Meat Is Killing The Planet: A River Full of Pigs

I know, I know. You can’t take any more grotesque meat news. Well, it is what it is, so deal with it next time you are tucking into a pulled pork sandwich.

The latest installment in this cringe-inducing series comes from China, where the public, though it doesn’t mind a few dead pigs floating in Shanghai’s rivers, is not very happy about 6,000 dead pigs floating by. Here’s the Washington Post:

When hundreds of porcine bodies started surfacing this weekend in rivers upstream from the city, it prompted only mild shock, showing perhaps how routine safety scares about food and water have become in China.

But worries turned to panic late Tuesday, when authorities revealed that the number of pigs pulled out of waterways had climbed in the course of three days to an astonishing 5,916.

Shanghai officials pleaded for calm and insisted drinking water for Shanghai’s 23 million residents is still safe. They said there is no disease epidemic at cause. Instead they pointed their fingers at farmers in a nearby city of Jiaxing, who they say are dumping pigs who die in the course of their farming into the Huangpu River instead of properly burying or incinerating them. Local authorities near the pig farms in turn blamed their recent spike in dead pigs on colder temperatures, which they say caused the pigs to freeze or catch colds.

But all such explanations have been met online with equal measures of skepticism, anger and gallows humor, with some residents joking that perhaps the pigs killed themselves after refusing to breathe China’s increasingly polluted air or in protest of being force fed hormones and antibiotics.

Just another indication that of all the meat production industries, pig farming is the worst.

In case the above words don’t adequately convey what is happening, here’s a video report.

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