Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat

Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat

by Barry Estabrook

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Overview

An eye-opening investigation of the commercial pork industry and an inspiring alternative to the way pigs are raised and consumed in America.

Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland and a writer of “great skill and compassion” (Eric Schlosser), now explores the dark side of the American pork industry. Drawing on his personal experiences raising pigs as well as his sharp investigative instincts, Estabrook covers the range of the human-porcine experience. He embarks on nocturnal feral pig hunts in Texas. He visits farmers who raise animals in vast confinement barns for Smithfield and Tyson, two of the country’s biggest pork producers. And he describes the threat of infectious disease and the possible contamination of our food supply. Through these stories shines Estabrook’s abiding love for these remarkable creatures. Pigs are social, self-aware, and playful, not to mention smart enough to master the typical house dog commands of “sit, stay, come” twice as fast as your average pooch. With the cognitive abilities of at least three-year-olds, they can even learn to operate a modified computer. Unfortunately for the pigs, they’re also delicious to eat.

Estabrook shows how these creatures are all too often subjected to lives of suffering in confinement and squalor, sustained on a drug-laced diet just long enough to reach slaughter weight, then killed on mechanized disassembly lines. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Pig Tales presents a lively portrait of those farmers who are taking an alternative approach, like one Danish producer that has a far more eco-friendly and humane system of pork production, and new, small family farms with free-range heritage pigs raised on antibiotic-free diets. It is possible to raise pigs responsibly and respectfully in a way that is good for producers, consumers, and some of the top chefs in America.

Provocative, witty, and deeply informed, Pig Tales is bound to spark conversation at dinner tables across America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393240245
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/04/2015
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Barry Estabrook is a James Beard Award-winning journalist whose work has been featured in publications including the New York Times Magazine, Reader's Digest, and the Washington Post.

Paul Boehmer is a seasoned actor who has appeared on Broadway, film, and television, including The Thomas Crown Affair and All My Children. Coinciding with another of his passions, sci-fi, Paul has been cast in various roles in many episodes of Star Trek.

Table of Contents

Introduction 15

Pig I The Nature of the Beast

1 Hog Sense 25

2 Wild Things 45

3 Of Hogs and Humans 68

Pig II Life as a Protein Product

4 Big Pig 85

5 Hog Hell 104

6 Raising a Stink 117

7 Hog Fights 131

8 Hog Wash 146

9 Drug Abuse 160

10 A Bitter End 186

11 Life on the Line 201

12 The Crate Escape 217

Pig III When Pigs Fly

13 Three Little Pigs 235

14 The Pope of Pork 243

15 To Market 259

Acknowledgments 279

Notes 285

Bibliography 309

Index 313

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