Can You Be on the Pork Industry's Payroll and Stay Unbiased?

pigApparently not. Shauna Ahern of the famous Gluten-Free Girl blog is paid to write a blog for the National Pork Board. She just wrote a piece about a factory hog farm she visited and how wonderful it was. Here's an excerpt:

The entire place felt warm. Even though there were something like 2,500 pigs there, taken from birth to the market (farrow to finish, in pork production terms), the whole place felt calm and well-kept. It felt like a home.

I've been to a factory hog farm, too, and it was also a "family farm." But that didn't change the fact that there were 4,000 pigs crammed into one building eating unhealthy diets and unable to engage in natural hog behaviors, like rooting. If it felt like a home, it was a home sitting on top of half a year's worth of hog manure.

Truly, it was no more of a home than a crowded subway car at rush hour would be a home for humans if it were sitting on top of a cesspool of excrement instead of train tracks. That's more than just disgusting -- in some cases it's deadly: just last week two men died from suspected methane gas poisoning at a factory hog farm in Nebraska.

If you'd like another perspective on factory hog farms, check out the film Pig Business, and check out how the pork industry tried to keep people from seeing it.


Nice find. That blog is rated by all these magazines and newspapers to be one of the best in foodie blogs... yuck.

That makes me sick. I'm not vegetarian, although was for a couple years, but I do purchase local, humane animal products and by-products whenever I can, if not every time I visit the grocery. I couldn't imagine pretending as though something that cruel and horrible didn't exist, and just putting the misery and horrible living conditions of those poor animals out of my mind. That just doesn't make sense to me. You can't pretend that it's not an issue, when it's one of the biggest issues facing this country today.

If it's gonna take money out of your pockets then no. I think it's hard to be biased being on anyone's payroll, I think that's kind of like biting the hand that feeds home is that how she really felt, I bet those pigs didn't feel that way, she' s just saying what she's supposed to say so she doesn't screw up her checks!

I've been following Shauna for a long time. (Full disclaimer: I post on a page where we routinely make fun of her smug attitude. She's a cliche--apparently found love late in life and acts as if she's the first woman over 40 to ever get married and birth a baby. We find her rigid earnestness, her extreme food snobbery, and her hyper-sensitive band of fawning admirers quite amusing.) But all fun aside, she has some serious objectivity problems. She doggedly enforces a not-even-slightly-critical-or-questioning-comment-allowed policy on her own blog. In response to less-than-glowing reviews on Amazon, which she does not control, she urges her Fakebook friends to troop on over there and post positive comments to dilute the negative ones. Prior to her wedding, she lamented on her personal blog that she wanted a pair of red cowboy boots, but found them too pricey. When a reader sent her a pair gratis, she wore them to her wedding and posted a picture. So it's rather clear that Shauna has an objectivity problem and is not above whoring herself out for red cowboy boots or a monthly stipend or whatever else suits her material goals. But this latest post is downright disgusting. Factory hog farming is not only horrifically cruel to the animals in question, it is also an environmental disaster and making us humans sick in the process. Like a cozy home? Is she really that stupid or is she deliberately evil, or is she just another person of flexible conscience who is swayed by the benjamins? Maybe a little bit of all.

It's terrible. She is an awful, talent-less sellout.

You're a jealous hater! Everything Shauna writes is the Bible, as far as I'm concerned! If I had a job or a car I'd use it to find out where you live and give you a thorough talking-to, mister! Shauna, don't listen to them, they are jealous of your great beauty and talent!