Back Away from the Bacon

Animals are living creatures – being able to roll around, lay down, walk, stretch out, and be free. All things that they should be able to do, as living animals. However, being confined in a 14 foot box makes it awfully hard to do that, especially as a pregnant pig. 

Pregnant pigs get put in gestation crates to sit there and do nothing, but lay and wait. They have no space for any type of movement, they cannot roll over, turn around, or stand up. They cannot do much of anything really, and as animals they 100% should be able to. They should be able to roam freely, get up when they want to, sleep when they want, roll over when they want to, they should simply just have their freedom. Luckily California agrees. 

Californians voted to ban any sale of pork from sows that were born to sows who spent their pregnancy in small crates, which goes into effect in January 2022. Sofia Dailinger ‘23, a student who lives a vegan lifestyle said, “I’m very happy to see these animals getting treated a little more how they should be.” 

Over 50 companies that sell pork including McDonalds, Walmart, and Whole Foods also agree and have followed these guidelines, not buying any of their pork from any pregnant pigs that lived in these small crates. 

While many people are on board about this, the majority of the country’s six million breeding sows end up spending mostly, if not all, their four month pregnancies in 7 by 2 foot metal cages. 

Pork producers reasoning is that there is more space for more pigs in a single building, as well as prevention of possible harm towards each other. Seems to make enough logical sense. It is however, something that is being stopped. While this might seem perfect, it does also mean it affects our pork consumption as well. Zahra Indrizo ‘23 said, “No wonder the bacon’s price was so high.” 

You might have been at the market and noticed how high the prices are for bacon right now. Unfortunately, that is one downside of keeping our animals safe and comfortable. This is due to the fact that in order to care for these pigs for example, the crates they keep them in need to be much bigger, reducing the number of pigs that fit under one roof. Previously, they kept as many possible tightly packed together, in order to fit more, but now there will be much more money going into building more space, hence the price increase for our pork products. There is good and bad to this … hopefully you choose to see the good. I mean, a little extra money to let animals live a comfortable life seems like a very fair deal.