I have always been a fan of National Geographic.
When I was a kid my great grandmother used to buy my sister and I a subscription to the magazine and I loved to look through and look at the beautiful photos about all the places I had never been. The maps being my favorite!
Now, I fully admit to rarely watching the National Geographic channel. And those magazine subscriptions are long gone now.
But, last week I got word about an episode that was going to be airing that was going to be taking a direct look into animal cruelty in the Ag industry.
You can bet I set my DVR to record.
Now, personally, there was a lot I saw that I disagreed with. It was also really sad to me that some of these incidents are happening.
That doesn’t happen around here I can promise you that. And I am pretty positive that most of the farmers I know would never allow some of the cruelty that was seen on the video.
However, there were some practices that were shown that are acceptable in the industry. That were kind of misconstrued, in my opinion- such as castration and tail docking.
Most of the video was geared towards the Dairy and Pork industry. So, I enlisted the help of a friend of mine Peggy Greenway, a pork farmer, that I consider my expert.
Here is her response to what you may or may not have seen on the episode:
Recently National Geographic aired some stories about animal agriculture and I have to say the segments were not very comfortable for this hog farmer to watch. I could talk about each individual issue they brought up but let me tell you a bit about myself first. As a farmer, I spend long hours trying to make sure my pigs are comfortable, healthy, and have a constant supply of feed and water available to them. Animal care is my first priority because it’s my moral obligation and of course I know that healthy, comfortable animals make sense from an economic standpoint also. Yes, my husband and I are in this business to make money, but we wouldn’t be working this hard if we didn’t love animals. All the farmers I know have the same work ethic and are devoted to providing top notch animal care. For this reason, we are all appalled when we see animal abuse. All pig farmers have to be PQA+ (Pork Quality Assurance www.pork.org/Certification/11/pqaPlus.aspx)