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How to save Britain’s pig farms We should ban the import of EU pork

Would seeing this turn you vegan? Credit: Getty Images

Would seeing this turn you vegan? Credit: Getty Images


January 2, 2023   5 mins

Did you pig out on pigs in blankets this Christmas? Or perhaps you had a traditional roast pork joint with apple sauce for New Year’s Day lunch? The British pig farming industry will certainly hope so, after suffering two of its worst financial years ever. Which is saying something. I started keeping pigs 20 years ago, and exigency is the old normal.

But 2022 was a perfect (pig) shit storm. Thanks in part to the Ukraine War, the price of wheat — a main ingredient in compound pig feed — hit historic highs. Then there was the 400% hike in energy costs, and before that a post-Brexit shortage of abattoir workers causing a backlog of 200,000 pigs on farms. Some UK farmers were forced to cull their pigs: 40,000 were “euthanised” and dumped in the ground. Currently, producers face a loss of circa £30 per pig sold. Their estimated cumulative losses since autumn 2020 is £600 million, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Unsurprisingly, many pig farmers are voting with their wellies, and exiting the industry. The proof is in the contraction of the national herd. According to Defra’s June survey, the total number of pigs in England decreased by 3% to just over 4.1 million animals, a 20-year low. The figure masks a more disturbing fact: the number of breeding animals — the future of the industry — is down by 17%.

You might think, therefore, that the news that the global food company Danish Crown is building a state-of-the-art bacon plant in Rochdale would bring a festive smile to the face of the nation’s pig farmers. After all, if Danish Crown is investing ÂŁ100 million, and promising to produce more than 900 tonnes of bacon and gammon a week, they must believe that the domestic industry has a viable future? Alas, no. Jais Valeur, chief executive, has admitted that the plant will mainly process
 Danish pigs. Not much of a Christmas present for domestic producers.

About 60% of the pork consumed in the UK already comes from other countries, principally in the EU bloc. Imported pork is cheaper, meaning it pushes down the price of home-reared meat. AHDB data shows that, in the first seven months of 2022, pork imports were up by nearly 80,000 tonnes, around 20%, compared with 2021. (And this is only the figure for registered meat imports; Dover Port Health Authority seized 2.5 tonnes of illegal pork products from 22 vehicles in a single weekend in October.) You might feel that imported pork — as much as 25% cheaper than native product — is a good thing in a cost-of-living crisis. After you bring home the bacon, you can get more bacon. And aren’t animal welfare standards higher on EU farms anyway? This is the implication of the RSPCA’s constant claims that animal welfare will be “lost” now we have left the EU.

Alas, the notion that farm livestock are better off in the EU bloc is a porky pie. Certainly, the Brussels Pig Directive burgeons with imperatives, but animal welfare inside the EU tends to be honoured in the breach rather than the observance. Sow stalls (metal cages) were outlawed in the UK years ago, but the EU still allows it, from the weaning of one litter until the end of the sows’ first four weeks of the next pregnancy. New-born pigs deemed too weak to survive are smashed upon the floor — a lawful killing method according to the EU Slaughter Regulation.

And enforcement of the Pig Directive — which forbids “tail-docking, tooth-clipping and tooth-grinding likely to cause immediate pain and some prolonged pain to pigs” — has become nigh on impossible in EU factory farms. Although tail-docking has been prohibited throughout the EU since 1994, it is routine in all countries in the bloc, with the exception of Finland and Sweden, and depends on the complicity of governments and veterinary services. The European Commission’s own audit found an overwhelming majority of pigs in the EU are tail-docked. France was even called to order by the European Commission in 2020, to no avail: 99% of French pig farms still dock the tails of piglets. It took a French provincial judge, not the ElysĂ©e, to even fire a warning shot against the country’s insistence on the practice: in April the criminal court in Moulins fined a pig farm supplying the Herta brand €50,000. The court considered the systematic docking of animals “to be an act of abuse”.

The EU also authorises the feeding of Processed Animal Protein (PAP) to pigs, which may not be to the taste of UK consumers. Indeed, the British government has banned it, since it is though that contaminated meat protein in pig swill started the 2001 Foot-and-Mouth epidemic. These less stringent EU welfare regulations are a direct contributory factor in making EU pig meat cheaper than pork produced here in the UK. But at what cost?

That’s not to say the EU has never intervened actively in pig farming. In fact, in 2019, it used €7.5 million of taxpayers’ money to finance its “Let’s talk about pork” advertisements promoting the continental industry. The campaign, in response to under-35s decreasing their pork consumption over concerns about animal welfare and the environment, aims “to demystify the various information that has been targeting the sector, by showing the conditions of production in the farms with scrupulous respect for the highest standards of animal welfare”. The ad campaign depicts happy, curly-tailed pigs in conditions that are nothing like the reality on the EU’s thousands of factory farms.

Yet, if porcine welfare is superior on UK farms, it is far from ideal. Last year the Government’s Food Standards Agency found that almost 3,000 pigs arrived at abattoirs with broken limbs, emaciation, lameness and prolapses. Hundreds were dead on arrival. Piglets on RSPCA-backed farms, according to The Independent, were given electric shocks, hit, kicked and thrown as they were loaded onto lorries.

The UK, then, will not escape the wider European trend: a downturn in the pig industry caused by factory farming conditions that consumers no longer accept. Here, 60% of sows and nearly all fattening pigs are kept indoors in concrete or slatted floor pens, and are unable to express their natural rooting behaviour. The UK slaughtered about 11 million pigs in 2021; of these a mere 32,000 were qualified for the organic label, meaning the fullest welfare conditions and a free-range, outdoor life.

The treatment of pigs is the pig industry’s real problem, not today’s high grain prices, or the long-term reluctance of supermarkets to pay a fair price or even the numberless failed government promises of aid. Although bacon and sausage sales remain buoyant — due to the great Full English Breakfast, the UK has the highest consumption of bacon per capita in Europe, 3kg of the product per annum — pork consumption overall declined 7.5% between 2014-2019. While pig farmers religiously follow wheat prices, and the stats on All Pig Price (APP), the real stat they need to ponder is the rise of veganism.

According to data by digital tree-planting platform Treedom, of 2,000 people surveyed in December, a fifth ditched turkey and pigs in blankets, opting instead for a plant-based Christmas lunch. And the vast majority of vegans, 89%, say they have made the lifestyle switch because “I think the way animals are farmed and killed for food is cruel”. Retailers are starting to respond to demand: to “fulfil the nation’s hunger for vegan food”, Aldi is launching its biggest range of plant-based food for the forthcoming ‘Veganuary’, the annual much-hyped campaign for a “vegan world”. Aldi is wading into a crowded market; last Veganuary more than 1,540 new vegan products and menus were launched.

If the British pig industry does not want to end up in a slaughterhouse of its own making, it needs to end factory farming, improve welfare to organic levels, and put pigs on a main diet of natural forage and crop waste, rather than soy and cereals that contribute to deforestation and loss of wildlife habitats. The result is happy pigs, and a happier farm balance sheet. (Our pigs, by rootling in woodland, orchards, and crop fields following harvest, have found as much as 50% of their food for free.) This sustainable, free-range and ethical system needs to be safeguarded by the introduction of a ban on the import of all products to welfare standards lower than the UK. Anything less will be putting lipstick on a pig.


John Lewis-Stempel is a farmer and writer on nature and history. His most recent books are The Sheep’s Tale and Nightwalking.

JLewisStempel

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Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I’m very skeptical that the problems facing the British pork industry is the treatment of animals. Most people don’t know how animals are treated and don’t care. They want cheap food.

This really caught my attention; “According to data by digital tree-planting platform Treedom, of 2,000 people surveyed in December, a fifth ditched turkey and pigs in blankets, opting instead for a plant-based Christmas lunch.”

Who the hell is Treedom and why would anyone believe a survey saying 20% of people are opting for plant-based food?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I would be more keen to know which if my acquaintances opted for a “plant-based Christmas lunch” so that I know who to avoid in future.

Evan Oakley
Evan Oakley
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

This is a sub-teenager level comment. Hahaha – those horrible people with actual consciences who walk the walk and strive to take personal responsibility to live their values through their personal choices. The implication behind your comment is that anyone who doesn’t eat meat or dairy must be an insufferable bore and scold – and/or that nothing they might choose to eat instead would be worth trying. But you’re the guy who is (for some interesting psychological reasons perhaps?) going out of your way to attack them for simply living their own humane values in their own homes. Either you are utterly callous or perhaps an actual sadist – or your conscience is bothering you a bit and this seemed a good opportunity to default to appealing to the crowd for a cheap chuckle at those people who dare care about the suffering of thinking, feeling animals other than humans (you may not care much for other humans either, idk). You’re engaging in ad hominem ridicule and dismissal of anyone who takes seriously the suffering of other species while having no moral counter argument to offer.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Oakley

Scolded the insufferable bore.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Oakley

“horrible people with actual consciences who walk the walk”
Funnily enough, the few vegan samples I know all have a higher carbon footprint, bigger cars / houses, way more frequent air travel….and not because I can’t afford those things.

But I guess they have actual, real, consciences and feel wonderful about themselves, so that’s great for you all!

And thanks for illustrating exactly why normal people like me prefer to avoid the wonderful company of those noble people.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Oakley

Scolded the insufferable bore.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Oakley

“horrible people with actual consciences who walk the walk”
Funnily enough, the few vegan samples I know all have a higher carbon footprint, bigger cars / houses, way more frequent air travel….and not because I can’t afford those things.

But I guess they have actual, real, consciences and feel wonderful about themselves, so that’s great for you all!

And thanks for illustrating exactly why normal people like me prefer to avoid the wonderful company of those noble people.

Evan Oakley
Evan Oakley
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

This is a sub-teenager level comment. Hahaha – those horrible people with actual consciences who walk the walk and strive to take personal responsibility to live their values through their personal choices. The implication behind your comment is that anyone who doesn’t eat meat or dairy must be an insufferable bore and scold – and/or that nothing they might choose to eat instead would be worth trying. But you’re the guy who is (for some interesting psychological reasons perhaps?) going out of your way to attack them for simply living their own humane values in their own homes. Either you are utterly callous or perhaps an actual sadist – or your conscience is bothering you a bit and this seemed a good opportunity to default to appealing to the crowd for a cheap chuckle at those people who dare care about the suffering of thinking, feeling animals other than humans (you may not care much for other humans either, idk). You’re engaging in ad hominem ridicule and dismissal of anyone who takes seriously the suffering of other species while having no moral counter argument to offer.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

We had a stuffed Christmas tree for lunch…

Evan Oakley
Evan Oakley
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

As opposed to your rigorous research on the topic? Maybe this survey was designed and conducted by the highest standards of social science. Maybe it has some flaws. And what are you doing? Just waving it away via your bare assertions about what “most people want/think”. What’s it to you if 20% of 2,000 people surveyed opted for a meal not based on inflicting needless agony and terror on countless animals just as smart (if not more so) and at least as emotionally complex and sensitive as the dogs and cats and other animals so many consider beloved members of the family?

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Oakley

We can only eat dead cells, cells which were once alive and thriving until they were cruelly killed for food. The cod, the carrot, the cow, the cabbage, the chicken, the cauliflower … all made of cells … get yourself a microscope and see the incredible complexity of these miracles and try to spot any differences.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Oakley

Look. Carnivores and omnivores eat animals. It’s simply what happens. I’m not some knuckle dragger who supports cruel treatment of animals.

Ultimately, I support whatever delivers healthy food to humans at the lowest cost. If we can avoid mistreating animals while doing this, you have my full support.

I am not going to take the time to discredit this survey. Intuitively I know it’s flawed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Veenbaas
Gordon Black
Gordon Black
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Oakley

We can only eat dead cells, cells which were once alive and thriving until they were cruelly killed for food. The cod, the carrot, the cow, the cabbage, the chicken, the cauliflower … all made of cells … get yourself a microscope and see the incredible complexity of these miracles and try to spot any differences.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Evan Oakley

Look. Carnivores and omnivores eat animals. It’s simply what happens. I’m not some knuckle dragger who supports cruel treatment of animals.

Ultimately, I support whatever delivers healthy food to humans at the lowest cost. If we can avoid mistreating animals while doing this, you have my full support.

I am not going to take the time to discredit this survey. Intuitively I know it’s flawed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Veenbaas
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I would be more keen to know which if my acquaintances opted for a “plant-based Christmas lunch” so that I know who to avoid in future.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

We had a stuffed Christmas tree for lunch…

Evan Oakley
Evan Oakley
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

As opposed to your rigorous research on the topic? Maybe this survey was designed and conducted by the highest standards of social science. Maybe it has some flaws. And what are you doing? Just waving it away via your bare assertions about what “most people want/think”. What’s it to you if 20% of 2,000 people surveyed opted for a meal not based on inflicting needless agony and terror on countless animals just as smart (if not more so) and at least as emotionally complex and sensitive as the dogs and cats and other animals so many consider beloved members of the family?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I’m very skeptical that the problems facing the British pork industry is the treatment of animals. Most people don’t know how animals are treated and don’t care. They want cheap food.

This really caught my attention; “According to data by digital tree-planting platform Treedom, of 2,000 people surveyed in December, a fifth ditched turkey and pigs in blankets, opting instead for a plant-based Christmas lunch.”

Who the hell is Treedom and why would anyone believe a survey saying 20% of people are opting for plant-based food?

Julian Mellentin
Julian Mellentin
1 year ago

A good article. The para about plant-based and vegan, however, is not correct. At most 3% of the UK population are vegan. Around 24% of people in the UK are ‘meat reducers’. That number has not increased since about 2020. Sales of plant-based meat substitutes are not rising. Sales actually fell by 6% in 2022, according to the supermarkets’ own sales data. Quorn, the biggest brand, experienced an 8% fall in sales. And around 50% of vegetarians eat chicken or fish, according to research we have seen from GfK (a pan-European research firm) and from our own customers. I write this as a food industry insider.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Mellentin
Julian Mellentin
Julian Mellentin
1 year ago

A good article. The para about plant-based and vegan, however, is not correct. At most 3% of the UK population are vegan. Around 24% of people in the UK are ‘meat reducers’. That number has not increased since about 2020. Sales of plant-based meat substitutes are not rising. Sales actually fell by 6% in 2022, according to the supermarkets’ own sales data. Quorn, the biggest brand, experienced an 8% fall in sales. And around 50% of vegetarians eat chicken or fish, according to research we have seen from GfK (a pan-European research firm) and from our own customers. I write this as a food industry insider.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Mellentin
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago

It should definitely be an option to have meat products that are based on more humanely treated, reared and culled animals. I would definitely opt for those products.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind a) those products will be more expensive and out of reach for the majority of the population and b) the meat industry can’t overnight switch. Practical considerations that the vegan brigade may not care about, but policymakers should.

Jeremy Hopwood
Jeremy Hopwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Not if you tax for downstream costs or hidden upstream costs at point of entry into the market. You then use those taxes to subsidise farming that supports good human and environmental health, thus levelling the pricing. It also maybe requires some consumer education on quality over quantity but easy access is the key

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Hopwood

Any process that involves tax, subsidy, price levelling and certain people deciding for everyone what constitutes “good human and environmental health”…. probably won’t work as well in reality as in theory!

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Hopwood

Any process that involves tax, subsidy, price levelling and certain people deciding for everyone what constitutes “good human and environmental health”…. probably won’t work as well in reality as in theory!

Jeremy Hopwood
Jeremy Hopwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Not if you tax for downstream costs or hidden upstream costs at point of entry into the market. You then use those taxes to subsidise farming that supports good human and environmental health, thus levelling the pricing. It also maybe requires some consumer education on quality over quantity but easy access is the key

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago

It should definitely be an option to have meat products that are based on more humanely treated, reared and culled animals. I would definitely opt for those products.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind a) those products will be more expensive and out of reach for the majority of the population and b) the meat industry can’t overnight switch. Practical considerations that the vegan brigade may not care about, but policymakers should.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago

Putting on one-side all the EU related discussion, I would suggest that livestock and food in general should always be locally sourced were possible. Likewise the animal feeds.
If nothing else, it greatly reduces the spread of disease, is more ecological, helps bio-diversity, and the short supply-chain is more secure.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago

Putting on one-side all the EU related discussion, I would suggest that livestock and food in general should always be locally sourced were possible. Likewise the animal feeds.
If nothing else, it greatly reduces the spread of disease, is more ecological, helps bio-diversity, and the short supply-chain is more secure.

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
1 year ago

So, apparently, in order to respond to consumer demand, we need to ban the products that the overwhelming majority of consumers choose to buy (i.e. the cheapest), because otherwise the type of product advocated in this article won’t be able to compete?

If the consumer really does want what the author says they do, and it willing to pay a premium for it, why is it necessary to ban the competition?

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

It’s not ‘ban the competition’; it’s ‘stop people treating animals cruelly’, isn’t it? Just because ’consumers’ want cheap food doesn’t mean they are entitled to have tortured animals to eat.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

Any government that is happy to import items that wouldn’t be allowed to be produced in their home country simply because they’d be cheaper is inept

Jeremy Hopwood
Jeremy Hopwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There I think you have it

Jim Nichols
Jim Nichols
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It sounds so simple, but I’m not sure it’s as easy as that.

For example, should we ban all goods produced in countries where workers are not paid the UK minimum wage? How far down the supply chain should we go before the end product is deemed tainted by some aspect that would not be legal in the UK?

And what happens when other countries do the same to us?

Unless you have full regulatory harmonisation worldwide, that principle would be incompatible with the vast majority of international trade.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nichols

Wages are a lot harder to allow for, as they can fluctuate with currency valuations and can even vary between different areas of the same country. You could perhaps apply tariffs to imports from countries with low wages to level the playing field but this could end up doing more harm than good sometimes.
Minimum standards however are much easier to enforce. Al imports have to be certified to confirm they meet the destination countries minimum standards on things such as health and safety (cars/electronics etc) so I see no reason why the same couldn’t apply to minimum animal welfare standards

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nichols

Wages are a lot harder to allow for, as they can fluctuate with currency valuations and can even vary between different areas of the same country. You could perhaps apply tariffs to imports from countries with low wages to level the playing field but this could end up doing more harm than good sometimes.
Minimum standards however are much easier to enforce. Al imports have to be certified to confirm they meet the destination countries minimum standards on things such as health and safety (cars/electronics etc) so I see no reason why the same couldn’t apply to minimum animal welfare standards

Jeremy Hopwood
Jeremy Hopwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There I think you have it

Jim Nichols
Jim Nichols
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It sounds so simple, but I’m not sure it’s as easy as that.

For example, should we ban all goods produced in countries where workers are not paid the UK minimum wage? How far down the supply chain should we go before the end product is deemed tainted by some aspect that would not be legal in the UK?

And what happens when other countries do the same to us?

Unless you have full regulatory harmonisation worldwide, that principle would be incompatible with the vast majority of international trade.

Richard Maslen
Richard Maslen
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

We just need more info – such as exactly where pigmeat comes from, how it is produced, in detail (farrowing crates eg), and the subsidy it earns at point of production. Then you can ponder veganism, which is unhealthy in terms, and would not survive without the livestock industry.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

It’s not ‘ban the competition’; it’s ‘stop people treating animals cruelly’, isn’t it? Just because ’consumers’ want cheap food doesn’t mean they are entitled to have tortured animals to eat.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

Any government that is happy to import items that wouldn’t be allowed to be produced in their home country simply because they’d be cheaper is inept

Richard Maslen
Richard Maslen
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

We just need more info – such as exactly where pigmeat comes from, how it is produced, in detail (farrowing crates eg), and the subsidy it earns at point of production. Then you can ponder veganism, which is unhealthy in terms, and would not survive without the livestock industry.

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
1 year ago

So, apparently, in order to respond to consumer demand, we need to ban the products that the overwhelming majority of consumers choose to buy (i.e. the cheapest), because otherwise the type of product advocated in this article won’t be able to compete?

If the consumer really does want what the author says they do, and it willing to pay a premium for it, why is it necessary to ban the competition?

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago

It’s easy to sympathise with the meat industry – ironically given everything in this article – caught between the rock of sacrificing welfare for competitiveness and the hard place of giving ammunition to the crazies who think they shouldn’t even exist when they do so.

FWIW the properly raised stuff is absolutely delicious, much less fatty and well worth the extra price – it is to supermarket premium labels what those labels are to the ‘basics’ ranges. Just a shame it’s so difficult to find.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

Where I live we are overrun by wild boar. It’s now quite common to find wild boar salami and hams on market stalls. The meat really is quite something else!

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

Where I live we are overrun by wild boar. It’s now quite common to find wild boar salami and hams on market stalls. The meat really is quite something else!

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago

It’s easy to sympathise with the meat industry – ironically given everything in this article – caught between the rock of sacrificing welfare for competitiveness and the hard place of giving ammunition to the crazies who think they shouldn’t even exist when they do so.

FWIW the properly raised stuff is absolutely delicious, much less fatty and well worth the extra price – it is to supermarket premium labels what those labels are to the ‘basics’ ranges. Just a shame it’s so difficult to find.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago

” “Laws are like sausages. It is best not to see them being made.””

Bismark

haha

Yea, it is a cruel world out there….. Nature is the coldest thing in all existence, as cold as a meteor in space.. I lived a fair number of years in remote camps, in wild places, and the beauty is great indeed – but the coldness – the utter lack of compassion, of care, of any human emotion, of love, – it weighs on you, remote wilds solitary… you feel that quality – there it is in all its astounding beauty, yet it is utterly cold to you and to all the life – it is like how true dark is the absence of light – true nature is the absence of compassion and love, of hate too – but it is cold – it just is hugeness and trillions of things are living, and suffering, and ultimately dieing of want or harm – and on it goes for ever…

I have always felt understanding of the Hindu God, Juggernaut. He drives a mighty wagon of huge mass, with giant stone wheels, and inexorable it keeps on rolling forward – crushing all life before it, extinguishing life, and then behind the wheels springs up new life, to grow, breed, live, suffer or thrive, and around Juggernaut passes again – eternally, The Great Wheel….

In nature a creature has, say 6 kits a year, may be one or thirty – but only two will make it to breed – the rest soon being lost to want and harm, as does the mother in her time, and it is not nice death, it is hard – life out there is hard…..

The farm is hard… yes, raised, cared for, and killed soon, maybe not so nicely – but not so bad either…. It all is The Great Wheel, and it is life, and the only way to stop this life which leads to death is to stop life. That is what the vegan believes is humane, to not farm animals, not have them live – I do not know really how that is better….

I have seen too much suffering in my time and it weighs on me – but I happily eat my pork, my chicken,,, it is the great wheel, and I will finish my turn one day….and I know how easy I have had it, and I try to remember to be thankful for all – there is great beauty in existence, and the Love we humans can feel – it is worth it all if one is not too unfortunate…. but it is hard…

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Just because nature can be cruel and unforgiving that doesn’t mean humans have to be. I’ll eat meat until the day I die but that doesn’t mean the animals should have to suffer in life before they’re killed

Pil Grim
Pil Grim
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Is/ought distinction just called, says he wants some recognition since he has been around for a few centuries.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Just because nature can be cruel and unforgiving that doesn’t mean humans have to be. I’ll eat meat until the day I die but that doesn’t mean the animals should have to suffer in life before they’re killed

Pil Grim
Pil Grim
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Is/ought distinction just called, says he wants some recognition since he has been around for a few centuries.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago

” “Laws are like sausages. It is best not to see them being made.””

Bismark

haha

Yea, it is a cruel world out there….. Nature is the coldest thing in all existence, as cold as a meteor in space.. I lived a fair number of years in remote camps, in wild places, and the beauty is great indeed – but the coldness – the utter lack of compassion, of care, of any human emotion, of love, – it weighs on you, remote wilds solitary… you feel that quality – there it is in all its astounding beauty, yet it is utterly cold to you and to all the life – it is like how true dark is the absence of light – true nature is the absence of compassion and love, of hate too – but it is cold – it just is hugeness and trillions of things are living, and suffering, and ultimately dieing of want or harm – and on it goes for ever…

I have always felt understanding of the Hindu God, Juggernaut. He drives a mighty wagon of huge mass, with giant stone wheels, and inexorable it keeps on rolling forward – crushing all life before it, extinguishing life, and then behind the wheels springs up new life, to grow, breed, live, suffer or thrive, and around Juggernaut passes again – eternally, The Great Wheel….

In nature a creature has, say 6 kits a year, may be one or thirty – but only two will make it to breed – the rest soon being lost to want and harm, as does the mother in her time, and it is not nice death, it is hard – life out there is hard…..

The farm is hard… yes, raised, cared for, and killed soon, maybe not so nicely – but not so bad either…. It all is The Great Wheel, and it is life, and the only way to stop this life which leads to death is to stop life. That is what the vegan believes is humane, to not farm animals, not have them live – I do not know really how that is better….

I have seen too much suffering in my time and it weighs on me – but I happily eat my pork, my chicken,,, it is the great wheel, and I will finish my turn one day….and I know how easy I have had it, and I try to remember to be thankful for all – there is great beauty in existence, and the Love we humans can feel – it is worth it all if one is not too unfortunate…. but it is hard…

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

Not reading. Conventional pig farming is one of the cruellest things humans do
. And the list of what atrocities humans are capable of is long. Pork will not cross my lips and has not done for many decades.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

Not reading. Conventional pig farming is one of the cruellest things humans do
. And the list of what atrocities humans are capable of is long. Pork will not cross my lips and has not done for many decades.

Charles Custard
Charles Custard
1 year ago

Having recently moved to Wiltshire, my wife and I, both pork lovers, were looking forward to great local produce. We are lucky enough to be able to afford to pay for premium products but so far we have found none so are considering getting it shipped up from our previously local farm in Sussex.

Charles Custard
Charles Custard
1 year ago

Having recently moved to Wiltshire, my wife and I, both pork lovers, were looking forward to great local produce. We are lucky enough to be able to afford to pay for premium products but so far we have found none so are considering getting it shipped up from our previously local farm in Sussex.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

As I write, there are two chops of pannage pork sitting in the kitchen awaiting their fate as Mrs D’s and my dinner. So I’m all in favour of eating pork from happy pigs. Perhaps I’m fortunate in having local sources of such food.
However, it’s disappointing to see a farmer yet again calling for food imports to be banned. Since there is no prospect of British farmers being able to supply more than 50% or so of the nation’s food, seeking to deny the less well-off affordable food from overseas in the middle of a cost of living crisis is self-serving special pleading of a high order.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

As I write, there are two chops of pannage pork sitting in the kitchen awaiting their fate as Mrs D’s and my dinner. So I’m all in favour of eating pork from happy pigs. Perhaps I’m fortunate in having local sources of such food.
However, it’s disappointing to see a farmer yet again calling for food imports to be banned. Since there is no prospect of British farmers being able to supply more than 50% or so of the nation’s food, seeking to deny the less well-off affordable food from overseas in the middle of a cost of living crisis is self-serving special pleading of a high order.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
1 year ago

I’m amazed to read that pork smuggling into Britain is big business

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
1 year ago

I’m amazed to read that pork smuggling into Britain is big business

Josh Loeb
Josh Loeb
1 year ago

You have omitted to mention the implications of the ban on using zinc oxide as a medicine for pigs. The ban has been introduced by the EU, ostensibly for environmental reasons, but is likely to lead to increased use of antibiotics on pig farms. The UK is following the EU in bringing in this ban – even though there is no evidence base justifying this in the UK, which thanks to Brexit could opt to diverge should it wish.

Josh Loeb
Josh Loeb
1 year ago

You have omitted to mention the implications of the ban on using zinc oxide as a medicine for pigs. The ban has been introduced by the EU, ostensibly for environmental reasons, but is likely to lead to increased use of antibiotics on pig farms. The UK is following the EU in bringing in this ban – even though there is no evidence base justifying this in the UK, which thanks to Brexit could opt to diverge should it wish.