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On Egypt’s Pig Cull

I received an e-mail from the well-meaning Wendy at Compassion in World Farming (which I find an odd combination of words) regarding Egypt's pig cull and asking me to send my protest to the Egyptian Government. The pigs are being buried alive, dumped in mass graves and "covered in what appears to be quicklime where, they endure a slow and agonising death."

Yes, I sent the protest.

But though the pigs weren't originally destined for a mass grave, weren't they destined for slaughter nonetheless? CIWF wants to "halt the brutal killing of these animals, and to ensure that they can be assured of a humane future."

Here's my question: What is "a humane future?" What does that look like for pigs who have been brought into this world for the sole purpose of being products to be traded and eventually killed? What does that mean for creatures who are able to make few or no choices for themselves?

Do the people who are so upset about the pig cull in Egypt realize that the pig cull happens every day, all around the world? We call it something else–not a cull–but how are culls all that different? It's all about ending someone's life because they are a nuisance or a threat or you think there are too many of them or maybe they're ugly. Or their flesh tastes good. It's all power over the life and death of another.

I didn't watch the video that tells me the footage is "deeply disturbing." I've seen enough deeply disturbing footage to last several lifetimes. And what is happening to the pigs in Egypt is indeed sickening.

But what's happening to the pigs here is sickening, too.

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  1. Beaelliott #

    I couldn't watch more than a moment either… But enough to figure this out: With "traditional" slaughter methods, as brutal as I know they are – they at least give the illusion that these animals are part of a larger process, and that at some very low level, they are of value. With the Egyptian pigs – it was clear that they were considered (and treated) as garbage. There was a loathing for the creatures… It was violence mixed with contempt – I don't think much gets uglier.

    May 26, 2009

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