Category Archives: Bacon and pigs

The Apigolypse

Forget about global warming for just a minute. Set aside your fears of national bankruptcy and economic collapse. If you’re looking for calamities, this is really serious: One quarter of the world’s hog population could die from a devastating strain of African swine fever, reports USA Today.

How apocalyptic is the situation? Just ask Mark Schipp, president of the World Organization for Animal Health: “I don’t think the species will be lost, but it’s the biggest threat to the commercial raising of pigs we’ve ever seen. It’s the biggest threat to any commercial livestock of our generation.”

He doesn’t think the species will be lost? That’s reassuring.

The paucity of news coverage suggests to me that people aren’t taking this nearly seriously enough. Let me tell you, if world health officials said that one quarter of all dogs on the planet were destined for the big kennel in the sky, the story would be massive. If one quarter of felines on the planet were headed for kitty kingdom come, the story might be played even bigger (although there might be some celebration mixed in with the caterwauling).

All I can say is that it’s a darn good thing that there are plenty of feral pigs out there — no thanks to the Washington Post!! Commercial hog raising may go under, but as long as pigs roam free, we won’t have to worry about the species becoming extinct!

Lucky thing the United States is sitting on a 40 million-pound surplus of uneaten bacon, a 48-year high. As it turns out, it may not be nearly enough.

— JAB

Dominion Goes Whole Hog for Waste-to-Energy

Hog waste farm: from methane polluter to renewable energy source.

by James A. Bacon

Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods are investing a half billion dollars to capture methane from hog farms and convert it to “renewable natural gas.” The partnership aims to become the “largest renewable natural gas supplier in the U.S.,” according to a press release issued Wednesday.

A few days ago, I noted how Dominion had sold a $2 billion stake in its Cove Point liquefied natural gas project as part of a larger restructuring of the company away from businesses exposed to market forces in favor of regulated businesses like electric utilities and gas distribution companies. I wondered if Dominion now sees its competitive advantage as its ability to manipulate the regulatory and legislative process.

This new venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas, suggests that Dominion hasn’t abandoned risk-taking ventures entirely. Dominion is making a $250 million bet that a “waste-to-energy” model, demonstrated only in pilot projects, can be implemented nationally. I don’t recall the company having taken a risk of this magnitude to create an entirely new business model before. Continue reading

An Ignominious Footnote to Bacon-Related History

One of America’s founding fathers is finally getting his due: Old Bacon Face. That was the moniker bestowed upon Samuel Chase — an Annapolis, Md. lawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the U.S. Supreme Court — whose mug had a reddish-brown complexion. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Chase in 1805 for his outrageously partisan behavior on the bench, but the Senate could not muster two-thirds majorities to convict him.

This history lesson comes from the Washington Post in the wake of Democratic presidential candidates calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Chase was the only Supreme Court Justice ever to be impeached.

— JAB

Important Updates in the World of Bacon

Introducing a new feature on Bacon’s Rebellion — our healthy eating recommendations. As all good Baconauts know, it is our personal responsibility to embrace good nutrition to maintain our health and control health care costs. It’s important to eat lots of salad.

Hat tip: John Butcher

Of, course, no survivalist’s pantry would be complete without Yoder’s canned bacon — with an astounding 10-year shelf life! Only $189.99 on Amazon.com for a case of 12 cans!! Without bacon, there’s not much point in outliving the collapse of civilization.

Finally, an update on the growing list of animal enemies… First they came for the pigs. Then they came for the cats. Now they’re coming for the dogs. From today’s Washington Post: “The dog is one of the world’s most destructive mammals. Brazil proves it.”

— JAB

WaPo Stokes Fear Campaign against Feral Hogs

The Washington Post is ramping up its hate campaign against wild pigs. Labeling the highly intelligent, highly social animals as an “invasive species,” the newspaper describes them as “marauding” across the southern United States,  “eviscerating crops, gobbling up sea turtles, and tramping archaeological sites in a rampage showing no signs of letting up.”

The newspaper invokes their Hispanic origins — “brought to North America from Europe by Spanish conquistadors” — and makes an issue of their high fertility rate: “They produce large litters.” Invoking harmful and negative stereotypes, the newspaper quotes an Arkansas Game & Fish Commissioner spokesman as saying that the animals leave a “trail of diseases and parasites.” And without citing any evidence that wild pigs have attacked humans, it warns, “Their razor sharp tusks combined with their lightning speed can cause serious injury.”

Describing feral hogs as a pest to be exterminated, WaPo writes approvingly of the use of camera-enabled traps, night hunts using infrared scopes, and “helicopter squads rifle-toting sportsmen.” It quotes a Texas wildlife official as suggesting that an AR-15-type firerarm may not pack enough punch to pierce the pig’s tough hide. “The best caliber rifles should be a .243 of greater to prevent wounding and loss of the animal.” Continue reading

Inspiring Image of the Day…

Hat tip: John Butcher

Pigs — Man’s True Best Friend

By any objective standard, pigs are as cute as dogs and cats. Soon, they'll be saving lives. Shouldn't we treat them better?

By any objective standard, pigs are as cute and cuddly as dogs and cats. Soon, they’ll be saving lives. Shouldn’t we treat them better?

Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, announced yesterday that it has created a bioscience division to grow skin and organs for human transplants from pigs.

The Virginia-based company already sells pork byproducts to medical companies developing drugs for ailments such as indigestion, hypothyroidism and deep-vein thrombosis, reports the Virginian-Pilot.

The new unit is part of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing institute, funded by the Defense Department, which is developing ways to replace skin for wounded soldiers and preserve human organs. The company also is working with the Harvard Medical School and Columbia University to develop immunology therapy.

Bacon’s bottom line: It’s about time that pigs got their due. Pigs are highly social creatures and high on the scale of intelligence and sentience. And how do we treat them? We pack domestic pigs together in inhuman (or whatever the equivalent word is for pigs) conditions in factory farms. And we hunt wild pigs with inpunity — indeed in some places we seek to eradicate them entirely. Can you imagine the outcry if we hunted down wild cats? If we jammed dogs into tiny stalls and force fed them so we could eat them? Where the heck is PETA?

As Winston Churchill famously said, “”I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

Surely we can treat pigs as equals in return!