Pork Futures

pandemic hits the pig industry

Eureka, Illinois — Quartermain Farm Inc.

It isn't my preference. Obviously. I just take care of the pigs in the least personal sort of way, along with a whole army of other people working on the factory floor. As far as the pecking order goes around here, I’m about on the same level as the pigs. So it isn’t as if I could pass judgement on them, or I guess, no more than any other human could upon a pig. I’m more or less a begrudging middle-man. If it were up to me—which again, it isn't—I'd try to find another way to take care of them.

Sure I'd sacrifice—sorry, depopulate, a few of the pigs if it meant it'd save us from the disease. Or even just meant I could keep my job. I'd do it in a heartbeat, they ain't humans after all. But a million? Most people don't even really know what a million pigs look like. But I do—I’ve seen at least a million pigs squeal, run, eat, pee, breathe, drink, shit, play, walk, sleep, cuddle, fuck, oink, roll around, fight, and all sorts of things living things do.

So you can believe me when I say it's more than just wasteful. It’s something else entirely to send off all those clever beasts to the bin. They're worth more than that. Even though I don’t get to know them too well ever, I’m not so dumb as to think they’re so useless. The pigs scheduled to be roasted alive are perfectly healthy, and if the breeds weren't all patented by Quartermain, I'd even take a few off their hands, and have my own little farm. But what am I saying? CEO is smarter than me. No man that rich could be so dumb. He must know what he’s doing.

Now I've never met, nor even seen CEO in person. But Dan, who's buddy with the floor boss, tells me that CEO thinks they're out to get him. The pigs that is. This coronavirus disease? It's the pigs’ doing. They've conceived of it to destroy his meat empire. They say CEO's out to get his revenge. To stick it to those pigs by showing them who's boss—by showing them they only live—or live to be slaughtered for "Sugar Free Original Pork Breakfast Sausages"—because he wills it so.

I don’t know if thats true, and you definitely didn’t hear that from me, but I’ve never known Dan to be a liar. But I will say I was surprsied to hear it. After all those pigs have done for CEO? If it weren't for the pigs, he'd not even have the power to order the mass “euthanization” of millions of pigs with a wave of his hand. But just as I guess GOD gets angry sometimes—wipes out masses of beings without much explanation—we just have to accept his designs.

These pigs haven't done anything half so good for me as they’ve done for CEO, and yet I still think they're pretty decent animals—smart, funny. I barely get to know a single pig, as quick as the factory processes them, but I can still pick up on their sense of humor, despite the bleakness of their situation. No, they're not human—but they're like human


Though, really, CEO will not be the one who will be roasting, shooting, gassing, aborting, and suffocating these pigs by the hundreds for this mass animal sacrifice.* It won’t be him driving their 300-lbs corpses to the landfill. I'll be doing that, me and a lucky few essential workers that didn't have to stop working during this pandemic. (Lucky for now anyways. I'm still hoping this thing blows over soon, so I don't get the boot too.)

In the end I suppose it doesn't matter too much what CEO does to these cute little piggies. It isn't as if they were all wandering the forests, or grazing green pastures and starting their little piggy families and having nice lives like they do in the ads. I can't stand being in these places for 10 hours a day—I can't even imagine how terrible it is to spend your whole life in a place like this. Probably better off we keep it short for them. After all, whether they're being killed for microwave breakfast sausages or for nothing at all—I guess its all the same to the pigs.