Just watched W5's Food for Thought last night. Found it very disturbing and saddening the way the pigs were being housed and treated by the staff. Saddened also that it can be called farming.
We raise a few pigs, and I mean just a few. Over the past years we have found it more difficult to find weaner pigs to raise as many farmers have stopped raising pigs due to the poor monetary return on their efforts. When food prices are low it translates into the farmer not being able to make a sustainable living to maintain their farm. You can only lose money for so long; emotion and love of farming doesn't put food on the table when there is no income from your efforts.
To me, real farmers have a respect for the land and their animals - treating both right as they are their partners. Healthy soils and animals gives us healthy farms. The pig production farm featured in the show did not have farmers working for them, they had labourers. I wonder what they were paid and how many hours they had to work and what support and respect they received? Maybe it is not just the animals that were mistreated.
What would be different if the workers had respect for their efforts in caring for the animals, recognition for a job well done, adequate pay. Can that be done and still have pork for low prices in the supermarket? Not likely. These stories along with those we are seeing in Bangladesh with the garment factory workers are going to keep happening as long as we seek abundance at cheap prices. Someone or something always pays the price.
Makes me think twice when I see a good bargain.