Spotlight On The Bacon
The British as a nation is overly fond of our pork. In fact, our signature English breakfast never in a million years would be complete without its star; Bacon. Prepared crispy and dark or juicy and golden, it is something that we cannot get enough of, or our freezers cannot go without. It has become a staple in our kitchens to the point where we do not look twice to check the label carefully for the fine print.
Though our ancestors used to keep their swine in the backyard, feed and raise them and butcher them and separate the cuts and process the meat with natural and traditional methods, do we even know where this meat comes from? Yes we all buy European trusted pork but do we even bat an eyelid at what it really means? Often times than not, the answer is no. and you are not alone. Nobody pictures a little piglet while thinking of slices of greasy golden meat, but bacon in fact was once alive and moving and this is their sad story.
Where it all starts…
Little pink piglets are born in tiny, narrow crates where their mothers are already confined to, these spaces are extremely small, contrary to those beautiful green farms where we are brought to believe in. their teeth will be clipped very painfully so that the competition for suckling is less aggressive and less injuring. Three weeks down the line, they are put in different pens where the space will be limited and moving around freely will again be only a dream. Fed with cereals every day the days are spent getting fatter and swallowing antibiotics.
Trusted European pork does have some illegal practices and a whole lot of inhumanity laced in to it. For an example “tail docking” where the piglets get their tails mutilated mostly without anesthesia, is actually illegal. These animals are made to live on hard slatted floors with no stimulation in order for the convenience of cleaning their excrement. But as a result they become aggressive out of sheer boredom and start biting each other, leading to quite damaging injuries. This behavior could easily be avoided by giving pigs the likes of hay and straw to root around which of course does not happen.
Where it all ends…
The domestic and well cared for pigs could live up to a long 15 years. But this isn’t the case for the farmed ones who give us our much loved pork chops. Their sad little lives go as far as five months. Either exposed to aversive gasses or their throats slit and hung to bleed on machines they say goodbye.
So be mindful to choose what you buy. You control the demand in the market and it is your responsibility to make a demand for a more humane market for meat.
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