Vegetarians, vegans, and those Muslims who keep halal or Jews who keep kosher – do you think you’re avoiding pig products simply by not putting them on your plate or in your mouth? Reader discretion advised: you may be in for a rude awakening.
If you use photographic film, you may be using pig byproducts.
The same goes for the use of:
– fabric softener
– and around 180 other products that are made with… ahem… pig.
These findings were recently published following a project by Christein Meindertsma, who went on a brave quest to find out what would happen to a single little piggy, named PIG 05049.
“Like most people,” she said, “I had little idea of what happens to a pig after it leaves the abattoir so I decided to try to find out. I approached a pig farmer friend who agreed to let me follow one of his animals.”
Christein was amazed to discover that there were approximately 185 different uses for an ordinary pig. “It’s almost as if these days, a pig is no longer thought of as an animal – more like an industrial raw material with a mind-blowing amount of different uses.”
Collagen injections, are made from… pig.
Some more of these uses include the production of beer, bullets, shampoo, body lotion, yogurt, multivitamins, toothpaste, certain paints, and even cigarette filters.
Video of Christein Meindertsma giving a TED talk about her book PIG 05049:
[vimeo width=”560″ height=”400″]http://vimeo.com/7848473[/vimeo]
Other ethical issues aside, the pervasive use of pig byproducts (or the byproducts of any livestock animal) is a serious environmental matter. The meat industry is one of the leading industries responsible for fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions. A 2006 UN report even found that the global meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all of the world’s SUVs, cars, trucks, planes and ships combined.
Have you been sufficiently grossed out? Keep reading to learn more about vegetarianism:
NYTimes Blog: Be a Part-Time Vegetarian
Green Prophet Visits Amirim, a Vegetarian Paradise in the Galilee
Israel’s Finest Restaurants Offer Vegetarian Specials on Mondays
Buy the book on Amazon:
[Pig image via: SeeMidTN.com]