Pork, the most popular meat on the planet, gets consumed in excess of 110 million tons every year, making it a highly profitable market for farmers. But if you do a little digging, you discover some awful pig facts that even make bacon look unappetizing. The process of pig farming seeks to create the heartiest pigs as fast as possible, and as a result, produces a ton of terrible side effects. The truth is every step of the farming process for pigs makes for a gruesome experience, entirely independent of gross facts about pigs themselves that already make them even less attractive as a food option. Additionally, a smorgasbord of unsavory side effects stems from pig factories, ones that affect surrounding communities as much as they do the animals and employees.
Be warned bacon lovers, because this list might cast a shadow on your sunny-side-up eggs.
Factories Often Gas Pigs In Groups
While the methods of slaughter used to kill animals receives much more scrutiny today, many inhumane killing techniques still exist. At pig farms, it is particularly common practice for farmers to gas them. Workers corral a group of pigs into a room where they pump carbon dioxide. The gas effectively stops oxygen from reaching the brain and lungs, rendering the pig unconscious within 30 seconds. Unfortunately, the carbon dioxide causes an intense reaction in the animals; until they lose consciousness, they fight to try and escape the danger.
Farms Pump Feces And Urine Directly From Pigs Into Giant Lakes
When Mark Devries decided to fly a drone over a pig farm in North Carolina, he never expected to discover a giant lake filled with pig waste. The sewage comes from pig waste at the large barns, where the animals simply defecating where they stand. The feces and urine falls through slats so that all flow back to the lake, which is bigger than four football fields combined. Even worse, the farm then sprays the raw material over the surrounding area when it gets too full, covering local fields and houses in unthinkable dirt. Furthermore, experts claim environmental racism plays into where this spray goes, as those whose houses get sprayed by the waste are usually impoverished people of color.
The Animals Produce An Awful Lot Of Manure
Farm animals tend to produce much more manure than wild animals, a consequence of their rich diet designed to reach a required weight as quickly as possible. An average pig will produce in the region of 11 pounds of waste in a single day, more than 40 times the amount a human would produce in the same amount of time. This equates to a huge amount of animal waste, with China producing more than 1.3 billion tons of pig manure every year, a factor that contributes more to water pollution than even industrial waste.
The Farms Pose Serious Health Risks
This practice of spraying sewage into the local environment and releasing fumes into the area may seriously affect the health of those who live there. Studies in North Carolina, where most of these farms are located, suggest the people living in the surrounding areas suffer from increased levels of asthma and high blood pressure due to the pollution. Firsthand accounts of the stench say it causes residents to "double over [while] retching uncontrollably" when simply leaving their houses to get to their cars.