The Pork industry, circa 1860

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, May 21st, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: animal welfare, cartoons - Tags:


30 comments on “The Pork industry, circa 1860”

  1. serpico 1

    Anyone would think that cartoon was directed at the former Labour Minister Phillip Field.

  2. Michael Mathieson 2

    This is great! :]

  3. StephenR 3

    Interestingly Adam Smith actually opposed slavery on economic (as well as moral) grounds, I forget how that goes though.

  4. Sausage Fingers 4

    You comparing black people to pigs? Are you a racist?

    • Maynard J 4.1

      Sausage Brain, may I ask a question:

      Is that the best interpretation of this cartoon that you can come up with? I ask, because it seems to me such an incredibly stupid conclusion to draw that I hope this is not the case.

      If it is, you are a testament to the wonders of modern technology: someone so stupid that by all rights they should not be able to tie shoe laces or cease drooling and yet can use a PC/Mac and the internet. Simply astounding.

      • Sausage Fingers 4.1.1

        My point, oh intellectually gifted one, was that, just because we have given people rights, doesn’t automatically mean we have to extend them to pigs. Or trees. Or rocks.

        • felix

          The cartoon is about how we justify causing suffering when we benefit from if. The same justifications are being used in both cases. Nowhere does it equate people with pigs. Your point is redundant.

  5. vto 5

    Brilliant. Moreu also did a great cartoon again today on the Israeli/Palestinian debacle…

  6. Bill 6

    “Sorry, but slavery stays. But you know what? We’re going to introduce a thing called wages into the equation. We call it wage slavery. The good thing is this means you won’t be a slave for your whole life. Cause if you save money from your wages, then you will no longer be a slave. And even better than that is the fact that the day will come when most people like you wont even think of yourselves as slaves at all. Now wont that be a glorious day!?”

    • vto 6.1

      are you an alsation Bill?

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Neither an alsation nor a ‘two legs’ deluded enough to believe that abolition was about an end to slavery ; that we are all equals now at the troughs of production and distribution.

  7. toad 7

    The WTO is really the problem here re being able to enforce animal welfare (and, for that matter, environmental sustainability) policies.

    There needs to be a balance – freedom of trading should not supersede all other considerations, as it does now. Problem is, for the Labour supporters here, your parliamentary representatives have taken us further down that track, and it is very hard to go back.

    Um, Party Vote Green seems a good look in that regard.

    • Nick C 7.1

      Or you could eat free range pork, let everyone else decide for themselves whether pigs have rights, and then let them decide if them want to follow you and eat the free range pork or buy the caged stuff.

      • Maynard J 7.1.1

        Yeah, but the market completely fails to account for externalities. So that would be a terrible method.

        Look at how the market works now: do you want your jeans to be made by child slaves in china and cost you $129.99, or made in NZ for…oh wait – the market decided, there are no NZ made jeans. Child slaves it is.

        Human irrationality and ignorance as the arbitrator for rights. There is a reason we have had to regulate in the past.

  8. toad 8

    Oops, last comment on WTO and animal welfare in moderation! No idea why, didn’t say anything abusive. Please clear, it’s a goodie.

  9. One problem with your cartoon is that for the US, at least, at the time of the civil war, slave agriculture was not inefficient compared to free agriculture. See Time on the Cross by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engermann.

    • Bill 9.1

      Does the efficiency argument not depend on the crop?

      • Paul Walker 9.1.1

        Bill. I don’t think so, but I may just not remember correctly. I think F&E used a measure of total factor productivity in their study so crop type shouldn’t matter.

        • Pascal's bookie

          It seems pretty plausible to me that slavery might be efficient, but that’s not really the point of the cartoon I think.

          Going out on a limb, I’ll suggest that the cartoon should be read as saying that slavery is fucking immoral; efficiency be damned.

          So the parallel to pig farming is that the stalls and factory farming standards are immoral, so the farmers arguments are irrelevant. I’ll note too that by this reading the farmer isn’t the (only) ‘bad guy’. It’s consumers and regulators that are in Moreu’s sights, at least as much, if not more so.

          • Paul Walker

            Don’t see how you get that as a moral argument. Everything the guys talks about is economic.

          • Bill

            Because the economic rationalisations are to be seen as nothing more than an attempt at intellectual trickery to cover obvious moral bankruptcy?

          • Pascal's bookie

            “Don’t see how you get that as a moral argument”

            the argument goes like this:

            A: Arguments x,y, and z are used to support factory pig farming (cartoon frames 1,2,3)

            B: x,y,z also support slavery. (frame 4)

            C: Slavery is immoral (unstated premiss, but alluded to in the first clause Frame 1)

            Therefore x,y, and z, aren’t always knock down arguments made of win.

          • Anita

            Hm… but just because arguments x, y and z just took a justifiable battering doesn’t mean that everything that one could use them to justify is morally wrong.

          • Pascal's bookie

            “but just because arguments x, y and z just took a justifiable battering doesn?t mean that everything that one could use them to justify is morally wrong.”

            True, but that’s why there’s an ‘aren’t always’ in the conclusion. 🙂

            The point is, I think, that x,y, and z don’t make immoral things ok,
            and the farmer already admits that the farm practices are inhumane in frame one…

          • felix

            Paul, the whole cartoon is a moral argument. I find it absolutely unbelievable that you don’t understand the point being made.

  10. spacealienpig 10

    Great cartoon, it is so true and tragic how humans put profit before decency to one another and to other species.

  11. the best of humanity is compassion 11

    Better to remove the laws that make this abuse possible in pig farms. It is illegal to do this to other animals already, so it won’t be hard to do.

    It is not a ‘choice’ to treat animals with abuse, it is not a choice when it effects me and my friends.

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