Today when I came in for lunch after pulling radishes, cutting kale and picking tomatoes all morning I watched RFD-TV as I often do and happened upon a segment showing the Pig Farmer of the Year. The question arises who makes the selection anyway. But what I saw didn't justify the title in my eyes. The beaming lady and a few other employees wandered through the pig barn and occasionally picked up a piglet to stroke it kindly and everybody looked happy. Not so happy were the pigs on slatted concrete floors with nothing to do but eat and drink, and the sows in their gestation crates where they have to spend months every year without being able to even turn around. Joel Salatin would say they cannot live their pigness. This entire system is made to keep as many pigs as possible in as small a space as possible with the least amount of human work. Such a system, no matter how much it has become the norm today, is not animal friendly and I wonder why a farmer who uses it can earn the title mentioned above.
For those not familiar with pigs, find out what they enjoy naturally and then understand how cruel this kind of pig farming is. When we talk about "rural heritage" we have to think about what that means in our relationship to the animals we keep!