For the love of bacon, care for animals

The shocking video recently released by Mercy For Animals Canada of horrific abuse to hogs by workers at a Red Deer facility brings a very old issue to the forefront.

The shocking video recently released by Mercy For Animals Canada of horrific abuse to hogs by workers at a Red Deer facility brings a very old issue to the forefront.

You see, Canada’s food animal treatment laws haven’t changed since the 1900s, even though the way food animals are raised, transported and killed has, along with the staggering increase in demand.

Food animals are considered property, and the recent video has me wondering if what happened to those hogs is actually illegal?

Aside from the obvious assertion that what happened is wrong, abusive and inhumane, the idea that this kind of thing happens all the time and we just don’t know it has begun to emerge in the conversations I’ve been having about this topic. Many of us were simply ignorant of the plight of food animals. Hogs that very likely have been turned into bacon that is eaten in Red Deer may have been the stars of that video.

I’m amazed at the community spirit I see every day in Red Deer, from the fight to keep Michener Centre open to the effort to bring the Canada Winter Games here. I know people are proud to call this place home for good reason, but our city being known as the place where this horrific act took place cannot be swept under the rug.

I’m really passionate about animal rights. I know that not everyone loves animals like I do, and that’s OK, but I know you aren’t OK with happened at Western Hog Exchange.

I’m issuing a call to action: we have an opportunity to use this horrible act as a catalyst for change. If enough citizens demand action and use their buying power to speak clearly, we can force food animal producers to change their very outdated and abusive ways.

There are better methods for transporting, housing and slaughtering food animals that can reduce the levels of stress and are considered more humane ways to slaughter food animals.

The current methods are completely unnecessary. Recently I noticed that Save-On Foods has begun labelling their eggs: “caged,” “cage free indoors with limited movement” and what was interesting to me about this is that the shelves labeled “organic, outdoor, free range” at a price of over $7 were empty, while the others remained full.

If hog producers feel they have to keep archaic practices in place to keep bacon prices down, I wonder why?

Wouldn’t people rather pay a little more to ensure the pigs they are eating were treated humanely?

There are sources of humanely raised, transported and slaughtered pork in Red Deer. Big Bend Market comes to mind but there are others, too. Please seek them out and purchase only from them.

Please write to your MP, grocery store owner, Western Hog Producers, Olymel, Maple Leaf, the mayor and city councillors of Red Deer; tell them this kind of thing doesn’t fly in Red Deer, we simply will not stand for it.

Please do it because you care about where your food comes from, do it because you’re a good person, do it because you love bacon.

Tiffany Rose

Red Deer

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