Gestation Stalls: Where Our Pigs Live

I can’t force any opinion on anyone else, and that is not my intention with this blog. I want to provide you with some tips and recipes to choose the best meat you feel appropriate, and I want to also provide you with some resources to better understand what you are consuming.

To understand what exactly you are eating, we have to know where the meat comes from and how it is raised.

I was referred to a blog titled “Mom at the Meat Counter” by a my mom. One specific post caught my attention. Pig Housing: Gestation Stalls. It compares gestation stalls (where most pigs we consume live) to a child’s car seat (hmm…makes you think).

The truth is, I am one of those people who doesn’t know much about pig farming. But, it’s something I will take the time to learn different opinions about.

The mother behind this blog sort of wraps that idea that pigs are dangerous creatures around the reader’s head, and that is why they have to be kept in the gestation stalls- to keep people safe. They grow large, and sometimes become aggressive. My question is why do they have to be in such a small cell that they can’t even roll over? And yes, you may keep a child in a car seat for safety while the car is in motion, but these pigs are stable in one place, and locking them up until they are ready to deliver seems a bit much. Don’t some people own pigs as pets? I have heard they are smarter than dogs…

I think the solution would be this:

“Research shows that there are advantages and disadvantages of using gestation stalls. One study gave pigs the choice of remaining in a group pen or in a gestation stall and found that the pigs preferred to stay in the stalls most of the time. In a video of a farm in Indiana, the farmer has European-style gestation crates, where the pigs can choose to go in or out of the stalls. He says they stay in their stall over 90% of the time.”

I am in my bedroom about 90% of the time, because I need time alone, but at least I have the freedom to come and go as I please, and wouldn’t pigs want/deserve that same freedom to come and go as they place? These European-style gestation crates sound like a great idea to me!

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