The author of a book titled “Righteous Porkchop,” Nicolette Hahn Niman, is the epitome of an animal welfarist. She is a vegetarian who is “convinced that meat production can be done in a sustainable way and that there are many small farms that treat their animals humanely.”
Even though I (and many other vegans) don’t agree that meat production can be done in a sustainable and humane way, Niman still gets some things right:
When [the interviewer] suggested that while most Americans seem concerned about environmental impacts and animal welfare, they are able to put blinders on because they also like to buy pork tenderloin for $2.99 a pound, Niman replied, “I’m trying to help people slowly peel those blinders off. If you put those blinders on, you make yourself complicit in a system that violates your values.”
I’ve bolded one sentence, to accentuate the “right part.” Niman reminds everyone that if you care about the environment, animals, or your health, you should eat like you care about those things. If you care about animals, don’t eat them. It’s that simple.
Speaking of porkchops, here’s a video about them:
This video is a behind the scenes look at pig farms in Georgia and California. This video was filmed undercover by Viva!USA – Vegetarians International Voices for Animals.
Here’s more from the article, where she gets more right (bolded) and a bit wrong (italicized):
If “Righteous Porkchop” is a manifesto, it is a friendly one. The writing is neither strident nor preachy. There are no guilt trips. But the details are clear and, at times, disturbing, especially as the reader tags along during Niman’s visits to pig farms, poultry farms and dairy farms. It’s a stretch to call them farms. Factories is more like it. It is a disturbing picture. Young pigs confined in tiny pens on slabs of concrete until they are slaughtered at five months. They never go outdoors.
Niman traces the beginning of industrialized pig production to a former schoolteacher, Wendell Murphy, who in the early 1960s pioneered a housing method for pigs that was based on the industrialization of poultry farming in the 1930s. Before long, huge manure lagoons threatened water systems with rampant pollution, and the largest slaughterhouse was, in the 1990s, killing 30,000 pigs every day. By then, Murphy was worth an estimated $600 million, and consumers with a conscience were the poorer for it. [...]
Niman said she hopes we are approaching the day when massive factory farms will be put out of business and farms return to the way they were at the beginning of the 20th century. (source)
While I can’t support her conclusions about humane meat, I can certainly support her desire to put factory farms out of business. And I can’t help but hope her book will turn some meat-eaters into vegetarians and vegans.