Chinese farmers breeding pigs as heavy as polar bears

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/08/chinese-farmers-breeding-pigs.html

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I take it you’ve never been to the Iowa state fair. Pigs can be huge

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We’re going to need a new measure of force … Hog Power!

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I was going to ask if at that weight they are even capable of moving, but seems moot as they’re probably kept in cages too small for them to move anyway.

Double-moot because standard meat pigs today are probably already in these circumstances.

edited to add: although the hog in the photo above seems pretty lively!

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This hybrid of a feral hog and a wild boar was 8 feet long and over 800 pounds. Not the biggest pig ever. Domestic pigs can still grow larger.

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Blimey, I’d not heard about African Swine Flu. It appears that the outbreak is so severe that it is pushing down the value of Soy as there aren’t enough pigs to eat the surplus.

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But can these giant pigs use tools?

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There’s monkey business in the business of Chinese ham:

Also,

“Smithfield and the United States alone could not fill the extreme losses of Chinese pork, experts say. Production here doesn’t match what’s consumed and made in China. Still, the situation could be a boon for American pork producers — but the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China is getting in the way.”

“Were it not for the tariffs, we’d be looking at a historic sales opportunity,” said Jim Monroe, a spokesman with the National Pork Producers Council, a Des Moines, Iowa-based trade association representing hog producers."

See also:

Can’t have those pesky US health and safety inspectors getting in the way of Chinese ham deliveries now can we?

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So what long-standing policies and which industry will Trump throw under the bus in exchange for manufactured dirt on Biden?

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“Breeding” isn’t the correct term here. These animals are simply being overfed. The article misses the point, that the farmers are taking an already-cruel situation for the animals and making it even worse. “Bacon is good”, though…

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Soon each pig will weigh as much as 30-50 feral hogs.

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craig-ferg-go-wrong

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If you follow the link, the chinese characters written on the pig that the girl is riding in the photo says 豬王 (Pig King).

One of my favorite hanzi characters is for home 家. It is literally a pig under a roof. In ancient china a pig was often the most valuable thing a family owned so pigs were associated with home, where you kept your pigs. Most Chinese cultures have had always had a soft spot for pigs. They also eat an astonishing amount of pork.

When you order a vegetable dish in Hong Kong it is almost unthinkable not to sprinkle in a little pork powder. This is true in most places I llived in Thailand and Laos as well (but in Cambodia, chicken powder is king.

An old friend worked as a short order cook in a back alley lunch shop in Sham Sui Po (in Hong Kong) around the corner from my office. I asked her once, in my broken Cantonese, if she’d ever had foreign customers. She laughed and said only once (I guess I didn’t count) and said that two ladies came in once (she thought they were American because they were very loud) and said they didn’t want any meat, only vegetables. She thought that odd because most people came for her famous beef curry noodle soup. She gave them a couple of vegetable dishes and some rice. I asked her if she had used any pork powder and now it was her turn to give me an odd look. “Of course,” she said, “it tastes better.” I tried to explain the concept of western vegetarianism and she just shook her head and gave me that you look you get when a child says something completely daft and said, “the gweilo ladies said my cooking was very good.”

Having eaten her cooking for years, I have no doubt it was.

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Which reminds me of the story of the TX state trooper who got his first patrol car & was cruising in the hills of central Texas. He was coming down one hill when he spied a farmer standing next to the road on the trough before the next rise. As he passed, the farmer yelled “Pig!” The trooper stuck his head out of his cruiser & yelled 'Cedarchopping SOB!" He crested the next hill & then WHAM. He ran into a 800 lb. pig. He got out of his wrecked car, shook his head & then heard the farmer behind him. “Officer, when I tell you something, you better believe it.”

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beat me to it. very interesting film