Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pig Eating Habits - Dirty Little Secret




A lot of people who eat pigs want to eat pigs that haven't eaten byproducts or meat. I'm hoping people who think that way can explain their preference.

Pigs are omnivores and eager cannibals. Whatever you like to eat, they like to eat - and they probably crave it more than you do.

As many humans like a good blood sausage or liverwurst, you can bet pigs love that stuff. It is natural for pigs to eat animal protein, including pork; wild pigs eat lots of carrion, which includes pork and anything else they find. I've seen pigs fight over carrion, which tells me they like it.

There's not much you can do to stop pigs from eating meat, even if you give them a vegetarian diet. If a chicken goes into the pig area, looking for some feed, the pigs may catch it and eat it. There will be a feeding frenzy if one catches a chicken. Often there's no trace - the pigs just vacuum it up. It is horrific to see the pigs do that; they seem like such dinosaurs. Just like most humans, pigs only eat a vegan or vegetarian diet when there's nothing tastier.

If one understands pigs it is obvious that denying pigs all animal fats and proteins is cruel and unnatural.

I'm not saying that pigs should be fed rendered products. If they don't taste good enough for humans to eat, the pigs probably don't like them much either. But if you had some really good butter or suet, wouldn't it be OK to feed it to pigs? If that's OK, what's wrong with feeding them some really tasty lard? Is it better to feed a big margarine (hydrogenated vegetable oil)? I guarantee you that if you gave pigs their choice of good lard and margarine, they'd favor the lard.

The only justification I can see for the "all vegetarian" or "no byproducts" diet is that consumers assume that unless a pig is on a no byproducts diet, he's been eating incredibly disgusting stuff. But what is it with the "all vegetarian" diet?"

8 comments:

Nick said...

My theory is that the vegetarian fed label started with cattle; the idea was that cattle that haven't eaten pieces of other cattle couldn't be infected with mad cow disease. Once consumers saw the label on beef, they sort of subconsciously assumed it was good for all types of meat.

Of course cattle are natural vegetarians, so it makes much more sense for them.

Kevin Kossowan said...

I hear what Nick is saying. Having hear so much BSE news, I'd have assumed the same applied to pork.

That's why you need to keep writing. We need to know this stuff!!!

redman said...

there's a gruesome representation of pigs carnivorousness in the HBO show Deadwood

Jen said...

I am late to the discussion, but wanted to say that I did not know pigs were natural omnivores! What do you typically feed your pigs? I am curious.

I think most people have this image of pigs eating garbage. I saw this show called "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel where the show host Mike Rowe - spends a day working in disgusting jobs that people have written in to the show about. This episode that I saw showed a pig farm (is farm the right term?) in Vegas where the guy fed his pigs rendered food garbage from all the buffets on the strip. He got in truckloads of food that had been thrown away - garbage - and he'd sort out all the non-edibles (bottles, plastic, etc.) and then basically boil it in a giant vat until it turned into a sort of stew (really, sludge) and that's what he fed his pigs. All the ice cream leftovers came to him also and the pigs got that for desert. Their troughs were seemingly never cleaned as there was trash in them as he was dumping the sludge/stew in. It was utterly disgusting. That is the image people don't want to have of their pork.

I would love to have pork from a business like yours. Don't think it exists in AZ though.

ben said...

ben from vt..
you dont want to give your pigs meat cause you dont want em turnin feral. you dont want to give em the taste of blood then they want more THEN they start to eat chickens in the yard. protiens can be found in the soil which pigs root for. pigs have been breed and domesticated for a reason. just cause they can eat meat dosent mean they should. i like to drink excessively and smoke good dope. but i know i shouldnt...

Don Swampfoxh said...

Truth is, people taste like pigs except people put so much sugar in their bodies that their fleash is much sweeter, almost gaggingly sweeter. So, what people do, pigs do, but pigs do it in the open. After all, human genetics share much of the same DNA as pigs and monkeys, which proves the extraterrestrials who came here 40,000 years ago and wiped out the Neanderthals only had the pigs and monkeys left to create modern man.
Don Swampfoxh

Laura said...

We have pigs and I know first hand that they get really aggressive and mean when meat has been introduced. Pigs that are being raised on a farm are generally being raised for a pet or to be eaten. I personally would rather not eat pork that has eaten a cow or another farm animal. It would put me off eating pork all together.

Heath said...

Laura --

You wrote, "We have pigs and I know first hand that they get really aggressive and mean when meat has been introduced."

I've not noticed that.

Laura: "Pigs that are being raised on a farm are generally being raised for a pet or to be eaten. I personally would rather not eat pork that has eaten a cow or another farm animal. It would put me off eating pork all together."

Why wouldn't you? Are you saying the pork won't taste as good? If you buy commodity pork, the pigs almost certainly ate some animal by-products (aka meat or blood) during their life. It doesn't seem to cause any problems.