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Editor’s Note: This article includes a link to a blog post that includes images of hog slaughtering that some readers may find disturbing. If you are sensitive to these type of images, you should not follow the link to that particular web page.
A pig farmer in China who raised what may be a record-setting pig had to use a forklift just to carry the animal to the local slaughterhouse where it was killed in preparation for a traditional Chinese New Year’s feast.
According to an article in the Chinese blog “Shanghai-ist”, the pig weighed in at just over 800 pounds and was only two years old.
This Little Piggy Too Fat for Market
The blog post shows images of the pig being tied by its hind legs and hoisted by the forklift, which then carried the animal to be killed at the local slaughterhouse in Changchun, which is located in Jilin province in Northeast China bordering both North Korea and Russia.
Adult hogs typically grow to between 110 and 770 pounds, so this particular animal was way beyond the normal sized-pig. The blog post did not indicate how or why the pig farmer raised a pig to be that enormous.
It did state, however, that once pigs get beyond a certain size, their meat tends to become too fatty for most people’s liking. This particular Chinese hog farmer apparently also was unable to sell this hog because buyers thought would be “too hard to kill”, according to the blog post.
Centerpiece of New Year’s Celebration
So the farmer brought the pig to be killed using the forklift then fed the meat to his family as part of its annual New Year’s feast. It took more than two hours to cook all of the pig’s meat. The web page includes a photo of the dead pig’s hoof compared to the hoof of a normal-sized pig, which is less than half its size.
While the Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year — which this year comes on February 19 and celebrates the Year of the Goat — the traditional New Year also is sometimes celebrated with traditional feasts and family reunions.
Action Probably Illegal in US
In the US, forklifts are sometimes used in slaughterhouses to transport pig carcasses after they have been slaughtered. There also have been some cases documented by animal rights activists in which live pigs were either transported by forklift or even hung from forklifts to be killed.
Like any other industry, forklifts are often used in meat production, produce and other food-related businesses to transport heavy products from one location to another safely, efficiently and affordably.
It’s fair to say that the great majority of forklift operators in this country treat animals raised for food with the respect and dignity they deserve. And while there have been isolated incidents of animal cruelty or food manufacturers taking shortcuts, these are the exception rather than the rule.
China, obviously, is a whole different story.