The Truth Behind Bacon

Posted April 25 2023
Did you know pigs are thought to be smarter than some dogs? They have engaging personalities, enjoy good food and the sun, seek out companionship, love their babies and desperately try to protect their own lives.

Yet in Australia and around the world, pigs are not protected from acts of cruelty as are our beloved dogs and cats. This is simply because society has determined a different “use” for them.

Female pigs in factory farms are treated as breeding machines, enduring a cycle of suffering and deprivation. Each year, thousands of pregnant pigs are kept in tiny metal individual ‘sow stalls’ inside sheds. Kept continually pregnant and severely confined, they are forced to stand or lie on hard floors. It is these animals who produce the piglets destined to become bacon, ham and pork products.

As a result, these gentle and intelligent creatures develop physical and psychological problems that see them “worn out” before their time. They are then sent to slaughter.

Sows are extremely maternal and they will spend hours making a nest for their piglets.

But sadly in factory farming mother pigs have nearly all of their natural instincts frustrated. Just prior to giving birth they are moved to ‘farrowing crates’, an even smaller area where their body is encircled by metal bars to even further limit their movement. With no straw for bedding, mother pigs must give birth to their piglets on a hard floor.

Nurturing and interacting with her young is impossible as the metal frame imprisons her. Her young are removed after 3 or 4 weeks – an earlier age than would occur naturally – and she is impregnated again, and the cycle of suffering and deprivation continues.

Kinder Alternatives

It’s never easier to leave pigs off your plate.

Protein can be found in a range of plant based sources – after all, that’s where herbivorous animals like gorillas get their muscles and strength from!

Whole food sources
Add spices and seasoning to these nutritious offerings to pack a healthy protein punch:
• Tofu, tempeh, seitan and TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
• Legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas
• Quinoa
• Nuts and Seeds

Fake it to make it
Craving the meat taste? Some popular fake meat brands which are easily sourced from supermarkets these days include:
• Fry’s
• Gardein
• Linda McCartney
• Tofurky
• Vegie Delights
• The Alternative Meat Co.
• Beyond Meat
• Impossible Foods
• Sunfed Meats
• Funky Fields
• Unreal Co.
• Veef

For more ideas and support, check out the Vegan Easy Challenge or VegKit.

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