in Nebraska, almost all our grazing land is privately owned, so that kind of mixing is less common. In Nebraska's case, although the purpose of branding remains to identify the owner of a herd, that identification is predominantly to help prevent modern-day cattle rustling.

    How big is the problem? The Nebraska Brand Comittee, a division of the state government tasked with overseeing cattle brand registrations and enforcement, reports that for the five-year period ending in 2013, the commission's hired criminal investigators brought 15 felony convictions over more than 400 cattle valued at $338,000, with an additional three cases pending over another 113 head. And although not all were stolen, the committee also reported it recovered 810 cattle for their owners between July 2015 and March 2016, valued at nearly $1.25 million, by using their brands.

    The recent record-high cattle prices have made cattle a lucrative target for thieves. Unlike the case with most stolen goods, which are typically sold for pennies on the dollar, if thieves can escape the eyes of brand investigators, those animals can usually be sold for full market value. That black market has led several states to tighten up their penalties and beef up their own brand-inspection systems. In December, Kansas formed a new office to investigate livestock theft. In Oklahoma, penalties for cattle theft now rival criminal assault, and a team of special rangers targets rustlers. Like 13 other states, Nebraska has brand inspection laws, requiring cattle sold in the western two-thirds of the state to be branded and that brand to be inspected by one of the agency's brand inspectors before cattle can be sold or hauled out of the region.

    Branding remains the only meaningful, permanent means to ensure cattle remain identified by owner. Plastic ear tags, the second most common method of identifying cattle, can be cut off or lost during grazing, leaving livestock auctions with little or no means of knowing that an animal has been stolen. Although branding is still done the old-fashioned way, using irons heated in a fire pit or barrel, other techniques have also been introduced, including electric branding irons and freeze branding, which uses extreme cold to kill the cells in the hide that produce pigment, rendering the brand in white.

    You can see all the brands registered in the state of Nebraska at the Brand Committee's online directory, here.

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  • Navigating the New Food Movement: Shocker! All is not golden in the urban farm movement

    All that glitters is not golden on the urban farm

    From visions of abandoned inner-city buildings giving way to gardens of heirloom tomatoes and edible flowers to surburban developments centered around truck farms rather than golf courses to skyscrapers with U-picks built into their walls to Eden-styled public fruit trees where anyone is free to forage for themselves, the vision of urban agriculture is common theme within today's new food movement, "not just because it tastes better but also because it builds community, helps with nutrition, generates economic development and can even offer food safety benefits," says a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette superfecta of wishful thinking.

    But the harsh light of economics could consign the city farm to passing fad.

    That's the implications a new study published in the British Food Journal suggests. This first attempt, according to the authors, to systematically examine U.S. urban agriculture at the farm level used data obtained from 370 farmers responding to a 2012 national survey of urban farms located around the country.

    The study found that similar to U.S. rural farms, most urban farms in the survey sample were small. For all farms, average sales amounted to a respectable $54,000; however, several farms raising high-value, premium-priced crops in climate-controlled greenhouses that reported sales above $750,000 skew the average upward. Remove those high-sale farms from the average, and the median urban sold only about $5,000 in produce per year.

    Of the total number of survey respondents, 94 reported their farm as operating as a nonprofit, which comprised 33 percent of those responding to questions about business organization. For approximately one-third of all urban farms in the sample, the primary farmer reported earning a living from the farm. There was no statistical difference in the farmer’s ability to earn a living between the nonprofit and market-oriented urban farms, the authors report.

    For now, the boom in urban agriculture is being driven by government grant money, non-profit status and over-reliance on volunteer labor. In the long-term, with so few urban farmers making a living, one of the study authors told the online e-zine CityLab,  “I wonder if 10 years down the line, people will be tired of working really hard without making a good living. I wonder if urban farming might just be a passing trend that fades into the background.”

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  • Foresight on Food Politics: The trouble with food deserts

    Does Nebraska have a food deserts problem? One legislator wants to find out

    Two related legislative actions this session attemped to get their hands around the issue of "food deserts" in Nebraska, those areas the U.S. Department of Agriculture has deemed are under-served by retail outlets capable of providing healthy, affordable food, leaving residents there at higher risk of obesity and other diet-related health problems. Lincoln Senator Matt Hansen's LB 945 would have directed $150,000 annually for the next two years toward economic-development grants aimed not only grocery stores, but also farmers’ markets, food cooperatives and community gardens. LB 945 stalled in committee, based on the objections of, among others, NGIA Executive Secretary Kathy Siefken, who argued the bill could actually exacerbate the problem it was meant to solve. Funding food cooperatives or farmers’ markets that compete with small rural grocery stores operating on already thin margins, she said, could drive even more retail outlets out of business.

    Hansen followed up with another resolution, minus the pricetage, calling for the legislature's ag committee to study the issue and report back to the legislature along with recommendations. The study would look at existing scientific literature and consult with experts to identify factors that limit access to healthy, affordable food, look for  public and private initiatives that can stimulate private investment in grocery and "other food-sourcing enterprises," inventory public and private money to combat the problem, and examine the role of public and private stakeholders in the issue.

    The idea of food deserts, as Farmer Goes to Market has reported before, has an intuitive attraction, according to University of Arkansas ag economist Di Zeng. With a supermarket difficult to get to in those areas, residents presumably obtain and consume more energy-dense, unhealthy foods from convenience stores and fast food restaurants, resulting in poorer diet quality and more obesity. It's a narrative that's become conventional wisdom in the new food movement and was reflected in Hansen's comments in support of the initial funding bill. USDA says millions of Americans now live within one of these low-income pockets of limited food access, and Hansen claims 325,000 Nebraskans live in such food deserts, disproportionately affecting low-income and minority communities.

    But how certain are those numbers?

    An extensive review of the literature in the May 2015 issue of the journal Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy attempts a more exhaustive examination of the reasons why nobody has yet successfully established a meaningful definition of food deserts nor even how to measure one. Even the definition of what it means to lack access to healthy food remains elusive. In the review, a team of economists from USDA argue too much of the focus has been placed on the amount of distance between healthy food sources and low-income citizens, and too much attention has been paid to the resources consumers have to get to stores and buy once there. Their list of what's wrong with measuring food deserts includes these holes:

    1. Too much emphasis on geography and not enough on individuals

    Focusing only on low-income areas and neighborhoods implies that everyone in the same area has the same access to healthy food, which isn't necessarily true. And because results can be easily changed by the way the geographic data is sliced, it's often too easy to juggle the numbers to correlate with the outcome you want, the researchers say. Although some individual-level measures of food access like Gallup Polls have been tried and "are a step in the right direction," the need for more individualized data about food access is still lacking.

    2. Over-emphasis on low-income areas

    Although the intentions may be good in targeting public dollars to areas that may have high concentrations of individuals who face food access barriers, the poverty level of a neighborhood doesn't always accurately predict supermarket proximity. In fact, the review authors note, because higher-income areas are typically less population-dense than low-income ones, poorer residents within those higher-income blocks could be more likely to be too far from a healthy food retail outlet. Using some of the current estimates, in fact, of the estimated 2.3 million households that are located more than one mile from a supermarket and do not have a vehicle to get there, 1.4 million live in moderate- and higher-income areas, while only 900,000 are in low-income areas

    3. It all may be relative

    One of the most important holes in the research that leads to criticism of food-desert definitions is the uncertainty whether relatively poorer access to healthy food sources really translates into inadequate access. For example, one relative measure of poor food access compares the relative square footage of grocery retail space per person in a neighborhood against with the average square footage of grocery retail space per person for a whole city. In order to justify such a relative measure of access as meaingful, you have to assume that having relatively unequal access to healthy food means anything in terms of absolute deprivation of access to healthy foods. We really don't know whether those two follow, the researchers argue.

    4. Definitions may be painted with an overly broad brush

    Over-generalized and sweeping definitions of poor food access by geography brush aside vast differences across the country in factors we know affect food access: factors like population density, vehicle availability, natural and man-made barriers to access and availability of roads, sidewalks and public transportation, to name only a few. For example, under USDA's original definition of food desert, people in rural areas must be 10 miles from a store before they are considered low-access, while in urban areas the distance is only 1 mile. Rural populations as a whole may have greater access to vehicles, but USDA's  measure does not consider vehicle availability. Obviously, any household in a rural area without a vehicle and located more than one mile from a store would likely have just as much trouble accessing food as their urban counterpart, yet they would not be considered in a food desert by that definition.

    5. Store square footage may be meaningless

    One of the common food-desert measurements, square footage of grocery per capita in an area--typically less than 3 square feet of grocery retail per person--may be one of the most meaningless. It assumes availability of healthy food falls when square footage falls, which is not a safe assumption, they argue. What if store space grows for a region, for example, but more space is  devoted to non-grocery goods or larger-sized products? In fact, according to one study they cite, that 3-square-feet food-desert threshold would mean the entire city of New York qualifies as food desert.

    6. Need doesn't equal store viability, and vice-versa

    Methods of measuring food deserts that compare estimated demand within an area against actual grocery sales are likely to underestimate the real need in some areas even while overestimating the need in others.

    7. “Adequate” and “inadequate” are judgement calls

    To be useful in making policy decisions, food-desert distinctions have to eventually be turned into actionable numbers, they note. Yet how the meaningful numbers are distinguished from the trivial ones are "not always obvious." Distinctions like distance from a store and vehicle availability "may be reaonsable from an empirical standpoint," they write, "may have precedent in literature, and may be conceptually straightforward; but they are, ultimately, judgments."

    8. General holes in assumptions

    Attempts to gauge the level and importance of food deserts are hampered by general limitations like availability of accurated lists of stores in an area, vast differences in food offerings across stores, presence of non-traditional outlets like dollar stores and pharmacies, and the reality that low-income shoppers in low-access areas may be just like all other consumers--they may shop where food is cheapest and not where the analysis says they should. All those factors confound attempts to easily define a food desert and its meaning.

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  • Competitive Commodity Information: Is whole milk staging a comeback?

    Is whole milk about to make a comeback?

    For decades, government health advisors told millions to cut whole milk from their diets in favor of skim. School lunch programs followed dutifully, dumping whole milk in favor of low- and no-fat, often flavored with added sugars to increase palatability and lure kids back to drinking it.

    Could it all have been a mistake?

    That reality may be the conclusion of several recent studies looking at large populatons to study possible links between full-fat dairy consumption, weight and risk of disease. In a new study in the medical journal Circulation, Tufts University epidemiologist  Dariush Mozaffarian analyzed blood samples of 3,333 adults over a period of 15 years. Mozaffarian and colleagues tested the samples for three compounds that indicated full-fat dairy consumption, in order to get around the notorious problem with similar studies of simply asking people to remember what they ate and drank. When they looked at the actual indicators of fat consumption based on the blood tests, they found subjects with the higher levels of the full-fat compounds on average were 46 percent less likely to get diabetes than people with lower levels.

    Why the seemingly paradoxical result occured is uncertain, he reports, although he theorizes natural trans fat in the high-fat dairy products may improve the body's ability to use insulin more efficiently in managing blood sugar.

    Another new study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that diets recommending low-fat and fat-free dairy foods as well as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats, nuts, seeds and legumes in order to combat high blood pressure can can be modified to include whole milk, yogurt and cheese without sacrificing health benefits. In the randomized trial, researchers modified those meal plans, which despite their health benefits often suffer from non-compliance with consumers, by replacing fat-free and low-fat dairy foods with whole-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, in conjunction with a 12 percent reduction in simple sugars from fruit juices.

    The results of the study showed blood pressure was similarly improved when participants followed the standard or the whole-fat dairy eating plan, compared with the control diet. In addition, the whole-fat dairy eating plan did not increase total cholesterol or LDL-C levels, despite a 6 percent higher saturated fat intake than the standard.

    A separate study published in the American Journal of Nutrition, compared the effects of full-fat and low-fat dairy on obesity and found that among more than 18,000 women, those who consumed the most high-fat dairy products lowered their risk of being overweight or obese by 8 percent.

    “I think these findings together with those from other studies do call for a change in the policy of recommending only low-fat dairy products,” Tuft's Mozaffarian told TIME magazine. “There is no prospective human evidence that people who eat low-fat dairy do better than people who eat whole-fat dairy.”

    The good health news notwithstanding, it may be premature to predict a rush to the whole-fat section of the dairy case.

    Consumption of whole milk has been on the decline for decades. Whole milk sales have fallen more than 61 percent since 1975, to a low of 14 billion pounds last year. Over that same period, 2 percent milk sales have more than doubled, while  1 percent and nonfat milk sales have increased by nearly three times. However, the whole-milk decline is part of a wider drop in fluid milk sales. On average, Americans today drink 37 percent less milk than they did 45 years ago, according to data from the USDA. While milk used to be the beverage of choice, Americans have reduced its share of the fluid market in favor of more options. And prospects for improvement aren't promising. The biggest declines in milk consumption over that time period came in the 2-year-old to 11-year-old and 12- to 19-year-old demographics.

     

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  • Meet your Farmers: The worm farmer of Lincoln

    Jeremiah Picard manages Lincoln's Big Red Worms, a non-profit venture of the Nebraska Farmers Union. His 300-head herd of worms has grown into the millions, using discarded food waste from local school cafeterias and an intensive process known as vermiculture to create healthy soil for local farmers and gardners, while reducing some of the load on local landfills.

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  • On the Lighter Side: Steve Harvey on the value of life's bumps and bruises

    When you're standing lonely on the cliff of life, watching others soar by you, says poster child for the American dream Steve Harvey, sometimes you just have to jump, taking the bumps and bruises as they come. Done right, he says, the pain is worth it.

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Translating Food Technology: Why Would Pig Farmers Insist on Using 'Gestation Crates?'

Why do pig farmers use gestation crates?The last 45 days have seen a line of announcements by food retailers and quick-service restaurant chains that they would soon begin to deman their pork suppliers phase out the use of "gestation crates," individual stalls in which pregnant and newly delivered sows are housed. Spurred by criticism from animal rights groups that the practice is cruel, Smithfield Foods, the country's largest pork farm, first announced in 2007 it would gradually abandon the practice over a 10-year period. Animal-rights groups have lobbied heavily against the practice, often successfully. Ballot initiatives banning sow stalls have passed in many states, and threat of action has led to voluntary agreements to cease their use in other states and Canada. Although Smithfield had earlier backed off on its promise because it was facing financial hardship, Smithfield President and CEO Larry Pope said the company’s hog operations had converted housing for 30 percent of its sow herd and was now back on track to meet the 2017 goal.

Since March, Wendy's, Burger King, Safeway, Sonic, Denny's, McDonalds, Cracker Barrel and Kroger have all released statements in conjunction with the Washington-based animal-rights group Humane Society of the United States announcing they plan to pressure pork suppliers to abandon the practice.

“Kroger believes that a gestation crate-free environment is more humane and that the pork industry should work toward gestation crate-free housing,” said that company in a press release co-authored in early June with HSUS.

“Kroger’s has taken a very important step for animal welfare in declaring that the pork industry must find an exit strategy for its use of gestation crates,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of  HSUS.

Faced with the continual barrage of negative media fanned by HSUS and other animal-rights advocates, grocers and their customers may rightly ask, if so many people believe the practice of crating pigs is inhumane, why do most farmers still use them?

1. It makes indoor housing practical. First, many critics are correct when they say sow stalls are a result of the indoor housing pig farmers evolved toward in the 1970s and 1980s. However, their criticism doesn’t necessarily mean indoor housing is a bad thing—most farmers moved their pigs indoors because they believed it benefited the animals, as well as the caretakers. Indoor housing made sense because it protected both animals and farmers from weather, predators, parasites, and also because it made animal performance both better and more predictable (Pigs left outdoors typically use about a quarter of the feed they eat just to keep warm in winter, for example.)

Once farmers moved pregnant sows indoors, though, they found the traditional group housing for pregnant sows that sufficed in mud barnyards didn’t work well indoors. So they turned to individual housing as the practical solution.

2. It protects individuals from the animal's natural aggression. Why didn't that group housing work for sows housed indoors? Like people who push and crowd to get on a bus where only a few seats are empty, yet will be relaxed and courteous when they know seats are available, sows will fight, wound, and even kill one another when they think their access to feed is at risk. When farmers move 350- to 550-pound bred sows--which are only normally fed a set amount of feed once daily to control their weight--into indoor group pens, sows begin to anticipate the feed delivery, understand there will only be a set amount to go around, and begin to fight for the lion’s share of it. As a result, weaker sows will be injured, as well as be starved of their allotted feed portion. At the same time, the "boss" sows will eat too much, making them overly fat, which will eventually harm their ability to give birth to and feed a healthy set of baby pigs.

By instead training sows to eat in individual stalls before putting them into groups, farmers are in effect training them that fighting doesn’t earn them any additional feed. Each individual is ensured the correct amount of feed and the ability to eat it in peace and safety.

3. It improves the farmer's ability to manage individual animals. It would be disingenuous not to recognize that individually confining animals does also improve the farmer’s ability to manage them, by making it easier and quicker to give them medications, check their condition, and perform other tasks. However, the additional expense of crating sows (it is more expensive to build individual crates than group-housing pens) likely couldn’t justify those management concerns; the predominant reason is to prevent group fighting. Stalling is a trade-off between full mobility and reassurance of feed.

It works, but is it right?

So the question becomes, is it right or wrong to force these trade-offs on an animal? The late Dr. Stan Curtis, who spent his career at University of Illinois studying questions of how animals think and the effect of modern envorinments on them, believed it was. Before his death last year, Curtis was vocally critical of today’s animal behaviorists who conclude that assessing an animal’s well-being based on the animal’s “feelings” was a valid method of assessing the cruelty of practices like gestation crates.

“As long as we can’t yet measure how a pig feels, let alone measure the depth of any such feeling—which everyone agrees we can’t do—we can only speculate, surmise, analogize and anthropomorphize,” Curtis said. In other words, according to Curtis, what humans feel when they see a sow in a crate speaks only to how that human would feel were that human confined in a crate. It says nothing about how the sow feels. Farming decisions can’t be based on those human feelings. “What we cannot do is know, set thresholds, define limits or draw lines. How then is it reasonable to expect producers to manage pigs on that basis?”

To Curtis and those who follow his thinking, the only accurate measure we have of whether the animal is suffering in a crate is what he called the “Performance Axiom:” The best single set of measurable—and manageable—indicators of an animal’s state of being will be how well it produces and reproduces compared to its predicted potential. “When bodily resources become limited because a pig is in a situation requiring extraordinary adaptation, productive processes will be the first to decrease. We can measure that. Reproductive functions will be next. We can measure that. Maintenance processes, which ensure survival, last. These observed reductions in measurable performance traits are the earliest, most sensitive indicators that a pig’s well-being has been disturbed—much more sensitive than behavioral patterns that may indirectly signify some emotional reaction,” he said.

And the research shows that although both group housing and individual crating have advantages and disadvantages, sows peform as well or better in crates than they do in stalls, as long as both systems are managed well. Paul Sundberg, a veterinarian and vice-president of science and research for the National Pork Board, summed it up well in a Washington Post article. “The key to sow welfare isn't whether they are kept in individual crates or group housing,” he said, “but whether the system used is well managed. "[S]cience tells us that [a sow] doesn't even seem to know that she can't turn ... She wants to eat and feel safe, and she can do that very well in individual stalls."

What do you think about the issue? Leave a comment and get some discussion started with your fellow grocers.

Comments   

 
-5 #23 Harry 2015-12-05 17:46
The more atheists tell me that pigs have more value than human babies (born or unborn), the more pigs I'm going to eat. Bring on the crates!! We've become a sick German 1939esque culture when we value hotdogs over human babies.
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-4 #22 I. M. Carnivore 2015-07-26 02:53
I just ate a pork chop. Yummy. And i grew up on a farm and we put pigs in crates. Of course they can lie down in there. But lose sows often lie on their piglets, crushing or sufficating them. A nasty way to die. The sow is only in there unti the piglets are weaned. We used to raise em in fields. They would be sick and eat other sows babies and fight and injure each other and in a bad winter freeze to death once in a while. So we felt like we were treating them much better when we got em inside. We liked our pigs and treated em well. But one thing we couldnt abide was to watch someone cut a head of lettuce of at the neck, chop it up and eat it raw. Now that is cruel!
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+4 #21 Max 2015-04-01 23:08
No, dismissing animal feelings because we "do not know" is unjust. But just for the record, surmounting evidence illustrates that animals have feelings. Our instincts allow us to feel sorry for animals when we see that pain is inflicted upon them. Precautions must be made if we are unsure.

Aggression can be easily managed in small group housing. Isolation is cruel. Extreme confinement is cruel. You cannot justify forcing an animal into a space in which he/she is unable to turn around or walk forward or backward.

That is agony for any animal that is even slightly sentient. And pigs are very intelligent.

"Farming decisions can’t be based on those human feelings. “What we cannot do is know... or draw lines. How then is it reasonable to expect producers to manage pigs on that basis?” It is quite reasonable to expect producers to manage pigs as beings with feelings.
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-6 #20 Justin 2015-03-10 05:21
>>The fact that the sows bite the crates shows they are in deep distress

You are correct. The fact that they are biting the crates does show distress. However, it is not mental distress, it is dietary distress. Biting metal bars is a common habit among pigs who are deficient in key nutrients. In their mind, they think they can make up for that deficiency by getting minerals, such as iron which they can taste, out of the metal. Any knowledgeable farmer knows that that habit is a sign of a nutritional deficiency. So by properly managing the diet of the sows, the action of biting the crates can be eliminated.
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-8 #19 Larry Elias 2015-01-23 16:37
Thanks for your insightful and educational articles. Farmers and producers who make a career out of working with animals have a much better understanding of the animals than those who think of animals as "morally significant individuals with rights."
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-1 #18 Jessica Howe 2015-01-21 00:00
The fact that the sows bite the crates shows they are in deep distress
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+2 #17 Nancy Poznak 2015-01-13 18:10
The problem starts with making an animal a commodity; it's worth is reduced to its' financial worth. The entire system of animal agriculture is based upon making animals into commodities. The moment and animal becomes a commodity it loses its freedom and is ultimately put into harm's way. Methods of raising pigs which allow them some freedom of movement do exist, and can be cost-effective. However, atrocities are still committed against pigs (an all commercial animals): castration, tail docking, ear punctures - all with no pain relief. Piglets not performing well are brutally killed. How do you get a pig out of the gestation crate when sending to slaughter? Do you tickle her belly? Do you gently find ways to hoist her up because she cannot walk after being imprisoned for months, or years? For those who consider it "normal and acceptable' to kill animals for food, would YOU be able to slit the animal's throat, watch the blood and life leave their body, look into its eyes and still feel this process 'normal and acceptable'?
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+1 #16 Jean 2015-01-08 18:09
my parents in law fed pigs in their village many years ago. It's not a big room, but definitely they can turn and walk for a few steps. Look at the environment now, to make more money, what did people do to pig, chickens,cows. A lot of people talked about food safety, but the root of all the the problem is human's moral standard dropped so quickly in this few decades, it's not only the problems of the farmer. That is the issue of the whole world I believe. eve rybody need to improve yourself from the inner, that the way to change the world.
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+7 #15 M. Graham 2014-12-25 13:28
Gestation crates are unbelievably inhumane. Imagine yourself living in a crate so small that you cannot even turn around, and being continually impregnated. Pigs are incredibly smart and sensitive animals. These are LIVING BEINGS we are talking about here. This is about nothing but profit. Period. Factory "farm" pig "farmers" can spin all the narratives they want to try to excuse this abomination against creation, but the bottom line is that this treatment of God's creatures is nothing but evil. And for those of you who support this abomination against innocent creatures, and believe in God, you're really kidding yourselves if you think you are not going to pay for this. If Americans had even the smallest bit of a conscience, they would simply boycott the entire industry. But we are a nation of people so bereft of any moral compass, and so sold to the god of profit, that we will lie ourselves into the inferno rather than face the truth of our own complicity in this inconceivable violence against living beings, whose cries in the vacuum of our collective deafness go unheard.
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+8 #14 Nancy S Poznak 2014-12-03 03:04
The intelligence of pigs is well-documented by scientists who study them. They are now known to be among the top four most intelligent nonhuman species. Read this article: http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/pigheaded-smart-swine/ - not that you need to as you are most likely aware of how smart they are. I have seen many pictures and videos of sows in gestation crates. They obviously suffer. One does not have to be a veterinarian or farmer to see this. Only an idiot would deny the fact they suffer. The reason sows' aggression becomes a problem is because they have been placed into a completely unnatural environment. Pig farming must change and become far more kind to the pigs if it wants to stay in business.
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