Pigs

Reading through PigProgress.net, “Your Portal On Global Pig Production,” is a strange experience.  Their blog ranges from mundane things like “pellets vs. meal” to “Salmonella testing – is it going to cause a problem for you?” and discussions about piglet tail docking.  They have a section on gestation crates and feature ads for companies that make “agri-housing” for animals (lots of images of chicken buildings and pig buildings therein).  Overall, though, the tone of the site is much tamer than similar ones from other industries.

What baffles me, though, is their “pigculular news” section which features supposedly off-the-wall stories about pigs, but which really ends up reinforcing the idea that pigs are smart, sentient beings.  It surprises me to no end to see the industry promoting stories like “Pet dog cares for discarded piglets” and “Piglets take on art world.”  Of course, they also have unfortunate stories like “Alabama boy, 11, kills giant pig” and “Pig bladder helped man regrow his fingertip,” but overall, the tone of the stories are the type you might expect to find on an animal rights blog.

Very weird.

Worthy of Respect

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All animals are worthy of our respect and maybe stories like this one out of Alaska will help others begin to grasp that.

A 50-ton bowhead whale was caught off the Alaskan coast last month.  In him was a very old weapon fragment that experts used to place the age of the whale at between 115 and 130-years-old.  A hundred years ago, this whale survived a shot by whale hunters and roamed the oceans for a century, wearing the weapon fragment like a badge of honor.  Bowhead whales can live to be 200-years-old, making them “perhaps the most aged animals on Earth.”

Unfortunately, this particular whale met his match last month when hunters killed it with a similar weapon, which is described in the following terms:

The 49-foot male whale died when it was shot with a similar projectile last month, and the older device was found buried beneath its blubber as hunters carved it with a chain saw for harvesting.

“Harvesting” is one of those terms that should limited to grains and vegetables, not sentient beings.

According to the article, whales are a primary source of food for Alaskans and a hunting quota has been renewed to allow 255 whales to be killed by ten Alaskan villages over a five year period.

links for 2007-06-09

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