Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pig Out on Something Other Than Pigs, Please!

Okay, today I am going to talk about why not to eat pigs-- and the alterntatives to it. Long before I became a vegetarian, I felt uncomfortable eating salami, bacon, and hot dogs. I did sometimes, but it just seemed so grotesque to eat part of a pig. My family never ate much pig meat, so I guess that made it easier for me to connect with pigs than it was to connect with chickens and fish, who, unfortunately, I used to eat almost every day!
Pigs are fascinating, gorgeous, and completely lovable creatures. If you ever have the privilege of getting to know one, you'll (hopefully) never even consider eating him or her. In fact, some people keep pigs as pets, and there are many scientific claim that pigs are smarter than dogs! Contrary to popular belief, pigs are actually very clean, and they're fast. According to Dr. Donald Broom, pigs "have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than] three-year-olds". (
So why would we eat a pig, but not a dog? Is it merely because dogs were domesticated first, long before humans thought of the "bright idea" to domesticate animals for food? Whatever the reason, it's not a good excuse. We've got to stop eating these fantastic, sensitive creatures.
In commercial factories, pigs are kept in pens with metal bars, where they often develop repetitive coping behaviours (hmm... just like zoo animals!), such as grinding their teeth, chewing on the bars, and rubbing against their water bottles.  Mother pigs, shown below, are kept in "gestation crates" for their whole lives, in which they can barely even turn around.
Courtesy of
Still pining for a hot dog? Think again. You can satisfy your tastes with "veggie dogs" (vegetarian hot dogs, which, by the way, are NOT gross!), use vegan "mock meat" and vegenaise in your sandwich, and go to the grocery store to buy a tofu ham. Personally, I don't like the taste of meat, so naturally, I wouldn't like these things, but if you like the taste of meat, then you are in for a pleasant surprise.
If you worry about getting enough protein, opt for soy foods, beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, nut butters, and whole grains, instead.
When you start to think of pigs as friends instead of food, you start to fully appreciate their beauty and uniqueness.
See you next week, everyone!

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