A Pig Feeling

My eyes welled up with tears as I listened to Lucy share her fears and pain about her environment.

 

Lucy is a pig. Even though pigs can’t talk, Animals Australia has launched a new radio advertisement where a child’s voice speaks as Lucy.  It’s a way of reminding us that pigs have the intelligence of a three year old child and the feelings of all people.

 

You may at first think how does this post have anything to do with being ‘greener’?  Am I now branching off into animal activist’s agendas?  My own inner analysis reveals that they are both related for me personally and perhaps for everyone.

 

The environmental issues have been forecasted and broadcasted for generations by many enlighten people (Dr David Suzuki comes to my mind).  However if we are truly honest with ourselves, many would admit (including myself) that it wasn’t really until the environmental issues started to affect us personally that we sat up and listened.

 

Isn’t animal cruelty the same?  There are people broadcasting to the world the reality of animal cruelty but many will make the judgement call that it doesn’t affect their lives personally and therefore decide not to listen and certainly not to take action.  After all, don’t we have other bigger issues to contend with?!?

 

I understand the problem associated with listening and caring.  It involves an individual to feel bad, uncomfortable and powerless.  We will often do anything to avoid these types of feelings and emotions.

 

However I now truly believe for me personally, living a life where I avoid any chance of putting myself in the feelings of another, is a life that is fragmented.  By ‘another’ I mean the refugees in Afghanistan, the youth living on the streets of Sydney and pigs inside their cage.

 

Feeling overwhelmed now and guilty?  Well don’t!  Those two feelings are not productive or healthy for you personally or anyone else.

 

Simply start by allowing yourself to feel.  Don’t be afraid but be brave.  I understand that by feeling other’s pain that it can stir old personal pains within us.  Ironically by hiding from other’s pain does not improve or heel the pain we have inside.

 

Take a listen to the radio advertisements from Animals Australia.  Go on, it is ok to feel this.

 

After listening to the radio advertisement, my personal action will be that I no longer buy animal cruelty products.  If I can not find ‘free range’ bacon then I will simply go without from now on.

 

For those who are still asking “what does this have to do with going green?”, let me remind you that the livestock industry creates more methane producing greenhouse gas than any other industry (even more than the car industry).  So eat less meat and when or if you do eat meat, choose animal cruelty free meat.

 

Thank you for feeling and caring!

 


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14 thoughts on “A Pig Feeling

  1. Pingback: My Kinder, Healthier and Greener Diet « Greener Me

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  3. An update on this post:

    A product you might spot among supermarket smallgoods is the KR Bred Free-Range prepackaged ham and bacon. It follows a ‘bred-free-range’ system along the same lines as that described above for RSPCA pork. The KR farms are checked by an auditor independent from the farm, but associated with the pork industry.

    Check this website for more info:

    http://www.choice.com.au/viewArticle.aspx?id=105632&catId=100288&tid=100008&p=2&title=Free-range+meat

    I have been kept my promise and have not purchased or eated bacon since writing this post but now since KR have their bred free range I will buy it (but still only now and then as we are trying to cut down on meat).

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  5. Interesting update on this post:

    “Little Lucy threatens pig farmers’ bacon” was the memorable front-page headline in one of Australia’s most respected newspapers, The Sunday Age, over the weekend.

    It appears as Lucy’s voice is being heard, people are feeling this and even deciding to act.

    Well done Lucy!

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  6. Hi Tabi,

    Thank you. I went into your blog and had a read. I am honoured that you added a link to my blog and to my post ‘A Pig Feeling’ and Amber’s comments.

    I emailed Amber as I know she will get a kick out of knowing people are reading and responding to Animal Australia’s message.

    Thank you my ‘green’ friend!

    Sarhn

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  7. Oh Sarhn, thank you so much for contacting me ~ I was thrilled to hear back from you. I’m afraid I’ve been a bit naughty in that I already added your blog to my blogroll 😳 I also added the link to Lucy the Pig in a very short post on my blog too; as I say, I’m pretty sure that the meat industry here in the UK will be much the same as that in Australia 😥

    My blog address is: http://www.tabitha1961.wordpress.com

    Please don’t be “put off” by the religious content (of course, you may not be anyway, in which case please accept my apologies!). I am a committed Christian but I do blog about other things too, both what’s going on in my life and what I see in the world around me 🙂

    So glad to have made a “green friend”!

    Tabi

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  8. Hi Tabi,

    Wow thank you so much for your comments.

    As Amber is my cousin I can safely say she would be very happy for you to credit her comments on your blog. She would be happpy that her message is being read.

    Thank you also for wanting to add Greener Me to your blog roll.

    Tabi what is your blog address? I would love to check it out. Leave another comment and add the details for Greener Me readers.

    Thank you again you have made my day!
    Sarhn

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  9. Have just come across your blog via a google search for pet loos!

    I too am attempting to be greener in the way I ~ and my family ~ live. I know that I can’t force my views on my husband and 17 year old kids (twins 😉 ) but am hoping to at least make them think a little, and to be fair, my husband is very tolerant of my ideas and views 😀

    Anyhoo, I decided to explore your blog further and came across this post; I live in the UK but I guess our meat industry is pretty much similar to that in Australia. I was so choked up listening to the Lucy adverts 😥

    I try to buy as much free-range/organic meat and poultry as possible, and since we have our own little flock of ~ four! ~ chooks, I know exactly the provenance of the eggs we eat.

    I will add your blog to my blogroll, if that’s okay? I was also wondering whether Amber would be willing to give me permission to copy her comments in a post on my blog, which I would of course credit to her?

    with best wishes,
    Tabi

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  10. Hi Amber,

    The journey to be green is not easy and the biggest hurdle is finding correct information.

    You think you are doing the correct thing and realise the product is ‘green washed’.

    That is way I say it is a journey i.e. it takes time. As you learn, you change and make different decisions based on your new knowledge.

    If this is my goal then I should be able to say that every day, week, month and year I have more knowledge and hence living greener.

    Thank you again Amber

    Sarhn 🙂

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  11. Hey Sarhn,

    Thanks for reading through the long post. The information and statistics are very interesting and give a compelling argument to not eating meat (or at least reducing the amount).

    If you are worried about a diet without meat and not getting enough nutrients – don’t worry! I recently got some blood tests done and the comment made by the doctor was that everything was really, really good. She also mentioned that my cholesterol level was the lowest she had ever seen in someone not on medication and my iron levels are higher than the average person. My results were so good, she asked me what my diet was like. When I told her I was a vegetarian with a love of fine quality chocolates, she was not surprised. We are not over careful with what we eat, and we eat what we feel like. I think my body tells me what I am lacking by craving food with what I need in it (just so happens I must need a lot of cocoa!!)

    As with any diet (meat eating or not) you need to make sure you have a balance. It takes a little effort at first but then it becomes second nature. For example, I read somewhere that vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron (not sure how true this is) so we started serving baby spinach with tomatoes and brown lentils (another item high in iron). We found that it tasted so good that it is a staple of ours.

    Good on you for only buying free range meat. Just a note of caution though – make sure it is accredited free range. I have found that some folk will tell you that the meat they sell is free range but when you start questioning them and asking for specifics, it turns out that it is not. Lillydale chickens sold in supermarkets are free range. Most beef starts out as free range but then may end up in a feed lot (not a nice place to be…).

    Of course, if you wanted truly ‘cruelty free’ meat you could try some tofu or TVP ;-P

    Love to all,
    A

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  12. Amber,

    Wow!!! Thank you for taking the time and effort with your comment!

    Brett can testify on my behalf that we are buying less meat in our family. Also making better use of left over’s and learning to create iron rich vegetarian meals.

    Amber you are inspirational!

    Give my love to Thomas
    Sarhn

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  13. Hi Sarhn,

    Hope you all are well. Thanks for listening to the Animals Australia Pig campaign radio spots I sent you – aren’t they just amazing. I sincerely hope that these ads cause more people to think about the conditions we force the vast majority (and I’m talking over 90%) of the ‘meat’ pigs in Australia to endure. Isn’t it strange that if we were to treat a dog or a cat in the same manner as an animal used in food production (ie. Pigs, chickens, sheep etc) we would be charged with animal cruelty? Recently, a Queensland man was charged with animal cruelty for cutting off his puppy’s ears with a pair of scissors but it is common practice (and legal) for sheep farmers to practice mulesing. What is mulesing you say? Well, it involves cutting the skin and flesh (quite a large amount is removed) off the back end of a merino lamb. This practice is widely known to be done WITHOUT any anaesthetic or painkillers. For more information, go to: http://www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/mulesing.php

    What is the difference between a dog and a pig or a sheep in terms of the ability to suffer? Why is it OK to mules a sheep but not a cat? NB – this is a theoretical question and I am not suggesting in any way that anyone should go out and practice mulesing on cats!

    As you know we have been vegetarians for many years. I originally became vege due to my concerns about factory farming and I thought I was being hypocritical by saying that I love animals but then go ahead and eat them. To me it just didn’t add up so I went ‘cold turkey’ (pardon the pun) and haven’t eaten meat since. Not bad for a serious meat eater who loved a ‘blue’ steak (rarer than rare but not quite raw).

    Over the years, I have also come to learn the environmental cost of the meat, egg and dairy industries which just confirms my belief that vegetarianism is the only way to go. You mentioned in your post of the methane produced from the meat industry – that is just the tip of the iceberg…..

    The meat industry takes many resources and then inefficiently turns them into meat. For example, I have taken some very compelling information from the following website (http://www.goveg.com/environment.asp)* unless otherwise referenced to illustrate the impact:

    • Massive amounts of land is cleared to grow grain to feed livestock. This reduces forests and habitats for wildlife.

    • More than 70% of the grain grown in the US goes to feed farm animals. Did you know that it takes 16 pounds of grain to ‘produce’ one pound of meat? That’s hardly efficient is it? The world’s cattle consume food equalling the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people. Why are people still eating meat when there are so many people starving in the world?

    • Massive amounts of energy is used in all stages of the meat and dairy industries. It is used in
    o growing and processing the feed and transporting it to the animals
    o operating the farms
    o trucking the animals to slaughter
    o operating the slaughterhouse
    o transporting the meat to and operating the processing plants
    o transporting the meat to retail outlets
    o keeping the meat refrigerated in the store

    • Meat and dairy industries are very water intensive. Did you know that it takes 5000 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat. You only need 25 gallons of water to grow one pound of wheat. A totally vege diet only requires 300 gallons of water a day yet a meat eating diet needs in excess of 4000 gallons!! In Aussie terms “It takes thousands more litres of water to produce a kilo of beef than it does to grow the same quantity of grains or vegetables” (Food and Agriculture Organisation. 22nd March 2007. FAO urges action to cope with increasing water scarcity. Rome. http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/../../../index.html)

    Why bother taking shorter showers if you are already wasting all that water on a meat eating diet? A really great quote from the website is “You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for an entire year”!! I think I would rather just not eat meat than not shower – ewwwww!

    • Factory farming produces significant amounts of pollution including fecal, water, air and gases that contribute to global warming:
    o The billions of animals used for food production produce huge amounts of methane which is at least 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. To see a funny ad on this, go to: http://www.discoverychannel.co.uk/web/animalplanet/ and go to latest video and watch Animals Save the Planet: Methane
    o 65% of the world’s Nitrous Oxide emissions, which is 300 times more powerful than carbon, comes from the meat, egg and dairy industries.

    A Sydney Uni study (by Lenzen and Dey published in Energy Economics 2002) shows that even by reducing your meat intake from the Australian average of 300 grams a day to 150 grams, it is the equivalent of saving 1.4 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year or reducing your car travel by 4700kms a year. I bet you don’t get that saving by changing to energy efficient light globes!

    In summary:

    • If you want to significantly reduce the total amount of water you use – be a vegetarian
    • If you want to use less of the world’s precious energy – be a vegetarian
    • If you want to reduce your greenhouse emissions – be a vegetarian
    • If you want to increase the food (grains) available to feed the starving millions – be a vegetarian
    • If you want to help stop deforestation – be a vegetarian
    • If you want to reduce the pollution you directly or indirectly cause in the world – be a vegetarian
    • IF YOU WANT TO BE AN EFFECTIVE ENVIRONMENTALIST – BE A VEGETARIAN!!

    In fact, one of the most effective and easiest thing you can do to reduce your footprint on this world is to become a vegetarian or better still a vegan. One of my favourite quotes from Captain Paul Watson (founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) is “The bottom line is that to be a conservationist and an environmentalist, you must practice and promote vegetarianism or better yet veganism. It is the lifestyle that leaves the shallowest ecological footprint, uses fewer resources and produces less greenhouse gas emissions, it’s healthier and it means you’re not a hypocrite. In fact a vegan driving a Hummer would be contributing less greenhouse gas carbon emissions that a meat eater riding a bicycle.”

    I have some really great literature that I will post to you and you can also check out these websites:
    http://askmorenow.com.au/
    http://www.vegetariansociety.org.au/
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.htm
    http://www.seashepherd.org/
    National Vegetarian Week is Sept 29 to Oct 5
    http://vegetarianweek.com/BenefitsofaVegetarianDiet/Environmental-Benefits.aspx
    http://www.animalliberation.org.au/vegconf.php
    http://www.naturalstrategies.com.au/food-drink/eat-less-meat http://www.goveg.com/

    I know this is long but I want to give you some facts and not just show the emotional side of the argument.

    Just a little housekeeping: the Animals Australia Factory Farming campaign is actually an animal welfare campaign not animal rights. To illustrate the difference, animal welfare is concerned with how the animal is treated whilst being raised as a ‘food product’. An animal rights view would be that you should not eat the pig.

    If you have any questions, please let me know.

    Cheers,
    Amber

    1 H. Steinfeld et al., Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options, Livestock, Environment and Development (2006).
    * This is an American site but I have chosen to use it as it uses only credible sources for it’s information.

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