We’re not going to let 20.000 pigs burn to death and just shrug our shoulders, right?

Guys, girls, and everyone who’s in doubt about their gender. We really need to talk about the meat industry. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you not to eat meat, just hear me out.

Today 20.000 pigs in Erichem, The Netherlands, died in a barn fire. Earlier this month 4.000 died in Heeswijk-Dinther when their barn caught fire.

In the West we pride ourselves on the values of the enlightenment, and rightfully so, but ancient Jewish Law prescribes more humane treatment of animals than our laws guarantee today. 

So why are there 20.000 pigs in one barn? The answer is painfully obvious, because people want to eat meat (nearly) every day and pay the lowest price.
I can not imagine that as a human being you could support a situation where animals are kept in such horrible conditions as are sometimes encountered in mega barns. One only has to search on google for a short while to see these horrid images. Crippled animals, rife with diseases, high on medication. Of course, all consequences of keeping so many animals together in a limited space. 

As I said at the beginning of this piece, I don’t want to ban anyone from eating anything. What I do want to do is tell you what you already know. Which is that if we keep buying our meat from supermarkets at such low costs, things will never improve. At the end of the day our choices about where we buy meat (butcher, supermarket, from local farm) will influence this industry strongest. 

If you buy meat, why not check if it comes from a descent farm where the animals can roam freely? You only have to do it once and can buy that product from then on. Even supermarkets sell poultry raised in generally good conditions. Of course it will cost you more but if everyone does it megafarms (and barns) will cease to exist and the conditions for the animals will increase vastly. And let’s be honest, it might cost you 10-20 bucks a month more, but you waste much more than that on stuff you don’t even need. So let’s not use money as an escape. And as we switch to meat from better farms prices will drop too.

Surely this is something we can all get behind? Who can honestly say that if they saw 20.000 pigs burn to death they would consider this an acceptable consequence of us wanting to eat meat? Really. 

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