Just as Big Pork has gotten people hooked on bacon as an added ingredient everywhere--gum, candy, ice cream--a shortage has been announced. USDA reported that stored pork bellies fell to 17.7 million pounds last month, the lowest December inventory since records began in 1957.
The pork industry doesn't mind news stories about bacon and how people love it so much they will probably be willing to pay more if there is a shortage What it does mind are stories about the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) outbreak of 2013 and 2014 in which one tenth of all U.S. pigs died. Yes, you read that right.
By 2014, PEDv had killed at least 7 million piglets in their first days of life but Big Pork managed to prevent the public from seeing dumpsters full of dead pigs (pictured). Why? People might ask what is happening on factory farms, why are so many animals sick, what drugs are they taking and should we even eat products from such sick animals?
The PEDv scourge was so bad the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) caught a Kentucky farm that lost 900 piglets within a two-day period feeding dead pigs to other pigs in an attempt to induce "immunity" in survivors. Nice. Footage from the Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, Kentucky shows pigs whose legs had bound together to keep them standing when they otherwise would have collapsed.
How are piglets with PEDv "euthanized"? By "manually applied blunt force trauma to the head" also known as bashing their heads against wall, admits the American Veterinary Medical Association. They are also gassed.
Hiding images of PEDv carcasses is not the only time Big Pork has manipulated the news. In 2009 it also managed to get reporters to stop writing "swine flu" and instead write "H1N1 virus." Yet the virus is still widely defined as "a human respiratory infection caused by an influenza strain that started in pigs."