29. Jan, 2016

Unhappy and happy pigs

Porc meat is number one on the list in most European  countries. Holland in particular is notorious for its 'bio-industry': massive stables were thousands of  pigs are prepared for the meat market. In am not  a vegetarian, and must admit that I find porc meat  very tasty from time to time. But any animal, living  in the wild, domesticated or used for human consumption, deserves a decent life. This also includes pigs that are known to be highly sensitive  and socially intelligent animals. For a pig a decent life is quite simple:  it means the possibility to  move around on a piece of farm land or in a stable of sufficient size, roll about in some hay or a pool of mud, and taking care of the piglets. Unlike the industrial pig farms, were pigs have a horrible life from birth to death. Most pigs  don’t  even have enough space to turn around,  or to care for their young. Their stress levels  are high and many pigs start biting each others tails. Males have testicles removed after birth. Their living conditions are really a disgrace,  but cheap porc meat is still sold and wanted  in the supermarkets.

Not so  far from our  house in Amsterdam there is a small settlement -or farm- called ‘Familie Bofkont’  (translated freely:  ‘Lucky ass Family’) where pigs that are bought from the bio-industry can lead a pigworthy life. Their territory is a small  piece of forest of several  acres that miraculously has escaped  the bulldozers and office building projects of the adjacent Amsterdam Financial Centre.  It’s a green patch left in the middle of skyscrapers. It fun to see the mother pig ‘Betsy’  and her offspring move between the trees, sleeping in the sun, or grubbing in the earth. It’s a stress free pig  life. See picture and http://www.familiebofkont.nl/universiteit/

 But  there exists another happy pig colony, not in the woods or in the city but out on a small  Island in the Bahamas. Here a colony of  wild pigs snooze in the shade on an  idyllic island called Grand  Major Cay (or ‘Pig island ’), a part of  the Exuma string of  Cays. The pigs are thought to have been left  on the island by sailors who probably wanted to make a food reserve for the future.  But they never returned. The wild pigs  have nothing else to do but eat, sleep and swim. I believe that Jim Abernethy  and Eric Cheng were  the first Uw photographers who started taking pictures of the pigs in 2009.  The pigs are good swimmers and love to paddle around their visitors in the crystal blue water of the beach. The smart pigs have worked out that the crews of passing yachts regularly dump excess food into the sea. Their drinking water comes from a springs on the island.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1350337/The-happy-pigs-love-swim-Caribbean-telling-porkies.html#ixzz3ydJ2UjlC .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_Beach