Wake Up Call

Baby Pigs Blended, Fed to Mother Pigs at Kentucky Farm

Just when you thought the wild world of the industrial food complex couldn't get anymore sickening, disturbing, depressing, or infuriating, word leaked out of Kentucky that the Iron Maiden Pig Farm grinds up the intestines of dead piglets and feeds the cannibalistic slurry to the mother sows, among many other horrific practices that reflect the farm's namesake. This piglet intestine protein shake reportedly a common practice and is being used to fight the deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, according to NPR.

See Also: A Widespread Pig Virus Could Raise Pork Prices (Yes, That Includes Bacon)

This Humane Society video, which is extremely graphic and may make you question your loyalty to pork consumption, shows huge piles of dead piglets, grown pigs confined to cages and bound so they can't walk, and the dead babies being prepared for their mothers' consumption. NPR reports that farmers are citing the nutrition in the dead piglets' intestines as a way to combat the virus, which currently has no vaccines, spreading among pigs.

After Mad Cow Disease, it seems forced cannibalizing livestock would be illegal across the board. However, farmers are saying the intestines count as "household waste" (think table scraps), and, therefore, are legal to feed to pigs in the Swine Health Protection Act. Whether the farm, which keeps 2,400 sows, counts as a household remains to be seen.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch