Pig castration: ow

While on vacation in Maine recently, I picked up a copy of a free publication with an intriguing name: Sap Pail. Hard to resist with a title like that. Reading the local paper of the places I visit can be entertaining and enlightening. Often, I can’t help but come home with quirky little publications like this one that says its purpose is “to tap and collect the local resources of our area” and to help people “who would like to live their lives more independently, with less consumption,” in an exchange of knowledge and resources.

The feature article was on castrating piglets, which might have been a folksy, informative piece of writing had I not been eating at the time. And, had I not nearly choked on my food after realizing that anesthesia is not used. What?? The article relates step by step how to secure the pig and perform the procedure (I’ll spare you the details), and suffice it to say, it’s gruesome. The explicit photos didn’t help. Suddenly, the farmers that I had been praising moments ago for my locally produced dinner, turned sinister. 

A little research online turned up that this is a pretty common practice (uncastrated pigs are randy creatures, hard to control, and don’t taste as good, apparently), though some producers find the procedure controversial and do take measures to anesthetize the animals. Some food chains even refuse to sell meat from castrated pigs, like McDonald’s in the Netherlands, surprisingly. In fact, some supermarkets in the Netherlands reject the meat from castrated animals unless anesthesia is used, according to this article, which states that Norway and Switzerland will ban castration next year. 

Great, pig castration: one more thing I have to worry about.

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3 thoughts on “Pig castration: ow

  1. OW
    Come to Waldo county Maine anytime you would like and enjoy the country with us. In our rural life we choose not to eat from the trough of corporate food filled with fat and poison, but the real reason is we can not afford to buy it. We live without many of the benefits of you city people. We grow our own food, raise our own animals and kill them and eat them. Imagine that.

    We do this so we do not have to work as slaves in corporate slave cubicles and pay taxes that kill,rape and torture other humans around the world. Imagine that.

    Don’t you know that there is a War on Drugs and we can not get drugs for ourselves let alone for the pig we intend to eat. Do you think we have access to hyperdermic needles and bottles of liquid cocane?

    We do what we do to remove ourselves from the insanity of life in the lower 48. Come visit and join our community. We grow our own food. Raise our own meat and share with our friends and family. We lessen our exposure to the poisoned foods you get. Lessen our taxes to the pig er government and take care of our own.

    Yes we castrate our pigs for the improvement in behavior and flavor. But we are not paying for or supporting whole sale slaughter of human beings in other countries. Without sin you may throw stones.

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