On July 25, the Ottawa Citizen published a pictorial that followed one pig from its life on a small farm, through the process of being slaughtered, and then finally, to someone’s plate at a ritzy Ottawa restaurant. You can see it–and some of the photos–here.
Public response has been interesting. Some readers were appalled and upset, feeling that they shouldn’t be subjected to such inappropriateness. Boy, tell it to the pig.
Here’s the letter that NCVA President Josh Flower submitted to the Citizen for consideration, in response to the original pictorial, and the letter linked to above:
Response to Lost my appetite reading pig story
July 26, 2011
Volunteers with the National Capital Vegetarian Association (NCVA) definitely relate to the sentiments expressed by Francine Laurendreau in her letter to the Citizen. The photos in the pictorial This Little Piggy were indeed disturbing and upsetting. However, as president of the NCVA, I would disagree that the photos are “inappropriate.” They are an accurate reflection of the harsh end-of-life faced by farm animals worldwide and the practices behind feeding the human population’s addiction to meat and animal products. Anyone who chooses to consume these things owes it to themselves and the animals they’re eating to acknowledge and face this reality, and newspapers play an important role in raising people’s consciousness about important issues.
The pig in this article was even from an ironically-labeled “happy meat farm;” it’s possibly worse for the 95 per cent of “food animals” who are raised in factory farms. As the pictorial clearly demonstrates, there’s nothing happy about the transition between being a living and breathing creature and becoming meat on a plate.
Many vegetarians and vegans choose to eschew consuming animals for several reasons, including health benefits, to lighten the load on our fragile environment, and to spare animals such as the pig in the Citizen pictorial. There’s never been a better time to explore a plant-based lifestyle; Ottawa has a multitude of stores, services and restaurants that support it, and more people are moving in this direction than ever before.
The NCVA invites Ms. Laurendreau, and anyone troubled by the pictorial, to learn more about the vegan lifestyle and to visit its website, http://www.ncva.ca.