Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bacon and chemical castration.

You know, in the short time I have been veg*n I thought I had learnt a lot about health, farming, environment, and animals. This one was a complete surprise though.

Pfizer, a huge pharmaceutical company, are now selling drugs (Improvac) to farmers in the UK so that they can castrate their pigs by injection rather than manually doing it. And this information is not required on the label of pork products. Consumers don't need to know this shit, obviously. It's more important for farmers to get that extra £1 a pig. And amidst this swine flu induced recession desperation, for many pig farmers it couldn't come at a better time.

Pigs are castrated so that the pork tastes better. The physical castration of slicing out a piglet's balls with a razor without anaesthetic sounds horrific so who knows which would appear to be less cruel, I'm not even going to go into that.

But the chemical castration is temporary, and 'shrinks their balls' so that the effect on meat flavour is the same. The only thing is, it's temporary so the pigs are slaughtered BEFORE it wears off. That is fucked. People are eating that shit.

I'm quite used to this sort of stuff now, so the biggest shock was actually that these drugs have been injected into pigs in Australia for a decade! Who knew? Would you feel safe feeding these drugs to your kids?

Oh, and just in case you prefer animal welfare approved products - they seem safe and imply some sort of natural and/or organic life - RSPCA Freedom Foods are likely to endorse using these drugs on their 'freedom' farms. Don't they paint such a beautiful picture of freedom?


  1. Yeah I went veg when I worked in a piggery owned by the Salvation Army (thou shalt not kill???) and that was the method used there. The male pigs produce a hormone called aldosterone when they hit puberty which is very similar to testosterone in humans. Men cannot detect this hormone but women can, so the whole castration thing is to increase the number of female consumers of pork products.

  2. Extreme grossness and horrificity. Animal AND consumer contempt at its best.

    Grey, I did not know that about only females tasting it. Kinda weird though that we are 'meant to eat meat' but don't like it in it's natural state.