Pig Tales by Barry Estabrook is a “must read” book for eaters, farmers, and anyone who even remotely cares about sustainability. Estabrook covers the very best and worst in the lives of modern day pigs and the farms that raise them.
My hat is off to Mr. Estabrook for telling this important story and not flipping out in the process. There’s no way I could visit a factory hog “farm” and tolerate seeing 8,000 sows in gestation crates so small that the sows cannot move. I hope that in my lifetime, practices like these will be outlawed.
There used to be a sacred pact between the farmer and the animals he raised. The farmer had to earn a living, but he also did whatever he could to give his animals a good life. The farmer respected his livestock. I raise my pigs that way and thankfully, there is a small, but growing population of farmers who raise their pigs “the old way”. Estabrook covers both sides of the story, but clearly sides with the pigs and the alternatives to our American factory farms.
This book reminds me that humans often discount and underestimate what they don’t understand and yet, there is so little effort put forth to even try and understand the unknown. I learned a lot about pigs while reading this book and was completely fascinated with the stories of lab research that probed the intelligence and capabilities of pigs.
Pig Tales is an easy read and a book that I looked forward to picking up every day. I hope you give it a chance too.