"If we start from the guts, we go back to our origin. It is the butchers, in the end, that bring our food back to the rusticness of the tribe." Italian butcher Dario Cecchini, guts a pig, and discusses the tradition and art of butchering and the importance of being "responsible carnivores...thankful for the gift." Cecchini is the "Dante-quoting butcher" featured in Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. And here's another video with a similar message, but a different piece of meat, more details about his village as a "tiny little gastronomic republic" and instructions on how to use every piece of the pig "in the best way."
Farm Confessional: I Raise Livestock and I Think It May Be Wrong - "[Bob] Comis talked to Modern Farmer about the self-doubt he feels while raising animals for slaughter and his desire to see humanity evolve into a species that does not kill to eat." [more inside]
Danish Crown is the world's largest exporter of pork, killing approximately 100,000 pigs a week to cater to the growing global demand for meat. Alastair Philip Wiper visited the company's abattoir in Horsens to capture a behind-the-scenes look at the entire process, starting at the pens where the pigs arrive and moving through the spaces where the animals are slaughtered, butchered and packaged for sale.
Puppy Bowl! [more inside]
Pen & Oink Pen & Oink is a blog featuring modern and classic picture books, and interviews with children's book illustrators-- including lots of great images of their work and process. And there's some awesome doodles of pigs. [via mefi projects]
Someone in the Vermont prison system has been hiding a pig in the decals that inmates make for the state’s police cars. After only a few years, the cops just caught on. [YouTube].
"We finally flew our first thermal camera flight yesterday afternoon. About 10 seconds after launch my co pilot looked at the screen and said something like, 'We now have our very own predator drone'" A rice farmer in Louisiana had a real problem, feral pigs were coming out of the woods at night, into the rice fields, tearing up his crops and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. The only solution is to bring in hunters to shoot the pigs. Hunting feral pigs in waist high rice plants, in the dead of night, is very difficult. You have to be within 10 feet of them to shoot them and it can take hours to stalk them down. So the farmer calls his brother, an Electronic Warfare engineer who flies RC airplanes as a hobby. $5000 worth of electronics, including a $4500 infrared camera, are installed on a $80 model airplane, and the Dehogaflier is born!
Christopher Walken reads Three Little Pigs on a British TV series in 1993.
Angry Birds, the iPhone gaming sensation (and possible movie), is now available on Android for free in ad supported form. Not got a fancy phone? Maybe you can play the home game.
A tigress raised by pigs returns the favor. Cuteness ensues.
Stormy the ferret has died. While the video accompanying that report claims dogs and cats are safe from H1N1 the Iowa Department of Public Health says otherwise. A cat in Iowa is confirmed with swine flu. Turkeys and pigs have also gotten it. The USDA is now releasing confirmed and presumptive cases in domestic animals (PDF).
"Cochon 555 is a culinary event featuring 5 chefs, 5 pigs, and 5 winemakers in a friendly competition for a cause. Each chef will prepare a 70 pound heritage pig from head to toe for 200 enthusiasts." (flash site) [more inside]
Slaughterhouse. A brutally honest look behind the scenes. Loads of blood, dead pigs and people inbetween. Recommended for the whole family for sunday dinner - if you like your sausages! [Google Video, NSFW, Not safe for veggies or PETA]
Wim Delvoye makes art out of skin, filming it in extreme close-up, or, at his Art Farm in China, by tattooing pigs which are later stuffed or skinned. More images: 1, 2, 3, 4.
It's Not Just Standing Up: Patterns of Daily Stand-up Meetings. A look at an alternative to the daily sit-down team meeting.
Delicious Arson at the Hog Rendering Plant? New York Pork, a Toronto based slaughterhouse, burned to the ground on November 6th. While the cause of the fire is still under debate, the photographs of the cleanup of more than 700 seared pig carcasses make for a disturbing Flickr slideshow.
The inside of Farmer John's hog rendering plant in Vernon, California, is among the worst places on Earth if you happen to be a hog, which is why the outside of the building is such a case study in mural based irony. In 1957, perhaps as a trap to lure in unsuspecting piglets who had come to Los Angeles to make it in the movies, the folks at Farmer John's hired Hollywood set designer Les Grimes to begin painting a mural on the outside of the factory, a job that he continued until his death 11 years later. The result, entitled "Hog Heaven", depicts a pastoral wonderland, clearly a prime destination for any visiting out of town porcine rube. Surely one of the world's largest murals, the work stretches around the entire square cityblock worth of slaughterhouse, and (legend has it) is so large that not unlike the Golden Gate bridge, no sooner is it done being painted than the painter must begin touching it up all over again.
A group of scientists have announced that they have created cloned and genetically modified pigs that make their own omega-3 fatty acids. NPR has more on the story, including an audio report from Joe Palca. There are apparently some naturally occuring pigs with their own omega-3 fatty acids, primarily a Spanish breed called Ibérico. Descended from native Iberian wild boar, black-footed Ibérico hogs are raised in specially maintained oak forests, and feed primarily on acorns. Until last September, however, no Spanish producer had been approved to export Ibérico products to the United States, and consumers may have to wait a few more months before they can get their hands on the tasty pork. As the ham is sure to be in short supply, you can put down a $199 deposit now for a ham that will carry a final price tag of as much as $1000. If you're unable to wait for—or afford—the Spanish version, you can treat yourself now to the Bacon of the Month Club, which serves up a different artisanal bacon each month. For more on raising hogs, read James Buchan's account in the London Review of Books. And don't forget the bacon blogs:     .
The Last Days of the Ark: "We found that in 90 to 95 percent of turkeys produced worldwide, the genetic stock comes from one of three breeding stocks" but there are heritage breeds being preserved throughout the world. American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Heritage Breeds Conservancy. Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Rare Breeds Canada. Rare Breeds Australia, with by far the best Breed Profile pages. New Zealand Rare Breeds. Desert Heritage Breeds. Rare Steeds. "Eating these breeds may be the best way to save them", so, for shopping. [more inside]
Glowing green pigs. Scientists from Taiwan have successfully created a bioluminescent pigs with genes from a jellyfish.
Ideophones are words that are usually spoken but not written and are often onomatopoeic, including (but not limited to) the calls—often reduplicated—with which we beckon domestic animals, kindred to our animal imitations. In the States there are many more pig calls beyond soo-ee. Maxim Gorky wrote that the sound tse tse is used to call pigs in Russia. In Spanish coch is used. Americans use pipi and biddy to call chickens and turkeys. In Ambon Malay chickens are called with kurrrrr or pan kur. In Kiswahili you call chickens with gurúgurúgurúgurú, call dogs with aháháhá, and straying cattle with ishiyeeyeeeeee or ngoyéeeeee. In Sweden, they call cattle with a loud, high-pitched kulning (akin to yodeling). Cervantes wrote that they use tus tus to call dogs in Spain. One source says in Coolderry, Ireland, they use gen-gen to call pigs to ford, puddly pudde to call ducks, peopeo to call horses, and geg geg to call geese. In Iceland, kibbakibb is used to call sheep. In the Hiligaynon language of the Philippines, they call cats with míming. In the parish of Nantcwnlle in Wales they have their own set of calls.
The Pig Wings Project: "Rhetoric surrounding the development of new biological technologies make us wonder if pigs could fly one day. If pigs could fly, what shape their wings will take? The Pig Wings Project presents the first use of living pig tissue to construct and grow winged shape Semi-Living Objects."
Delightful photographs of pigs, cattle, sheep, and horses by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. (Previous discussion of his aerial photography.)
Truffle Hunters "The pig is not content to wag his tail and point when he has discovered a truffle," says Peter Mayle, author of 'A Year In Provence'. "He wants to eat it. In fact, he is desperate to eat it. And you cannot reason with a pig on the brink of gastronomic ecstasy. He is not easily distracted, nor is he of a size you can fend off with one hand while you rescue the truffle. There he is, as big as a small tractor, rigid with porcine determination and refusing to be budged." Which is why Hungarians are teaching dogs to do the work -- but should they be asking a canine to do a sow's job?
I like it when Chinese pigs say "hu-lu hu-lu," it's so exotic. Stupid American pigs just say oink. Also, horses in Thailand say "hee hee (with high tone)"!! How cool is it that, first, they even HAVE horses in Thailand, and second, that they sound like Betty Boop?
When pigs fly - This journal by the artist Andy Feehan details his work with tattooed hairless animals. Regardless of your immediate reaction to the art, Feehan's compassion and love for the animals is sure to win you over. Normally, I disprove of weblog cross-posts, but I couldn't resist sharing after finding this via memepool.
"we're good at growing hogs, and we ought to be selling our hogs all across the world." Bush stumps at Pork Party about nixing the Estate Tax.
The 14th annual World Pork Expo starts today in Des Moines. 50,000 visitors and people from 50 countries are expected to be in attendance this weekend. Also in attendance will be George W. Bush.
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Dolly the Sheep cloned five years ago has arthritis already. Already this year we've had pigs cloned for trasplants. Where is this all going and how ethical is it?
Environmentalism faces a values test as genetically engineered pigs produce less polluting excrement. My advice: Why not just leave it up to these guys?
Glowing Pig News Great to take to parties..... (Hurrah for my first ever link that hasn't been found in previous threads...)
Meat from genetically modified pigs was stolen from a lab, turned into sausages and eaten by atleast nine people. It may be the first time people in the US have eaten GM meat.
Apparently they "tasted real good".
Apparently they "tasted real good".
Two independent research teams have successfully cloned pigs. The importance? Due to their comparable organ size, pigs are good candidates for farming transplant material. Pork bellies may be more than a commodity...
Big Business vs. the little guy. After you read the story, go check out the Website of the pig farmer. The only question I have is: Can they find a Judge who doesn't golf?