Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's ENVIROPIG!!

I'm stunned silly. I wish I could come up with some great monologue about the new, genetically modified pig that's awaiting approval from Health Canada to be allowed into our food system. I wish I had a little more faith in the food regulators to do what is right and not just profitable, but having been given the rubber stamp of approval from Environment Canada, it looks like the transgenic pig is one step away from your dinner plate.

Photo: University of Guelph:  "Furthermore, the technology is simple, if you know how to raise pigs, you know how to raise Enviropigs!"  Golly, I'll have two, please!

The problems with industrialized, factory farms are many. They produce toxic waste by the mountain-full. They raise sick animals, confined to small cages. Animals that are fed antibiotics and growth hormones in their pesticide laden food. They are toxic, environmentally destructive, and completely unsustainable. Concentrating animals into such small quarters also amplifies the problem of waste. With pigs, there's the problem of phosphorous in that concentrated manure and the toxic effect it has on water tables, rivers, and creeks nearby.
Photo: The Epoch Times  "Aerial view of hog confinement operation in Saskatchewan. Such facilities typically consist of a sow barn containing an average of 5,000 sows, a nursery barn with about 19,000 piglets, and a finishing barn with 12,000 to 14,000 pigs. 

What should we do about these factory farms raising sick animals and then dumping the meat into our food supply? Well, we could look at sustainable farming practices that pay farmers a decent wage to produce food that nourishes us. We could look at supporting local farmers that are taking the time to raise animals to maturity on green pastures, in the sunshine, eating forages that are native to that animal. We could look at the dysfunction of factory farming and learn from our mistakes.

Environment Canada and some other financially interested parties have decided that they have a better way.

Why do things the right way when you can keep doing things the way you are, but easier? Enter Enviropig... hmm.. how do I put one of those little TM things with the circle around it in there? Anyway, read that as Enviropig trademark, please.

Enviropig is a genetically modified piggy capable of shooting green lasers out of its eyes and pooping out wads of cash  letting factory farms keep factory farming while pretending that they are environmentally friendly by raising transgenic animals that have been genetically messed with to make them produce less phosphorous in their manure.  Wow!  How do they do that? Simple, they just splice a little bit of mouse DNA with a little drop of piggy DNA, whip it up, throw it in the oven for 9 minutes and you got yourself a nice, fresh roasted Enviropig!  Yummy, can I have seconds, mommy?

Like all other GMO foods in North America, transgenic animal products will not be labeled at the grocery store. If you'd like to say something about this, now is the time to do it. Health Canada is deciding when farmers can start sneaking these critters into our grocery stores.  Let the Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq know what you think of Mr. Enviropiggy. More importantly, what you can do involves what you do with your money. Don't buy grocery store meat. Refuse to support factory farms. Seek out your local farmers and purchase animals that were raised outdoors, in healthy living conditions. I know, I sound like a broken record, but consumers wield a lot more power than they realize!
Oink Squeak Oink Squeak
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