Two articles in
today’s (April 15, 2008) Waterloo Region Record caught my eye. Ottawa to pay pork producers to kill
off pigs as market collapses announces that Ottawa will pay pig farmers
up to $50 million to slaughter their breeding pigs if they agree to wipe out
their entire herd and stay out of the hog business for three years. Ottawa
hopes to reduce the glut and bring prices back up. Global food crisis may wipe out seven
years of progress reports on
"a rapidly escalating global food crisis..[reaching]..emergency
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for "short-term emergency
measures…to meet urgent food needs and avoid starvation and longer-term
efforts to significantly increase production…" I hope I’m not the only one to see a serious
problem with Ottawa’s hog policy in light of the global food crisis. These are
breeding hogs that could be used in areas of the world where people are
starving, to help them raise food to lift themselves out of poverty and hunger.
Why waste all these hogs? Why not send
them to subsistence farmers in the Third World?
Surely there are philanthropic organizations that would pick up the
shipping costs. Our hog farmers might feel better about a solution to Canada’s
hog glut if they could actually help alleviate the global food crisis. Much better than slaughtering all those hogs.