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  • AgriView 1
    Misplaced shame
    By Tom VanDusen - AgriNews Staff Writer

    We sympathize with Raymond Lavergne of St. Albert and hard-working hog farmers like him now suffering the fall-out of the often frenzied opposition to almost anything pig-related.

    The way some of these opponents tell it these days, you'd think pork producing was the work of Satan himself. Yet, as far as we know, this concerted group of consumers still enjoys tucking into the odd pork chop and lining up crisp bacon strips alongside their morning eggs.

    However, they're increasingly opposed to growing the pigs that bring home that bacon, particularly if it involves so-called intensive farming; strangely, there never seems to be a murmur against "intensive" farming in any other commodity.

    Let's pause here for a minute and remind ourselves... Just what is intensive farming, anyway? What it is, basically, is applying ultra modern-standards, practices and equipment to the traditional business of producing pigs and other livestock. One of the main objectives is to reduce the possibility of environmental damage, not heighten it.

    Unfortunately, without any documented evidence in this province, objectors have decided that this process is bad, especially if it involves commercial interests from Quebec now expanding into Eastern Ontario.

    And traditional hog farmers like Lavergne are feeling the stigma, even though they've been in the business for decades, honourably fulfilling their duties of helping to put food on dinner tables across the province and around the world.

    With the squeals of opposition getting louder, Lavergne is feeling the shame as people cast accusing side-glances his way when they discover his occupation. He wants it all to be over and is hoping the Nutrient Management will eventually bring about his wish.

    We hope his wish comes true... and soon. In the meantime, consumers should remember that the old adage about thanking a farmer if they ate today doesn't exclude any commodity.

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