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Porcine problems

(article, Culinate staff)

As the Humane Society recently reported, the latest round of undercover video shot at factory farms focuses on gestation crates for pigs. The video, of course, is grisly and shocking — and, as Tom Philpott noted on Mother Jones, is all the more depressing for being comparatively banal in the annals of factory farming:

bq. What we have here is the everyday reality of pigs' lives on a factory farm, without regulations flouted or spectacular violence committed. It is abuse routinized and regimented, honed into a profitable business model.

Dot Earth blogger Andrew C. Revkin added that the practice of cramming pregnant sows into confining gestation crates (among other repellent practices documented in the video) has been banned in eight states, and that some retailers and fast-food outlets are trying to move away from meat produced under such conditions.

But, as Philpott commented, none of the documented practices are illegal in Oklahoma, where they were filmed. He also called out the USDA for showing "zero interest in educating the public about the conditions under which their meat is raised — much less in improving those conditions."