‘Tocktober at the Farm

Everybody celebrates ‘Tocktober. Even bebeh piglets.

[Please check out Mom, with all hooves up—OOOF]

Piglets

Excellent curly-q tail capturing, Kei H.!

Comments

  1. PeaceNLuv says:

    shhh! *whispers and points* If you look carefully, you can see the tock within the tock of that black one in the middle left. This is a rare sight people. One that comes only about once a decade! Seriously cute pic! ::Squee::

  2. OMG.. check out the wittle piggy .. 2nd one in from right! He is a polkadot pig! And Peacenluv: That’s hilarious.. I saw that too.. rare.. like an eclipse…

  3. sqEEEEEEEal. Me lurves me some piggehs!!!

    Tocktober. What a month!

    Thanks, Meg! :)

  4. awwww, what cute ‘babes!!’
    okay, okay… that was a baaaaad joke. i feel sheepish.
    but is it just me or are the piglets halloween colors? is the description getting to me and they’re nice and pink, or are they stheriously orange and black? hehe, i love how mommy’s all polka-dotted!!

  5. technically, Megan, those are “trotters’ not “hooves’. Cows & horses have hooves which are all one piece. pigs have cute toesies tho not very many…

  6. well actually cow hooves are bifurcated… but all the same pigs have trotters. my uncle raises them (pigs).

  7. I love how if you peer closely between the legs of the middle orange piggy, you’ll see another black piggy being squished underneath!

    Never been that much for piggies…but one and mom is polka-dotted–I never knew piggies could have that! Awesome!

  8. Um, I think the marmie in the middle might belong to the Fed-Ex man……

  9. oohlookasquirrel says:

    um, I’m pretty sure that “tock within a tock” is really a hint that the little piggie in question is a boy.

  10. Yar, me believes this be a hock’tober moment.

  11. I love that one bebeh has the same colouring as mama!

  12. NotSupposedToBeDoingThisAtWork(ButNowI'mHome) says:

    ahahahahahhah!
    ahahhahaahhahahahah!!
    hahahahhahahahahahah!
    \ohmygodpiggies!
    hahahahahahhahah!
    curly little piggy tails!!!!
    hahahahahahahaha!
    i can’t take it!

  13. NotSupposedToBeDoingThisAtWork(ButNowI'mHome) says:

    ahahahahahhah!
    ahahhahaahhahahahah!!
    hahahahhahahahahahah!
    \ohmygodpiggies!
    hahahahahahhahah!
    curly little piggy tails!!!!
    hahahahahahahaha!
    i can’t take it!

  14. NotSupposedToBeDoingThisAtWork(ButNowI'mHome) says:

    ahahahahahhah!
    ahahhahaahhahahahah!!
    hahahahhahahahahahah!
    \ohmygodpiggies!
    hahahahahahhahah!
    curly little piggy tails!!!!
    hahahahahahahaha!
    i can’t take it!

  15. NotSupposedToBeDoingThisAtWork(ButNowI'mHome) says:

    ahahahahahhah!
    ahahhahaahhahahahah!!
    hahahahhahahahahahah!
    \ohmygodpiggies!
    hahahahahahhahah!
    curly little piggy tails!!!!
    hahahahahahahaha!
    i can’t take it!

  16. NotSupposedToBeDoingThisAtWork(ButNowI'mHome) says:

    ahahahahahhah!
    ahahhahaahhahahahah!!
    hahahahhahahahahahah!
    \ohmygodpiggies!
    hahahahahahhahah!
    curly little piggy tails!!!!
    hahahahahahahaha!
    i can’t take it!

  17. NotSupposedToBeDoingThisAtWork(ButNowI'mHome) says:

    ahahahahahhah!
    ahahhahaahhahahahah!!
    hahahahhahahahahahah!
    \ohmygodpiggies!
    hahahahahahhahah!
    curly little piggy tails!!!!
    hahahahahahahaha!
    i can’t take it!

  18. Meg, have you thought about a Tocktober calendar? We could then enjoy all the tocks and pretend that there were 12 IDENTICAL MONTHS IN THE YEAR!! It would confuse the bejeebers out of people, then the cuteness would make their heads explode.

  19. Bacon bits

  20. circuscake says:

    those are the most adorable piggie ‘tocks i have ever seen…and reason #14 of why i am a vegetarian (they’re too cute for bacon!)

  21. eeef you leeeesten verrrry closely, you can heeear the leeeetle oinkinks…

  22. I can’t believe I’m sitting here staring at a bunch of pigs’ asses!!!

  23. Umm… problem with vegetarian thing is that this cuteness would never have been born if people didn’t want ham and bacon. Zen confusion. As I eats a sausage. And I remembered how the pigs on my uncle’s farm had a big pasture and a pond that they swam in, and a pretty good life before…looks at sausage…oh dear. I’m not kidding am really eating the sausage.

  24. Tina Rhea says:

    Words cannot express how glad I am that I’m not a Mama Pig. Yow! And all of them pushing and shoving….

  25. PeaceNLuv says:

    Let’s pretend the “tock within the tock” exists, oohlookasquirrel. And if it did, that’s what it’d look like.

  26. circuscake says:

    well…if all pigs today had the same life as your uncle’s pigs, maybe i wouldn’t be a vegetarian…but enough of that. let’s just think cute thoughts…

  27. “Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you any more.” – Franz Kafka

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, Franz!

    I truly hope they won’t be used as food, because that defeats the cuteness of this picture. :-(

  28. Those hock ‘tocks rock.

  29. Andrea|Nash says:

    you,re right, Rosie; they are Halloween colors!

    I haven’t achieved vegetaianism yet (and probly never will), but I have given up baby animals (cause *really*) and most piggies (cause theyr’e so smart); but, lord, I love bacon … sigh…

    GREAT quote, jazmella!

  30. I guess we should at least start demanding free-range pig. They are smarter and therefore suffer more than chickens. Although I once had a pet chicken with major personality. She sang! When she was happy! And nobody ever ate her. But free range pig is a good idea, my cousins still have that sort of pig farm… less disease and less need for antibiotics when pigs can roam and graze… er.. scavenge… well both.

  31. circuscake says:

    i read a quote from a scientist who said even cockroaches have distinct personalities if you study them long enough.

    perhaps all the C.O. peeps could start a revolution and demand drug-free, free ranges for all animals!(insert joke here.)

    seriously- whatever farmers put into animals goes into us when we consume them (i only eat organic dairy because of this), so it’s a win-win situation; a better life for the animals and a superior food item for people.

  32. The mother looks like she has high healed boots on.
    A very classy pig. ;)

  33. Mom attacked by all those wee hooves: a true Hoof-er dam!

  34. those orange pigs look like they have fake tans.

  35. My Uncle kept pigs, he named the boar Charlie after my other Uncle, who was and is a bore.

  36. I’m fairly certain there’s a 10th piglet being squooshed under the scrum at the right…you can just see a bit of black at the end.

    I love pigs…there very smary and very clean, and love to play (even more than dogs, in my experience). We have a small pig-rearing operation in our village, raising rare breed pigs, and I love going to see them…every pig I’ve ever met has loved a back-scratch.

  37. Ann M., I was always under the impression that “trotter” was more used in reference to pigs hooves when they’re cooked or used as a foodstuff?

    In any case yes, they are definitely hooves. It’s the term for the horny covering on the ends of any ungulate’s digits (pigs are artiodactyls specifically, meaning they have an even number of toesies).

    Sorry, had to geek out for a minute :) Zoology major.

    Also, spotty-piglets kill me with cute.

  38. there have been quite some of these pics recently – what about a new category: “milkbar”

  39. Hi Lizbeast… well my uncles and cousins always referred to the pig feet as “trotters” although when used as food they were referred to as “pig’s feet” as in pickled pigs feet…ewww… I however defer to the zoologist as my degree is anthropology. As the granddaughter, niece and cousin of a bunch of Iowa farmers, I testify that I’ve only heard “trotters” in relation to pigs… and pigs are indeed very smart. Once I saw one of my uncle’s pigs eyeing an electric fence keeping him out of a cornfield. He kept digging a hole just on his side of the fence. At last he took a tremendous run at it…skidded under and squealed because he still got the shock…but then he was in hog heaven! I told on him though because he was going to kill himself on bloat from green corn… But Yeah! New animal rights organization… PFFRP! (Peeps For Free Range Pigs!”). Just try pronouncing the acronym. Have a tissue handy.

  40. All you porker experts,is Mum an Gloucester old spot?

  41. SO CUTE.

    This is exactly why I avoid eating pork.

    Now if only I would give up cow.

  42. Seriously, how can anyone eat dead animals when they’re so much cuter and happier alive?

  43. 1) This picture is beyond adorable. It’s possibly *the* best Halloweenie ‘Tocktober picture I’ve ever seen.

    2) It really helps that I do so love piggles.

    3) Not to be a killjoy, but– keep in mind, people, that “organic” /= healthy, happy, or hearty. Free-range /= better treated, or less antibiotics. NO chickens are grown with antibiotics or steroids, ALL meat is drug-withdrawn before it goes to human market (if it receives any drugs at all), there is less extra hormone in beef/dairy than what you yourself (even DUDES) produce naturally, and even “organic” meat/dairy/eggs can be grown in a large factory operation.

    Organic Foods- “I do not think that word means what you think it means”!

    PSA Brought to you by a BSA in Avian Biology. =)

  44. All those curly tails!

  45. melanie – who wrote “I can’t believe I’m sitting here staring at a bunch of pigs’ asses!!!”

    I can’t believe you dissed these innocent baby piglets by crudely referring to their ‘arses’ …

    you were born with one & I’m sure your Mum didn’t call it that …

  46. Theresa Muir says:

    Shine on,
    Shine on piggy moons!

  47. Sigh, how could anyone ever eat pork (or any other meat for that matter)?

  48. Hah, that’s awesome, Ann M.! XD I used to do shepherding with a friend of mine, and one of his more disobedient dogs did the same thing whenever he couldn’t wait anymore to get at those sheep. Just… shoom, right under the fence, voltage be damned! :)

    And aha, I like how even the most non-threatening, unspecific picture of baby piggies is already threatening to turn into vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian wank. Guys, come on, must we complain about EVERYthing?

  49. Meat is murder. Very Very delicious fatty protein murder… yum…. I will eat piggy and cow alike, there is nothing wrong with eating fleshy gifts from cute/notsocute animals.

  50. It’s the whole dichotomy in the minds of people who visit this site that gets to me. Some animals are cute pets we fawn over, and some are for killing and eating? Anyone who’s ever lived with an animal knows they are capable of suffering, so how can you torture and eat them? I just don’t get it. It’s not necessary – why do it?

  51. PIG BUTT! PIG BUTT! PIG BUTT!

    (whew) Okay, I’m over it. So cute! So squirmy! So MANY!

    I was a vegetarian for nine years, and I went back to eating some meat (poultry and fish, mostly fish) for many reasons, but I still can’t and won’t eat beef or pork. Pigs are physiologically the closest of any animal to humans, and their intelligence has been well documented.

    And, they’re just so darned cute.

  52. luvinmalssomuch says:

    Awwww! look at all of the cute little tocks with the curly wurly tails.
    Shooo that mom is going to need a relaxing break.

  53. Nine little ‘tock-lettes
    munching their lunch
    One rolled over and
    the others said crunch

  54. circuscake says:

    yes, you are- sadly- correct Tiffany. the more popular organic/free range becomes the less meaning it has, due to many factors. i buy my eggs and milk local, you can go visit the farms and hang with the happy critters- but who knows what they do once we’re gone, snatch away all their blankies?!

    serious- they can withdrawl all they want- i say it’s lurking in there somewhere. when you mess with nature, she will mess right back. (look at the whole bee situation! poor bees) i just wish more folks would get interested in where their food actually comes from, that’s all. i mean, this is stuff we put into our mouths!

    Ann M- Viva la pffrp revolution! (wipes mouth)

    (okay, Lizbeast, i am climbing down off my soapbox now.) Cute polka dot piggies!!!

  55. See, ccj, that’s exactly how I feel every time I visit this site (and actually I visit all the time)… there is this strange inconsistency in the treatment of sentient creatures that can sometimes be distressing to us animal advocates / vegans / etc. (Which is not to say that people who experience this as occasionally distressing–myself included–don’t have the option of just staying away, then.) But actually I must commend the debate surrounding this post thus far, Lizbeast. I think it’s been mostly a polite exchange of opinions, very civilized.

  56. Yitzysmommie says:

    SQUEE! Adorable Mom and baby piggies! Love the curly leetle tailios.

  57. I lol’d.

    Theriously, Meg, this is the most spectockular pic. Way to celebrate the month!

  58. that’ll do pig

  59. I eat meat cause it is butchered for me. I know if someone gave me a gun pointed to a cow and said that’s your lunch cut it up after you have killed it, there is no way I could do it. that said I do eat a lot of Vegetarian food and grow most of my own veg.

  60. OMG
    the tri color! the tri color! its definately Matchinks with Mama!
    too cute lil piggies!

  61. Definitely an interesting discussion arising from cute piggie photo. I find myself in a somewhat strange “political” position. A: I volunteer for an animal rescue group and love animals of all sorts. B: I eat meat because I believe humans evolved as omnivores and take health risks when trying to be vegans. C: I get very peeved with peeps who try to make their cats into vegans because cats are TOTALLY carnivores and trying to make them live on veggie protein is like slow death for them. There’s a lot of research about all this going on but peeps tend to pick out the data that fits what they want to believe. My attitude is don’t mess with Mother Nature, humans and animals should eat what they evolved to eat and not go on guilt trips if some of what they eat is also cute. That said, cruelty to the foodstuffs should be avoided as much as possible… long live PFFRP!

  62. BTW I haven’t been on this blog/discussion board for very long. Has anyone discussed neoteny as an explanation for cuteness perception? Megan, you must know about this? And yes, I SQUEEEE for baby piggies!

  63. ccj & kelly:

    Because they are insanely delicious, and because it’s part of a (normal) person’s instinct to desire meat. I had piggies and cows (both happy and “free-range”) that I loved, but there comes a point where you have to draw the line and decide what’s worth worrying about/saving (people with AIDS) and what’s better just being eaten (pigs/cattle).

  64. Mary (the first) says:

    Ann M. you said just what I was thinking.. I love animals of just about all kinds, but I’m an omnivore, that’s all there is to it. And if I can ask, whereabouts are your Iowa farmer relatives? cuz I am also a granddaughter, niece, cousin of a bunch of them (Carroll IA).

  65. Heheheh, ham-tocks! The matchingks piggie is so adorable, and I love how the marmie in the middle is all “EEEEHHHHNNN!” standing on his tip toes over his brothers and sisters to get to the milkbar. hehehe

    The vegan discussion is interesting. I consider myself semi-vegetarian, but it kind of annoys me when people take the whole debate too far, you know the people I’m talking about, the ones who shove it in your face like a some kind of zealot, bringing to the debate religious and moral issues. I believe that you can make your case with less inflammatory health (that is human health and animal health) and ethical issues.

    There really are no easy answers; corporations have taken over the terms “organic” and “free range” in such a way that renders them almost completely meaningless. If you live in California or some other state that can grow things all year round then it’s a little bit easier to “buy local” (which, in my opinion, is the healthiest option) but most people don’t have that luxury. Ultimately I think we all have to respect each other’s choices, nobody ever convinced anyone that they were right by getting in their face and being rude and accusatory.

    Ok, enough seriousness. Look at piggie butts!

  66. Hmm. Interesting. So anything that I have an inkling to consume because it’s “insanely delicious” is up for grabs, because such impulses trump any other moral consideration. Good to know. Does this also apply to other types of behavior, kestrien? (e.g., sexual impulses toward “insanely attractive” women perhaps?) Seriously though, why propose that one type of injustice/hardship in the world outranks another? if you’re an AIDS activist, good for you, that’s very commendable–but why shouldn’t there also be animal activists? (incidentally, quite a number of people are both)

  67. Paternal farm families around Traer area, maternal bunch in the Grimes/Adel area west of Des Moines. I was born in Newton but left Iowa at about 10 yrs of age. Still visit the family farms occasionally and my daughter SQUEES at the piglets and calves. She also works in animal rescue.

  68. I hope I’m not coming off as a zealot. It’s just something that confuses and saddens me. I’ll just address a couple of points people brought up and leave it at that – we each have to live with our own choices.

    First, health risks: there are lots of healthy vegans and vegetarians out there. Check out the ADA’s position paper on vegetarianism http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/advocacy_933_ENU_HTML.htm which states “Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence.” I’d be happy to direct you to other resources if you’re interested.

    Secondly, the idea that one has to choose what’s worth worrying about is a strange one. I don’t find it difficult to make decisions about my diet as well as about supporting various organisations and trying to reduce my environmental impact. I’ve also spent time with kids in AIDS orphanages, and I never found that what I had to eat that day made it more difficult or easier.. One can do both.

    Ok, that’s it. Thanks for keeping it civilised :)

  69. AuntieMame says:

    This brings to mind a bumper sticker I saw the other day.

    It said: “If you don’t eat animals called Pets, why do you eat animals called Livestock?”

    To which I reply: “For the same reason YOU don’t keep Livestock in your living room.”

  70. loves me the piggeh bums.

  71. there have been quite some of these pics recently – what about a new category: “milkbar”

    Posted by: Khadija | Oct 18, 2007 at 01:43 AM

    I whole-heartedly second this. There is something very sweet about nursing animals. It definitely should be a category.

  72. Such an array of colors!

  73. Our pigs thought they were horses. They would graze out with them and get mad when we’d go riding without them! And they ARE very smart and clean. Pinky and Spot (horrible names, we know) loved being brused, too.

  74. Doh! I meant “BRUSHED”!! Sorry little piggies!

  75. go on Meg, ham it up ^^

  76. tweeksmom says:

    I can’t believe that there is an entire month of the year completely devoted to staring at animals’ butts…

  77. Yet Another Michelle says:

    I second the ‘Tockalendar idea!

  78. Erm, all you commenters who are vegetarians for moral reasons… awesome for you, really. But attacking others for their selfishness or greed in choosing to eat meat really destroys your moral high ground, and just makes you look like combative zealots. It’s a personal choice–period! And you’re not going to convince people to change by attacking them.

    Phew. Cute piggies. I love the orange ones; for some reason they remind me of gymrats/tanning addicts ready to show off their muscles.

  79. wishing for cute says:

    i dont know why i read the comments here, they only make me sad. and since i come here when i feel down and want to feel happy, it really doesnt make sense. maybe i am a glutton for punishment?

    i KNEW the comments would be people talking about how much they love bacon. i think it is horrible people look at a little living creature and imagine it dead and ripped apart so they can devour it. and to whoever said this cuteness would never happen if we didnt eat meat, you make me sad for the world. surely animals should never live for be born for any purpose other than being slaughtered by people, god forbid they live for the sake of their own lives.

    when i look at this photo i have impulses to hug and love and be compassionate. not murder and devour and destroy.

    while i understand people ‘dont want to push views on others’ – hi, meat eaters are certainly pushing their views on the pigs, by torturing them and killing them. should we not speak up if we see our neighbor beating his dog? should we not speak up if we see him beating his child?

    i agree if no one is getting hurt, we shouldnt push our views on others. but when people or animals are getting hurt, it is our responsibility to say something.

    and dont kid yourself if you think suffering is not entertwined. you think all those poor foriegn aids kids you are saying you are concerned about have enough to eat and plenty of clean water? probably not, but would have more if we stopped feeding good grain and water to animals we breed for meat that directly takes resources away from what we could do to help.

    i doubt anything i am going to say will make a difference now, it just makes me sad that people look at this and only think how to hurt, and not how to love.

  80. Can you give examples of what qualifies as an attack in the above? I’m just curious, since I was trying quite hard not to sound like a “combative zealot”.

  81. Whoa there, lymerae – I don’t see any attacking going on. Our veggie friends are merely explaining why they don’t understand how animal lovers can be meat-eaters. This /= attack. Let’s keep this at polite discourse, eh what?

  82. *nods in wholehearted agreement with omnivore posters*

    I love animals too and consider my own pets to be ‘family’, but I would like to raise the point of anthropomorphization ( see definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropomorphization ). When an animal in the wild kills another animal it does so to eat/survive*. It’s not personal or vindictive or done with malice. It just is.

    Several years ago I was experiencing extreme fatigue. Finally an endocrinologist discovered that I wasn’t getting adequate animal-based enzymes that come from ingesting red meat.

    Admittedly there are times when undercooked meat grosses me out to no end; it just looks too much like a cross-section of carcass. Though I love vegetables, tofu, seafood, etc., I have to make an effort to eat red meat and since then I have felt much better.

    That said, the majority of domesticated animals exist because they were born and bred as a food source or a companion. In either case cruelty is not acceptable, but slaughtering an animal intended as food is not cruelty*. It’s okay for both types of animals to serve their purpose and I for one am thankful for each.

  83. Er, wait, now that I’ve refreshed I see “wishing for cute” trying to push the line and getting a mite too aggressive for these parts (the regulars don’t care to be labeled as “murderers”). So yeah, “wishing”, if you can’t bear the thought of people eating animals, you perhaps shouldn’t read the comments.

  84. CCJ, I do not feel that you have been combative, I’ve enjoyed hearing your views. Wishing for Cute’s post on the other hand is exactly the kind of thing that’s counter productive to real discussion. Come on, no one has said “ooohhhh, gimme a hacksaw and fork!” or “I can’t wait till they grow up so I can rip their guts out an eat them”. Please, calm yourself.

    I actually agree with the position that the way we treat factory farmed animals who are used for food is often abysmal, it sucks and it’s not right to keep chickens in cages exactly the size of their own bodies for example. But accusing people in general of being morally corrupt because they chose to eat meat? That’s just not ok, people who chose to go there come off as whiney, out of touch with reality, overly judgemental and maybe even more than a little crazy, that is obviously not a good way to start out a discussion. If you want to talk about moral inconsistencies a good place to start would be for all of us to take a good hard look at ourselves, I don’t think any of us could begin to brag of 100% moral consistency.

    I mentioned before that I’m semi-veg, this is a decision I made on my own after much research and thought, not because someone made me feel guilty.

  85. all you commenters who are vegetarians for moral reasons… awesome for you, really.

    Thank you! I’ve been an awesome vegetarian for 19 years now!

    I like the polka dot piggies.

  86. I think in any discussion people feel strongly about it is not worth going to certain extremes. It’s much more interesting and productive to find common ground.

    On that note, it seems like most people here are against factory farming practices (as I’m sure almost everyone would be if they knew the facts). The success of free range eggs and chickens on the market are indicative of that concern. However, the reading I’ve done indicates that free range chickens don’t have substantially more access to the outdoors, for example, because the guidelines are vague and not always enforced. So I would like to know how much research you do into where the animals you buy come from and how they were treated?

    I think always buying meat from a farmer you’d met in person and whose farm you’d seen, and not buying it “blind” in processed foods or restaurants would be a consistent moral position (not for me, but for people who have no problem with animals being killed for food) but I have yet to meet an omni who has such a policy. I’d be curious to hear if anyone does.

  87. ccj – we don’t “torture and eat them” we just eat them. My father-in-law has a farm with pigs and cows and chickens none of which are tortured.

  88. Didn’t mean to start a foodfight between vegetarians and carnivores! But these pigs are not pets. They live on Clark Summit Farm in Tomales Bay, CA, and are raised by caring farmers who practice sustainable animal husbandry and are certified organic. If everyone raised animals the way they do, we’d all be better off. Check them out:http://www.ethicurean.com/2006/10/05/clark-summit-farm/

  89. Okay, first the joke, which I have been waiting to make for weeks:

    “SQUEE LIKE A PIG!”

    Now — I don’t think there is any personal decision I am more conflicted about than my choice to be an omnivore. Recently, I have cut way back on red meat, and have avoided pork (not entirely, but mostly) for years; I hate seafood, so that leaves poultry. I love, love, love animals (except snakes), grown, behbehs, cute, ugly, whatever. Outside of being stranded on a desert island, I can’t imagine actually doing the killing myself. I cheat by mostly eating ground meat that does not resemble the animal it came from. My ex-girlfriend — who was a vegan at the time (but recently began eating meat again) — used to compare me to Hitler when I ate meat (seriously), and it hurt, because although it’s quite extreme, I understood her point and her passion for animals that are raised to be human food in conditions that to us seem torturous and cruel.

    So why do I keep eating meat? One, I am not a big veggie person — I hate tofu and do not like most green vegetables. Two, I am a Christian and I believe that God in her infinite wisdom made a cycle of life that includes animals feeding on each other. When I die, I want to be buried without chemicals so that my body can be broken down by teeny tiny bugs and enrich the soil that other forms of life can draw from. Three, as others have pointed out, these amazing animals that we love are often omnivores or carnivores themselves, they eat meat for survival, and I don’t think that we as humans are so incredibly enlightened that we can consider ourselves morally superior to the animals (some may disagree, I’m not trying to be provocative). Four, if the world started being vegetarian tomorrow — something that I would support in theory — there’s going to be a LOT of animal carcasses to deal with for the next several years.

    I truly respect my friends who choose to not eat meat or animal by-products; I give them no grief for it and always prepare meals or dining plans with them in mind. I’m even okay with them trying to talk to me about my own eating habits, because I know how important it is to them. But I don’t believe that either side is absolutely “right.”

    And for the record, when I see a pig or a cow or a chicken, I do not think “I’m hungry” or “Wow I can’t wait until that animal is prepared on a bun,” and I don’t think anyone else here does, either. I think we all see animals that find adorable and care about in the abstract, and appreciate the wonders and mysteries of God’s universe even further. I doubt these piggehs will have the life of Wilbur in “Charlotte’s Web,” they are likely to be raised for human consumption — but there are a LOT of humans who need food (all of us, technically), and maybe these animals will help sustain people who are not fortunate enough to have the kind of veggie options that we have in this country.

  90. LisaN: I should have qualified that “torture” referred to factory farming practices. So now my question is: do you only ever eat meat or animal products from your father-in-law or similar farms? Because otherwise the chances are your money goes towards supporting factory farms, where the majority of animals are raised. Although buying something that is certified organic is almost certainly better for the environment, unfortunately it doesn’t necessarily (by law) mean anything about how the animals are treated. And the loopholes in “free range” are huge, which makes things problematic.

  91. Actually we do usually eat the animals that come from my father-in-laws farm. It’s cheaper for us and we know where the meat comes from and how the animals have been treated.
    I LOOOOVE when the little piglets are born, but try not to get too attached as I know where they will end up. The ham at Easter/Xmas comes from a pig that he raised. We split a “Beef” with one of his other children’s families every year and freeze it. The chickens are used mostly for eggs.

  92. My thoughts on the question of animals eating other animals in the wild (for those who are interested) are the following:

    1. Animals killed in the wild die after lives in which they were free to move around, form emotional bonds, have children and live their lives. I don’t think factory farming conditions can even be compared. Similarly I would argue that death in a slaughterhouse is more traumatic (smells, sounds of those gone before you).

    2. Food chains in the wild have never resulted in such huge concentrations of animals as humans have effected in the last 50 years or so. This practice is responsible for pollution, etc.

    3. One difference between humans and animals we can all agree on: we have the ability to feel compassion, and the ability to make reasoned choices about our actions.

    4. We can live perfectly healthy lives without eating meat. This isn’t true for cats, for example, who need taurine or risk blindness.

  93. I do agree with what someone said though that if I personally had to kill my own food, I couldn’t do it. Maybe if my family was starving and it was the ONLY food.

    But there are many things I couldn’t personally bring myself to do that I feel are useful and necessary, and I appreciate that there are people who can.

  94. luvinmalssomuch says:

    Berthaslave, Applause!! Very well said.

    **Now I hope Meg post a new happy picture that is not controversial in any way**

  95. luvinmalssomuch says:

    LisaN, I agree 100% with your first sentence. I don’t think I could do it.I accidentally hit a squirrel a month ago with my car after I tried my best to swerve out of his way and it still bothers me.

  96. piggeh buns!!!

  97. Way to suck all the fun out of something, guys.

  98. Aren’t those piglets done wif their milks YET???

  99. Piglets never WANT to be done wif milks, their Mommies have to wean them…a difficult job at best. Now I must go pour a bowl of formula for my very own personal terminally cute foster kitteh!

  100. NYgirly, your point about anthropomorphizing animals is excellent. People often confuse the line between how they (as people) would like to live and how they think an animal should like to live.

    Not all factory farming outfits are torture pits; it is economically unreasonable in most circumstances to treat your animals poorly. If most of them are suffering, dying, and getting ill, then you don’t make any money. It’s not really the Nicest, or the Kindest, or the Most Moral reason to be humane, but the fact remains. Cage laying is one of my least favorite factory practices, but even that can be skewed to make it sound even more awful than reality. For instance, standard cages are NOT exactly the size of the bird. They give them a little bit of space– though I will admit it’s not nearly enough. The EU is currently moving to “enriched cages”, a trend which will likely catch on elsewhere.

    Remember, guys, what people are showing you is exactly what they want you to see. If they want you to see farming as cruel and torturous, they’ll find a way to show that to you.

    Also, ccj, organic is NOT necessarily better for the environment, the animals or the people who are consuming it. Did you know organic produce is allowed to be treated with natural and synthetic pesticides? Or that many foodborne disease outbreaks are associated with organic foods? What is the fate of a diseased animal under organic farming, when they are unable to be sold organic if they’re treated with antibiotics?

    I’m not trying to sway anyone one way or another. I just want to stress, as I’ve been doing since I myself started learning about these things, that everyone should research all their options and make sure they are well-informed about the issues at hand. Just make sure you give yourself a balanced vantage point– you won’t find it on goveg.com.

  101. Teresa- OMG I agree with your comment in every way.
    Its just a cute photo and that’s it.
    also- Luvinannies- I dont think there could be a photo that, if left up long enough, someone would not start some kind of _itch about it.
    The Piggies are cute, and Mama’s a hoot. and that’s all i have to say about that. (walks away kicking dirt and mumbling)

  102. *huffs*
    Those piggies have been drinking milks from their mommy all day. I think we need a bunny or a puppy to come along and interrupt them so mom can have a break. Or at least let us see the piggies’s snouts (with little milk drops on them)

  103. I don’t anthropomorphize animals. (I’m not sure why people assume vegetarians do that. I think people with pets tend to anthropomorphize more than anyone.) However, I do love and respect them, no matter how “stupid” or “homely” they may be to others (I can’t tell you how many times people justify eating chickens because they’re “so stupid.”)

    My short answer, when people ask why I’m a vegetarian, is this: “I love animals too much to eat them.”

    I don’t make the distinction between cute companion animals and farm animals. Most people do. I don’t. I get teased at times about not eating meat and asked how my health is (everyone thinks I’m not getting enough protein!). Frankly, I’m healthier than any of the meat eaters I know. (This might not be your experience.)

    My family and boyfriend eat meat, and I wouldn’t presume to harrass them about it. Instead, I just try to show compassion by my actions. They respect my decision and I don’t bug ‘em about theirs. I’m happy with my choices, plain and simple!

  104. Being vegetarian is a personal choice and NOT a sure way to health and long life. I chose to be veggie for 19 months before I was instructed by a DOCTOR that my blood type made it a HEALTH RISK. I suffered from severe fatigue and lost A LOT of weight. Sure there are ways to get the proteins that are in meat from other sources, but is it ecological to buy crates of tofu, beans, etc. when you can just eat some meat? The only downside to eating meat would be indulging in mass produced meat that can have harmful effects on the enviroment. If other mammals survive on eating meat in reasonable portions, why should we exclude ourselves? Does this mean veggies have the idea that they are morally superior to a wolf or bear?

  105. Yeah, its cute until one of them has an “accident” coming from their ‘tocks.

  106. circuscake says:

    wow- what a lovely discussion we’re all having- with hardly a harsh word exchanged. i think everyone deserves a pat on the back.

    i know some folks hate that we’re talking about this, but i do think things have stayed much more civil than on, say, the scooter pup thread.

    most of the people i love eat meat, and i respect their choice. but i do find it weird when i encounter outright hostility for my decision to be a vegetarian. doesn’t happen often, but when it does, i’m always caught off-guard.

  107. Wow. Just…Wow, I’m only going to read the first 10 comments, because it just gets out of hand after that. Somewhere like at 20 something people get bored with the picture and begin to dissect it until it’s like a communist issued can of meat.

    Or they talk just so strangers on the net think they’re smart.

    PS OMG Piggy bottoms! My sister was going to get a pot bell piggy as a pet, but we all agreed as a family that it was smelly and bristly. So we all got chickens.

    And then we plucked their feathers and boiled them alive.

    (the last part is a lie and serves only to ruffle your feathers)

    Zing!

  108. Aww makes me glad to be veg :) Check out my site to find out what one vegan eats!

  109. Everyone is being very polite :) I just have a couple of comments:

    Firstly, I didn’t say organic was always better for the environment, just “buying something that is certified organic is almost certainly better for the environment.” That means in most cases. When you’re not treating animals with hormones and antibiotics you can’t keep them in such close quarters, and their manure isn’t toxic. However, if you’re transporting things long distances and not taking sustainability into account, then those effects are cancelled out. My main point though was that it doesn’t mean anything necessarily about how the animals are treated.

    Next, I don’t accept the argument that eating meat is a personal choice and that we should leave it at that. Wearing a blue or a grey tie is a personal choice. It affects no-one. Eating meat does affect others, adversely. So it is an action with consequences, and I think people should consider those carefully.

    To the question “is it ecological to buy crates of tofu, beans, etc.?”, the answer is yes, much more so than meat. The reason is that passing your protein and everything else through another life cycle is a much less efficient process than getting it from plants, just from an energetic point of view.

    Finally, I’ll mention that a lot of the worst things I’ve read about how animals are treated in factory (including organic) farms was in Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. He’s not a vegetarian, and he doesn’t work for Peta, so that might have a bit more credibility in your eyes.

    I will agree that some of the worst effects of eating meat stem from the sheer scale at which it is consumed in the developed world today. This goes for environmental effects, how factory farms can be profitable, and health. So reducing your meat consumption is a good step… there are lots of yummy veggie recipes out there :)

  110. berthaslave,

    I’m sure I don’t need to point out the irony of being (so unfortunately!) compared to Hitler for eating meat when Hitler himself was a vegetarian?
    Strange!

  111. Oh hey good idea! says:

    Well, if HITLER was a vegetarian, that’s reason enough for me! Lets save the animals and slaughter the humans!

    The irony is wasted on those of us who could care less.

  112. I thought seafood should also be represented in this discussion. Octopuses/octopi (both are valid plural forms, I looked it up) are too smart to make sushi out of them.

  113. circuscake says:

    actually, hitler was *not* a vegetarian. his doctor wanted him to be, for health reasons, but his chef attested that he was quite the voracious meat eater.

  114. circuscake says:

    still, berthaslave- that comparison was totally uncalled for, and i hope you rub it in your ex-‘s face that she is now her own little hitler…..or perhaps you are more polite than i would be.

  115. Andrea|Nash says:

    Oh my!

    And jjr said it so nicely way back when …

    I just can’t read all the posts backward from here – even tho I’m sure there’re some good ones; I’ve got a major confrontation aversion. Or as my sweetie once told me, ” Seeing both sides of the coin is OK, but you see the edge.”

  116. What many people forget is that most of the animals you are disscussing, would not exist if they had not been bred and farmed by man. Chickens would be about half the size and living in the forests in southern asia for instance.

  117. FashionableNerd says:

    Piggy bums are so cute. And it looks like Mama needs a break!

    Oh, and in reference to the other discussion in the thread…I’m an omnivore. I like chicken and seafood (nothing that goes oink or moo though). Although I understand that some don’t care for the “personal preference” arguement, that’s the only arguement I can give you. But I do enjoy vegetarian options often, I just like something else every once in awhile.

  118. “What many people forget is that most of the animals you are disscussing, would not exist if they had not been bred and farmed by man. Chickens would be about half the size and living in the forests in southern asia for instance.”

    Unless we bred their nervous systems away, this is irrelevant (except for the fact that boiler chickens are bred to grow so fast their legs can sometimes not support them). Being bred for something doesn’t mean they suffer less.

  119. ccj. splain yourself.

  120. ccj.your take on my comment gets grabs the wrong end of the stick. My impications is not the fact that they are bred by man, means its ok to slaughter them, it is that they would not exist in many countries as they are imported nor would they exit in there current forms.

  121. ccj:
    I was referring more to the comment from jjr apparently comparing eating meat to sexual assault–sorry, that angered me.

    Personally, I eat almost no red meat–the only time I eat it is if it’s served to me by a host/hostess–and very little of any other meat. I love tofu and vegetarian Indian cuisine. But within my moral system, it’s not immoral to eat meat, and I guess I resent attempts to make me feel guilty for that.

  122. Hon Glad: I think you understood my point (that just because they’ve been bred for the purpose doesn’t make it ok to eat them). I agree that they would not exist otherwise and not all over the world, but I’m not sure why you mention that?

    Lymerae: I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty. I’m just looking for consistency: if you love animals, why support factory farms? This really puzzles me, every day.

  123. ccj: I would seriously love to never support factory farms, and to purchase only meat from free-range farms with heritage breeds and humane practices. I do try to shop at our local “hippy” grocery store as much as possible to purchase products like that. But as a college student with extremely limited money and time, it’s not always possible–and frankly, it’s not *highest* on my priority list. If it was something I was really passionate about, I would be out campaigning to try to change things on a large scale, because one consumer, in the long run, is not going to effect that much change.

  124. Geez. It’s been a long thread…

    Hon Glad, I think ccj meant that it doesn’t matter if farmed animals didn’t exist if there were no facilities that breed/slaughter them–because we have no moral responsibilities toward as yet non-existent critters. (Paraphrasing Peter Singer, these animals are not waiting somewhere in limbo to be born and we’re depriving them of the opportunity.) We are only obligated to treat those animals that do exist with care and compassion.

    lymerae, I was not comparing eating meat to sexual assault. I meant to point out that one of the reasons in favor of eating meat cited earlier–because it tastes good–just seems super self-indulgent and morally suspect along the same lines as acting on other types of urges regardless of how they affect others. (If someone is sincerely convinced they need to eat meat to survive, that to me is a different story–even though I personally definitely don’t agree with this stance.)

    I don’t mean to anger or offend anyone, though.

  125. jjr and ccj: The one thing that bothers me is that you talk about not understanding why anyone *would* eat meat (or at least meat from factory farms) as if it was a thoughtless, cruel decision to do so and it was as easy as a moment’s twinge of good conscious to switch over to an alternative diet. But it’s not. Not everyone has the time resources to plan a healthy vegetarian diet, or the ability to travel farther and pay more for meat that comes from a humane farm. It’s hard, really hard, to take that approach in our society, especially if you ever want to eat out or be able to share a meal at a friend’s house. It takes a huge commitment. And I admire you two for doing it! But it’s not like everyone can jump on board with that commitment at a moment’s notice, even if they do believe it’s inhumane to eat meat–and I don’t think it’s fair to insinuate that they don’t care about animals just because they can’t.

    Personally, I don’t think eating meat from animals that were well-treated in their lifetimes and slaughtered with the least suffering possible is inhumane in any way.

  126. Lymerae, you certainly sound like you’ve thought about that, and I think that’s commendable.
    The same cannot be true of everyone. Like I said, I think it would be a consistent position only to buy meat from ethical farmers etc.

    But I don’t think it’s as hard as you might think to avoid meat when you go out etc. It doesn’t have to be at a moment’s notice, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are loads more different kinds of grains and beans and legumes and vegetables than there are different kinds of animals (unless you count beetles, I guess… which you probably don’t eat). And it has never been easier to be vegetarian at restaurants.

    I have avoided including personal detail because it isn’t that relevant, but I’ll say this. I became a vegetarian at the age of ten, and had no problems eating at friend’s houses etc. Of course I was lucky that my mom was supportive, but in general it was not that hard at all. People respect decisions that you have strong reasons for (having a long list of vegetables you “don’t like” is then obviously not ok). And I put off going vegan for a very long time because I thought it would be hard, phasing things out over a couple of years, but I made the switch a couple of months ago and it’s been great. I feel physically good and morally aligned, if that makes sense, and it hasn’t been anywhere near as difficult as I expected.

    My aim is not to be antagonistic here, or to “win” an argument. I am continuing to post because I think it might be helpful for people who do think about where their food comes from. If you decide to try having a veg day a week, or just want to try a couple of new recipes, I’d be happy to pass some on.

    Lastly, you made the “one person can’t make a difference” argument at some point. I have big issues with this idea, which extends to all kinds of things. First, I don’t think it’s true, since small differences add up. That’s why I still vote, and recycle, and close dripping taps. Secondly, it’s a horribly fatalist attitude. It would have defeated the suffragettes, and civil rights activists, and countless other people. I understand that you may have priorities other than animal rights, but to apply that reasoning to any of them is to do yourself a disservice I think. Social change has to happen somehow, and normally requires a bottom-up shift as well as top-down changes.

    Again, not trying to sound preachy. I often get depressed about my efforts for various causes, but I continue because I think one person can have an effect…

    Ok, I’m going to shut up now. I’m linking my blog so anyone who wants to can contact me through that and we can stop bothering CO-ers.

    BTW, Natalie, that cake looks amazing!!! Consider yourself bookmarked!

  127. CCJ- I just tried to leave a comment twice on your personal site. I’m not that computer literate… anyway, I’m a fellow vegan who totally agrees with you and would love to converse with you. :) My e-mail is allywag67@aol.com and my band’s website is http://www.thewagband.com. I hope to hear from you!
    -Alicia
    allywag67@aol.com
    http://www.thewagband.com

  128. PEEEEEEEGLET TOCKS!

    Looks like poor mama’s passed out!

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