Hog Heaven: The Pork Industry by 9h9O9MR


									      Hog Heaven:
    The Pork Industry

Donald Stull & Michael Broadway
    (Slaughterhouse Blues)
      Road to Porkopolis
Pigs used to run free on family
farms & scavenge for wild roots,
vegetables, berries, grasses, nuts
Hogs were the major meat sorce for
Americans from colonial times until the
1950s (when beef overtook pork)
Piglet gains 1 lb. for every 3-5 lbs. feed &
produces a litter of 10+ (4 mo. gestation) & is
ready for market in 6 mos.
Calf gains 1 lb. for 10 lbs. feed & produces a
single calf (9 mo. gestation) & is ready for
market in 12 mos.
 “Queen City of the West”
Cincinnati’s 1st meatpacking plant
opened in 1818
Dominated pork packing until the Civil
1844 Porkopolis boasted 26
1854 42 packinghouses
      “Hog Killing Time”
Hogs slaughtered fall/winter—no
Winter was the farmers’ ice box, thus
meatpacking was seasonal until refrigeration
developed after the Civil War
Hogs were cleaned & gutted, cooled, cut up,
salted & soaked in brine or vinegar
Entrails dumped into the Ohio River
          Pork Markets
Pork was exported to Caribbean &
 10% of U.S. foreign trade in late 1870s
1880 Europe banned U.S. pork due to
fear of trichinosis
Exports resumed when the government
introduced meat inspection in 1890
But meat for U.S. consumers was not
inspected for 10 more years
    Hog Heaven or Hell?
Family farmers in the U.S. found hog
production an easy way to earn cash
Hog nickname – “mortgage burner”
But by 1990-2000, family farmers were
being replaced by CAFOs
$5 million investment in contract
production would generate 40-50 new
But 120-150 family farmers were
          Luring CAFOs
Hog production began to shift from corn belt
states to North Carolina, Oklahoma, & Utah
North Carolina Dept. of Agiculture & NC State
University identified swine production as a
desireable replacement for tobacco
State government provided research funds,
gave tax incentives, hog farms were exempt
from zoning & minimum wage regulations,
workers were banned from organizing unions
   Environmental racism
2514 swine CAFOS in North Carolina
were disproportionately located in
poor, nonwhite communities that
depend on local wells for water supply
Hurricane Floyd (1999) caused flood
waters to overrun hog farms,
inundating 46 lagoons, polluting water
    Conflict Over CAFOs
Proponents: the system is driven by
consumer preference for uniform low-
cost pork
Critics: Superior feed conversion is
only possible due to
antibiotics, nutritional
supplements, & the
stress hogs experience
in confinement leads to
lower feed conversion
 A sign at the entrance to three hog
barns at one of the Ham Hill Farms
sites warns visitors that the site is a
"biosecure protection area."
A virus introduced into a CAFO can
spread quickly
             Raising Hogs
In CAFOs, 100 hogs of similar weight are in a
room, each in a metal stall, with no room to
turn around
Male semen is collected to inseminate sows
who produce 2 litters of 10-12 piglets/year
 In the nursery, sows occasionally smother &
crush their offspring
New litters have their ears notched (for I.D.),
tails clipped, teeth filed
  They will bite others’ tails, causing infection that
  can spread
As hogs grow, they are sequentially moved
to larger rooms until they reach slaughter
weight of 250 lbs.
          Pig Essense
Pigs don’t sweat (no sweat glands)
When they are deprived of mud holes
or shelter & temperatures exceed 860,
they wallow in their own feces & urine
to avoid heat stroke
Feces & urine are pumped into lagoons
or are used as compost
A hog produces 1.5 tons of solid
manure & 5270 gal. of liquid
Swine CAFO
   Manure Holding Pond
Waste samples being collected from a
swine manure holding pond in Iowa
Hog lagoons emit ammonia, hydrogen
sulfide, 100s of volatile organic
compounds, dust, endotoxins (cause
respiratory dysfunctions in workers)
into the air
Miss Piggy’s New Frontiers
As North Carolina mandated cleanup &
conversion to cleaner technologies,
CAFOs began to relocate
Manitoba’s agricultural minister
proposed doubling pork production
Offered an “open market”
system allowing processors
to contract with individuals,
waived clean environment
commission hearings
North Carolina 1982-97:
  farms under 100 hogs: 9149     1239
  farms over 1000 hogs: 458      1466
Maple Leaf Foods (Canadian transnational)
  2000 workers
  Slaughter 15,000 hogs/day
            (Big pig invades
 “cattle feeding capital of the world”)
Oklahoma lured hog production
  Gave land, tax incentives, sales tax,
  highway improvements
Seaboard Corporation (transnational)
  Slaughters 16,000 hogs/day
  Contract farms construct 3 confinement
  buildings @ $500,000 on 10-year contracts
  91% of workers earn under $25,000/year
Seaboard provides 2800 jobs
9 of 10 workers are Hispanic
Hispanic population tripled
  12% in 1990 to 38% in 2000
Meatpacking work involves an annual
turnover rate of 98%
# Families in poverty increased
Lack of housing at affordable rate
Lack of health care
Many who came can not afford to live there

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