Canada Aids Hog Farmers – By Having Them Kill Their Pigs

What’s going on in Canada? At the end of March, in discussing why I am vegan, I mentioned that Canada opened their commercial seal hunt (according to the Humane Society of the US this is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet) on March 28th. Today I read that Canada is paying pork farmers $50 million to slaughter 150,000 pigs by November; all in the interests of propping up the Canadian pork industry which is in the throes economic implosion.

The Canadian Association of Food Banks is working with the pork council to come up with a plan to distribute some of the meat to the 720,000 Canadians who depend on food banks each month.

— from The Canadian Press

I don’t eat meat. I go to the school that you don’t “need” to eat meat to survive. But to just kill these pigs and throw them away? That seems outrageous to me. I truly hope the Canadian Association of Food Banks can make some headway. The government plans to distribute “some” of the meat? What is some? 5%? 30%? How many animals will be killed just so that a dying industry can be propped up.

I don’t know much about the government of Canada, but since they are in essence “buying” this meat, I’m wondering why it isn’t automatically going into government subsidized food programs. And perhaps, if hog farming is not an economically viable industry any longer, the Canadian government shouldn’t try to prop it up. Maybe the subsidies could be designed to help these hog farmers transition to a more economically viable crop.

Then again, I probably shouldn’t be pointing a finger at Canada. Doesn’t my government do the same thing? We’ve given out approximately $15 billion annually in farm subsidies for the twelve year period 1995 – 2006. (Source: Environmental Working Group) I thought we were supposed to be a capitalist society. Doesn’t that mean that market forces, not government intervention, should dictate prices?

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