A different kind of pork project

Promo for "Death On A Factory Farm," a film about the pork industry


Renita Jablonski: A heads-up if you're having sausage or bacon this morning, this next story has a grizzly start. HBO debuts a new film tonight that isn't sitting well with the pork industry. Stacey Vanek-Smith looks at how it could affect the other white meat.

Accuser: Clearly your honor, it is torturing an animal. Was that animal suffering?

Defender: No sir, I don't think it was.

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Death on a Factory Farm chronicles some grizzly practices at an Ohio pork producer. Bradley Miller is the director of The Humane Farming Association, which gathered some of the key footage. He hopes the film will have a commercial impact. He says after his association's campaign against veal in the 80's, sales plummeted.

Bradley Miller: So we're hopeful that we can have a similar effect within the pork industry. That this will prompt them to clean up their act in response to consumer pressure.

The practices of the Ohio hog farm are not typical, says Paul Sundberg with the National Pork Board. And he says if consumers start to vote with their wallets, the industry will listen.

Miller: There certainly is that incentive, when the marketplace says, this is what we want to do. When producers hear that, they can respond.

Pork sales are holding up in the lean economy. Other more expensive meats have seen sales decline.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.
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Thank you, Dale, for your acknowledgment (and thank you for the story, Marketplace). It's true, there is no such thing as humane animal agriculture or so-called "happy meat" -or dairy products or eggs. The only way to not cause harm, suffering and death to farmed animals is to not eat animal products. The great news is that it is easier than ever, with so many marvelous vegan products easily available. It's also better for your health and for the environment. It's win-win!! See: http://www.TryVeg.com and http://www.VRG.org

The emphasis on "factory farming" is misplaced. When I grew up on a small family farm 50 years ago, my father and I inflicted terrible cruelties on animals, such as castrating pigs by simply cutting them open with a knife, then using kerosene for an antiseptic. We were not unusual. Whether large scale or small, animal husbandry is cruel. This is why today I am a vagetarian.

Sundberg, National Pork Board, says "(t)he practices of the Ohio hog farm are not typical" (but) "if consumers start to vote with their wallets, the industry will listen" - I'm assuming "listen" means change its (horrendous) practices? Why change if the Ohio farm is atypical? Bottom line: Factory farming is cruel to animals, the workers and Earth.

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