China’s breeding bigger pigs to make up for pork shortage

China's breeding bigger pigs to make up for pork shortage, photo: Julian Dutton via Unsplash
China's breeding bigger pigs to make up for pork shortage, photo: Julian Dutton via Unsplash

A pig as big as a polar bear lives on a farm in southern China, Bloomberg reports. The pig weighs 500 kilograms (1102 pounds). The animal is part of a herd that’s being bred to become huge.

The average weight of a pig is 125 kilograms, but more farmers are trying to raise them fatter. There’s a shortage of pork meat in China and therefore, pork prices have gone up. Some big pigs are sold for as much as 10000 yuan ($1400).

And not only small farmers are raising bigger pigs, but also national pork producers are trying to increase the average weight of the animals to make more profit.

100 million pigs died
Because of the African swine fever virus that hit China August last year, a third of the pig population was wiped out. More than 100 million pigs lost their life.

Farmers killed their animals at extremely fast rates. And the way they did it was sometimes very inhumane; some farmers buried their pigs alive. Animal welfare organizations worldwide were appalled at how the pigs were treated.

Pork famous in China
Chinese people eat a lot of pork. Half of all the pigs in the world are consumed in China. Creating bigger pigs is one of the solutions the government has to fill the shortage.

The future is Okja
The solution looks a lot like the 2017 Netflix movie Okja in which farmers are stimulated to create the biggest pig for a multinational for meat production. It’s like the movie’s creator Joon-ho Bong predicted the future. And like most animals produced for meat, the ending is never a happy one.

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