Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No, no, Neo

Many people were shocked last year by the images of pig
maltreatment shown on the TV current affairs program
Sunday, after comedian Mike King was smuggled into a
Horowhenua pig farm by animal-rights activists. But not
shocked enough, apparently, to stop buying pork and
bacon products coming out of such farms. The last I heard,
sales of New Zealand pork had hardly been dented by the
exposure of practices like putting sows in narrow stalls in
which they can’t even turn around. Despite noises of
appalment from the Minister of Agriculture after the
program aired, nothing has happened to change such
practices, and indeed, the pork industry is dragging its
, calling for more time (like, several years) before
the introduction of a pig welfare code outlawing sow stalls
and farrowing crates. The only thing that will hurry the
industry up is a consumer backlash. Just as many of us
now make a point of buying free-range eggs, so we must
buy only free-range pork and bacon if we want pigs to be
treated humanely in this country. There’s precious little
of it on the supermarket shelves but it can be found if you
look for it (and are willing to pay a bit more). We also
need restaurants and cafes to get the message. In a
Wellington cafĂ© the other day—Neo, on Willis St—I felt
like ordering one of their tasty-looking bacon/egg snacks
but when I asked if the bacon was free-range, the girl
behind the counter looked at me as if I’d just landed from
Mars. The assistant she called over also had no idea what
I was talking about. I gave the snack the swerve, and won’t
be eating at Neo again. I’m sure they’re not exceptional,
but it would take them very little (a few dollars more) and
gain a great deal of goodwill if they went to the trouble of
ensuring that any pigmeat they use is from a free-range
farm. What about it, guys?


Artandmylife said...

I can't afford free range pork, so I don't buy it at all. Also I don't like how the origin isn't labelled - I understand a lot of it comes from Australia. As for eggs, I have found a small local free range supplier that is priced competitively. Funnily I have seen McDionalds down here advertising free range eggs in their products (Dunedin and ChCH only)

stephen said...

You might be interested in this piece on Pundit.