Letter from the editor: I eat pork

Pig looking into camera.
Posted on: August 17, 2017

April Scott-Clarke

April Scott-ClarkeThere’s been a lot of commotion in the news lately over the treatment of farm animals — pigs in particular. Last month the Lombardy Fair (among many others across the country) was pressured by a farm animal advocacy group to cancel its pig scramble, which would have happened this past weekend.

I wrote a news piece about it on our website (hometownnews.ca/pigscramble if you want to read the article), talked to both sides involved, laid out the facts, let our readers weigh in on the topic and kept my opinions out of it.

Now, the same organizer of that petition has contacted me to inform me of another initiative she is undertaking: an attempt to get a pig roast in Carleton Place cancelled.

Her augments for cancelling the event are that it is being billed as a family-friendly event and “roasting the full body of a pig (an intelligent and sentient being) is not suitable for children to see.”

In her letter to me she also indicated that the Carleton Place Canoe Club receives funding from the Human Resources And Development Skills Canada and says, “as taxpayers, we do not support our tax dollars supporting such a violent use of a farmed animal.”

This time, I’m laying out my own opinions.

To start: the event is $60.75 a person and starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. It’s a licensed event so  only those 19 or older are permitted. There will be no small children at this event.

That said, as a parent of two young girls, I would feel justified in saying that a pig roast is indeed a family-friendly event. Having a pig roasting on a spit may seem scary or violent to some but I see it as an opportunity to explain the circle of life to my kids. We eat meat in our house and what goes into getting the meat to our plates isn’t always pretty.

I think educating my children on where their food comes from is important. Making that connection makes them realize that this food was once alive. This animal died so we could eat. My goal is to teach them to not to be wasteful and to respect the animals that feed us by treating them well in life, and eating what is on their plates.

I know that the people behind this petition are, for the most part, vegans. So, of course they see this being an unfathomable event. But being a vegan is not a lifestyle I have chosen, and it is not the lifestyle that has been chosen by the organizers.

My motto is: to each their own. Eat what you want to eat, love who you want to love, raise your children how you see fit but don’t chastise other people for their decisions.

But for the record, through a simple phone call with one of the organizers to make sure I had my facts correct I found out that the pig being roasted is from a local farm, one that his restaurant has been shipping organic compost to since this pig was a piglet. As well, there will be non-meat options for those in attendance should a pork not be what you crave.

So it seems, that maybe this event is an “violent” as the petition makes it seem.

On the argument of tax-payer dollars going towards this, it is down right false.

The Canoe Club is the venue the event is being held at and not the organizer of it. Tax dollars are not directly being spent on this pig roast. (I’m sure the money from the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada goes toward the programming, coaching, staffing and other elements of the Canoe Club itself.)

However, you can be assured that tax dollars are funding the pork industry. The Canadian government thinks very highly of the pork produced in this country. In fact, the Agriculture Canada website states “Canada is the world’s third-largest pork exporter, sending more than $2.6 billion worth of pork products to more than 100 countries around the globe every year.”

For those who are worried about their tax dollars being spent on the processing of farm animals, take your concerns to Ottawa — not a community event in Carleton Place.

On the surface, it may seem like the petition is gaining lots of traction with it’s 2,500 or so signatures, but the majority of those people supporting this initiative are not local — or even Canadian.

There is a fine line we seem to be walking here. What’s next — no more charity BBQs because cows had to die to make the hamburgers and hotdogs? What about the wheat that was harvested to make the bread? Where does it stop?

I could go on, as there is a much more controversial issue at heart here but I won’t. I’ll just say this: go to the Carleton Place Canoe Club on Sept. 3 and enjoy some roasted pork along with some other great food and help build a community wood-fired oven in Carleton Place. For more information about the event, search it on eventbrite.ca

This article was first published in the August issue of Hometown News. For more articles from our August issue, pick up a print copy at a local retailer or read our digital version.

3 thoughts on “Letter from the editor: I eat pork

  1. Leigh Finlay

    Thank you for a balanced, thoughtful opinion article ‘I Eat Pork.’ I could not agree with you more… live and let live. Personally I love pork but that is beside the point. What I really wonder is how a person, in this case the promoter of the petition against the pig roast, believes they have the right to impose their views on others despite having done no research into the subject. Thank you for providing the facts, but I doubt someone like that would let a few facts interfere with their objective. I guess some people aren’t happy unless they are meddling in the lives of others.

    Again, thank you for your research and candor.

    Best regards,
    Leigh Finlay
    Carleton Place.

  2. Dorothy

    What an interesting paper, never heard of it till today. I was given a copy. Excellent issue and I agree entirely with what you wrote. If people don’t want to eat the meat don’t go, let us poor individuals who want to enjoy what’s available do so. Thank you for your well written column.


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