Will the Clean Plate Sustainable Foodie Club Embrace Pig Anus For Dinner?
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from All-Creatures.org

All of God's creatures have rights, a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves. As we continue to disregard the value of the lives of the billions of animals we eat, we also are destroying our air, land and water.

FROM

James McWilliams, The Daily Pitchfork
September 2015

Ruby happy pig
Ruby...Safe and happy at Animal Place Sanctuary

Eating a pigís face might seem to be a virtuous example of reducing food waste, but itís an irrelevant ecological gesture compared to not raising that pig to eat in the first place. In this respect, the current whole-hog ethic is yet another case of wishfully thinking we can eat our way out of a dire environmental predicament. Itís the kind of logic that will take us to our global grave.

The current rage in sustainable agriculture circles is to avoid food waste. But itís a qualified kind of advocacy. Proponents donít suggest avoiding the most wasteful forms of agricultureóby eliminating animal productsóbut instead simply ask us to consume our way out of the problem by eating the whole animal rather than limiting ourselves to the traditional cuts.

This is a troublesome approach for at least two reasons. First, as suggested, it obscures the underlying source of food waste. Eating a pigís face might seem to be a virtuous example of reducing food waste, but itís an irrelevant ecological gesture compared to not raising that pig to eat in the first place. In this respect, the current whole-hog ethic is yet another case of wishfully thinking we can eat our way out of a dire environmental predicament. Itís the kind of logic that will take us to our global grave.

Second, and more problematically, this approach to reducing food waste mimics the efficiency of industrial animal agriculture that foodies are so quick to condemn. To a significant degree, the industrial slaughterhouse is the epitome of food waste avoidanceóall blood, offal, bone matter is commodified and consumed. Pink slimeólamented by foodies as a sickening outcome of industrial agricultureóis in fact a supremely efficient example of using the whole animal. So is harvesting pig anus as a calamari substitute. And dehydrating blood for dog food. And . . . you get the picture.

Thereís an inconvenient underlying fact about environmental virtue. It requires rules and it requires sacrifices. But these often severely infringe on our freedomóin this case, our culinary freedom. Eating rabbit guts, or goat testicles, or the face of a swine might make for an edgy Facebook post, the kind that rock-ribbed devotees of waste reduction like to wave about. But these options are little more than stunts that hide the dark reality of unnecessary and immeasurably wasteful animal slaughter.


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