Today I went for a run. The mornings seem to have gotten colder very quickly. When running through the village farm (www.aaev.net), I came across our newest residents, Kevin and Francis, two Berkshire pigs. One of our young villagers, Aarod, is doing a year 12 project to “explore animal husbandry that is as humane and ethically sound as possible”. You can read his blog here: http://tailoftwopiggies.blogspot.com.au/
I kept my distance initially, thinking that Kevin and Francis might be a little frightened but they seemed very keen to run up and greet me, grunting all the way. They are very cute, as you can see by the pictures on Aarod’s blog. They enthusiastically sniffed me, not deterred by my post-run man stink. Next they decided to see what my shoes and legs tasted like – pigs do use their teeth to taste, right? My shiny new sneakers are not so shiny anymore. They are very friendly and inquisitive little piggies and brought back memories of my dog when he was a puppy.
I applaud Aarod for taking on such an ambitious project. It will be far more work than I can remember doing in school. I also appreciate the fact that he is trying to find more humane methods for raising animals.
The purpose of my blog though will be to discuss alternatives to animal agriculture. I hope to demonstrate to people that animals are more than just meat and that regardless of the conditions that an animal is raised in, the final outcome is the same – slaughter. For these two pigs, that day is due to come in just a few months, an incredibly short life by any standard.
I have been Vegan for more than 5 years and believe that humans can live happy and healthy lives without the use of animal products. I also believe that a Vegan lifestyle is a better choice for the health of the planet and humans.
When I first learned of the project, my initial thought was to object. I did not want it setting a precedent for animal agriculture on the farm. So my piggy predicament or curly conundrum was.... Do I support a well intentioned project that shares my concern for animal welfare, even though it conflicts with my ethics?
I felt that Aarod and other villagers could learn a lot from the experience and it would open the door to a broader discussion of ethics and the differing opinions of how we define ‘humane treatment’. Many people speak of the disconnection that our culture now has from food and the need to develop a greater appreciation for the source and process involved. I decided that the best approach was to share my opinions and hope that the love and appreciation for these beautiful animals will grow within our community in the coming weeks.
I hope you will join me (and Kevin, Francis, Aarod and the residents of the Aldinga Arts EcoVillage) for the journey.