Hog killin’ column — really?

Published 10:59 am Saturday, February 23, 2013

by Sue Perna

My, my talk about baiting your kind-hearted audience.

Ok, I’ll bite.

A hog killing column, seriously? (“A day of hog killin’ on Southampton County farm,” Feb. 23) Yes, seriously, for those of you who were lucky enough to have missed it.

Archie Howell went into deathly detail about slaughtering animals — pigs to be precise — animals known to be as smart or smarter than dogs. Animals, that if they weren’t cruelly confined in small pens and driven to madness and meanness by boredom and frustration, are sweet companion animals.

Ok, just so I understand this right. What we have here is an animal killing column one week followed up by an essay on what to do with the carcasses of the animals who were chronicled being killed the week before? And that’s normal?

These commentaries were so rife with apathy, slaughter, blood, intestines that they could’ve been excerpts from a Wes Craven script, but they weren’t, so what were they?

Were they meant to be informative? Why? So that we too can kill animals in the privacy of our own barns?

Or were the murderous missives being peddled more as entertainment? Because if that’s the deal, then The Tidewater News could further regale its blood thirsty readership with photos and stories of animals electrocuted in fur farms, calves trapped in tiny veal crates crying for their mothers or beagles being force fed oven cleaner in product testing laboratories. These atrocities, uh, I mean these amusements all come to the same end — dead animals.

If all the abattoir talk was meant to be informative, I’d like to offer up a viewpoint from somebody who is not an advocate of such awful goings on. There seems to be this unyielding and pervasive notion in some people’s minds that killing farmed animals is just one of those “necessary evils.”

Well, it isn’t anymore, if it ever was.

As far as pigs go, I eat everything that Archie is killing those animals for without hurting anyone. There is cruelty-free bacon, sausage patties/links, ham slices, ham to make ham salad, smoked seasoning instead of ham hocks.

These alternatives and more not listed all do four important things.

* Nobody dies in their production

* They are good for your body and mind.

* Thousands of pounds of excrement and millions of gallons of urine are not produced year after year after year and are not disposed of in our waterways or sprayed onto plants in fields exposing all of us to E-coli.

* And most importantly of all, our children are taught good environmental husbandry and are stopped from being continually indoctrinated into complete desensitization toward all animals other than cats and dogs.

Our society appears so utterly flummoxed by the problems of pollution and violence in our country these days. Well, I offer up a simple start to an excellent ending and it begins with a sandwich, and how you build that seemingly silly little sandwich.

You can either elicit environmental destruction, provoke untold sadness and continue to perpetuate the ethical indifference borne from adhering to that ridiculous, antiquated credo that animals MUST DIE so that we may live or, you can educate yourself to the repercussions of your actions and be a proud source for change — for the good of all, humans and non-humans alike.

SUE PERNA is a Wakefield resident and can be reached at sueperna@hughes.net.