A Devil’s Alternative

Free the pigs

Under the Farm Animal Confinement Proposition, enacted four years ago California will begin enforcing provisions in 2022 that require farmers to raise pigs in spaces at least 24 square feet, up from 20 square feet in 2020. The good news is that pigs — one of the most intelligent and emotionally sensitive species on the planet — will enjoy better living conditions. The measure isn’t as good as letting pigs roam free, as is their right, but it’s a start.

The bad news is that it could mean less bacon!

California accounts for 15% of the national pork market, which effectively means it can dictate pig-raising standards across the country. The California rules would make it significantly more expensive to raise pigs. Which means fewer pigs. Which means less bacon.

I am totally conflicted! Pig welfare…. bacon. Pig welfare… bacon. I just don’t know which way to turn.


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12 responses to “A Devil’s Alternative”

  1. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Good news! There’s always sausage, less identifiable constituents.

  2. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

    The article I saw, California gets their bacon mostly from Iowa, if I recall. There is concern Iowa will not move fast enough to keep bacon on the tables in California.

    There could well be a new Bacon Rebellion!

    1. A lot of states get their bacon mostly from Iowa. Iowa is the largest pork producing state in the U.S.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Yes… and the next 4 ……..

        What Are the Top 5 Pork Producing States?

        The top five states pork producing states in the U.S. are Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana. During 2020, these five states housed almost 70 percent of the 71.25 million pigs being raised for slaughter in the U.S. at any given point in time.

    2. dave schutz Avatar
      dave schutz

      Jeez, I’ve been expecting large scale diversion of cheap bacon to Virginia because it no longer qualifies for California….

  3. If you are conflicted, you are NOT a true baconite!!!!!!

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    Hog farming is pretty big in NC…

    ” The truth about… why hog farms are in Eastern North Carolina
    Posted on April 2, 2018
    North Carolina is one of the nation’s leading hog producers with more than 2,000 permitted farms. Most of them are in eastern North Carolina. Sampson and Duplin County, alone, account for about 40 percent of all the pigs and hogs raised in our state.

    So, why are hog farms located where they are?

    The answer is simple.

    They are located in rural farming communities that have an abundance of nearby corn and soybeans (the main ingredients in feed) and are within a short drive of pork processing plants.

    When the industry began to grew significantly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was because tobacco farmers were being encouraged to diversify so they were less reliant on tobacco. And there were plenty of tobacco farmers in eastern North Carolina.


  5. John Martin Avatar
    John Martin

    “I am totally conflicted! Pig welfare…. bacon. Pig welfare… bacon. I just don’t know which way to turn.” You shouldn’t be conflicted. Making an animal live in agony until you decide to kill them is awful

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Oh but we can’t say that or believe that. Surely, the folks that raise these animals would never do such a thing.

      Careful there – you are on double secret probation here and very close to being labelled as TROLL #4.

  6. Fred Costello Avatar
    Fred Costello

    Who has the authority to dictate what is the humane treatment of animals? What is the source of their authority? What data supports 24 square feet instead of 20? Might this same authority state that all animals must be free-range?

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      You question the power of the California legislature? They are all-knowing! (I see the hand of my former client PETA, too…)

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        I know this brings up the “elites” again but there is actually an entire field of college-educated professions – Animal Husbandry separate and apart from PETA.

        The real question for us who don’t know – do we really want to know or just say it’s “unkowable”?

        Knowledge beats ignorance every day and especially so willful ignorance. (I’m NOT impugning you Steve).

        On California, Despite being one of the most regulated states, it’s also the most economically powerful AND many regulations seem to get their start in California.

        You may remember California Emissions that for many years were stricter than the rest of the USA until the rest of the USA adopted them.
        And since that time , most all cities in the US have cleaner air AND it did not “kill” the economy, just the opposite!

        If the premise that regulations hurt the economy were actually true, wouldn’t California be the worst state for economic performance instead of the best?

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