The truth about pigs ; Did you know that pigs are highly loving, gentle and intelligent animals that are equally as sociable as dogs and have the intelligence that surpasses a three year old child? They develop strong bonds when raised by people and those who keep them as pets have noted them as being naturally very clean, smart, loyal, and social beings. But tragically, 115 million pigs are killed each year. Baby pigs routinely have their tails sliced off with wire clippers and their teeth removed and when pig are not profitable due to their small size, it is common practice to smash their head against a concrete floor to kill them off. Pigs are usually stunned and then knifed or gassed to death in chambers. But due to improper stunning methods of killing, many pigs are still alive and conscious when they are dumped into scalding-hot hair-removal tanks meeting their deaths highly distressed and in a state of terror. Female pigs will be used to produce babies so more meat can be produced. These females are kept in metal confinement units which are so small that they can’t turn around or lie down comfortably, and as they get bigger during pregnancy, they’ll have no room at all to even lie on their sides. When they give birth, they are moved to farrowing crates keeping them confined on their sides, often remaining in one position for more than two year! When they are only 10 days old, piglets will be separated from their mother and sent off to be raised and killed for meat while their mother will be returned to the gestation crate for another pregnancy (much the same as cows).
Normality? or outrage? ; If the dogs and cats we keep at home were slaughtered like pigs were, we would be outraged. What has made society so accepting of the fact that what we do to other beings equally as feeling, loving and worthy of life, is acceptable? Children are born with an innate empathy for animals, so if we were to put a child in front of a pig, their natural reaction would be to cuddle it, not kill it and eat it. Does the reaction of a child not tell us enough about what is normal? and that killing billion of sentient beings each year is merely what we have been indoctrinated and conditioned to see as normal, when it is in fact entirely abnormal and wrong?
Health ; Even if the animal welfare matter is not something that greatly concerns you, you should be concerned from a health perspective. Pigs are fed hormones to speed up their growth rate and drugs and antibiotics to keep them alive, often causing animals to be riddled with bacteria, which can cause serious health issues for humans who consume their flesh. A large amount of studies carried out recently have confirmed that pork contributes towards drastically obesity, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, arthritis, strokes, diabetes, osteoporosis, alzheimer’s, lung diseases, autoimmune diseases, gallstone, osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel disease, cholesterol, and cancer of the stomach, colon, rectum, pancreatic, lung, prostate, testicular, kidney, and bladder. A Harvard study of 37,698 men and 83,644 women, over 22 and 30 years, confirmed that red meat increases total mortality rates and cancer mortality rates and another Harvard study found meat eaters to have three times the colon cancer risk compared to those who rarely eat meat. The oxford vegetarian study confirmed that heart disease is almost 60% lower in those on a whole-foods plant based diet oppose to meat-eaters, The Physicians Committee reported that meat consumption was strongly associated with hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. A study published in health journal fertility and sterility discovered that that men who avoided all meats had an almost 30% percent higher fertility success rate than those consuming bacon and other meats. According to the telegraph, one of the largest studies of it’s kind followed the health of almost 450,000 people aged 35 to 69, found that the more processed meat people ate, the more likely they were to die early from any cause. Cancer Research UK reported that around 16,200 people died of bowel cancer in 2012 in the UK and stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer for men and the ninth most common cancer for women in the UK. Pork along with other meats have been linked to these health concerns. Consumer Reports magazine purchased 240 whole and ground pork products and tested them for the presence of disease-causing bacteria. The results showed that 83 percent tested positive for E. coli, staph, salmonella, which can cause fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. And 69 percent of those samples harboured bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics used to treat human infections. Factory-farmers who raise pigs or poultry or beef and dairy cattle, gobble up 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. It has been estimated that around a whopping 70% percent of human diseases are of animal origin, and there are a number of specific studies that have linked antibiotics in animals to drug-resistant human infections.]
Parasites ; It’s not just hormones and antibiotics one should be wary of. Pigs are also known to be carriers of a number of parasites, such as roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm and pinworm. Tapeworm is commonly found in pigs and it can cross species to transplant itself in human intestines. This occurs through the consumption of undercooked pork meat. Other parasitic diseases can occur when the meat is infected with a species of roundworm.
Alternative ; If so much cruelty and ill-health is involved with eating animals, why do we do it? Well many people are under the impression that the consumption of animals is necessary because of the protein, vitamins, iron and other nutrients but these days, the protein content of any meat is outweighed by an excess of saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics, bacteria, toxins, and other nasties doing the body far more damage than good. Luckily, plants have plenty of protein and all the other vital nutrients the body needs and none of those nasties that may put your health at risk. You can obtain all the protein and vital nutrients you need from plant based foods, (which are low in saturated fats) such as pulses, beans, lentils, chickpeas and buckwheat and other plant foods such as quinoa, kale, cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli, tofu, hummus, nut butters, nuts and seeds ; All of these are a good source of protein and provide a good source of fibre, unlike meat, and contain none of the health risks or the cruelty that animals are subjected to.
Check out Peta’s and Free from harm’s list of Vegan Bacon’s :
Here are some cute pig pictures as a reminder…
As to why we should be hugging them. Not eating them.
About the author
Jwaydan Moyine is a classically trained Film Composer, Pianist, Cellist, Singer/Songwriter, and a Writer and Entrepreneur. She founded Earth Children to bring awareness to matters regarding the Environment, Animal welfare, Sustainable & Conscious living, Wellness & Humanitarian issues. She is heavily involved with activism for animal welfare in the UK and Egypt and child welfare in Syria, Thailand and Romania. She resides in Berkshire Running an organic food farm, an organic skincare company, and an online platform called Vegans & Elephants, bringing awareness to matters regarding the Planet, Plant based nutrition, Cruelty free living & the necessity of adapting to Veganism for the sake of Sustainability, Animal welfare and our Health. She has several qualifications in nutritional therapy, culinary medicine & holistic healing. You can find out more on what she is doing over at the Earth Children Facebook Page!
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