Canadian Bacon: A Pet Peeve

By Charles Norwood

According to the news, a couple in British Columbia, Canada butchered and ate their pet potbellied pig, Molly, one year after having adopted it. But no charges are being laid, as it's perfectly legal to kill your own pets in British Columbia, so long as it's done humanely.

Legalities aside, the butchering of Molly is nonetheless inspiring some strong reactions. The community, including the owners of the animal shelter who raised Molly before it was adopted, reacted with shock and heartbreak. While most people eat meat, "pet" is not a noun that we typically consider synonymous with "food."
Doesn't this bacon look delicious?

But maybe it should be. Because adopting a pig (or a dog or a cat, for that matter) is significantly less expensive than buying the equivalent amount of meat (especially since some varieties of meat [e.g., dog, cat] are only available on the black market).

Two hundred pounds of pork at the supermarket will probably run you somewhere in the ballpark of $800 dollars. But, on the other hand, you can adopt a decently sized pig for as little as $100 in some places. So right off the bat you're saving $700.

And when you factor in the privilege of slaughtering the pig yourself, which is priceless (especially if you do it with your children as a family activity), you actually realize that you're saving much, much more (killing a pig in your living room is significantly cheaper than going to Disney Land, for example).

And let's face it: the pig benefits, too. Whereas most feeder pigs live short lives in excruciating pain, your adopted porker will at least be teased with the possibility of living in a loving home. That's more than most animals get. In fact, it's more than most children get.

So don't weep for Molly. Think about the money that couple saved. And think about that full year of happiness that Molly enjoyed before being massacred by what she probably thought were her parents. In a world of school shootings and rampant terrorism, a story like Molly’s should brighten your day!



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Charles Norwood is the author of Epistemology Bloody Epistemology: An Academic Satire and co-founder of the literary collective Goathanger.com. He lives in Toronto, where he is involved in a variety of criminal activities; writing, after all, does not pay.