Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat

An eye opening investigation of the commercial pork industry and an inspiring alternative to the way pigs are raised and consumed in America.Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland and a writer of great skill and compassion Eric Schlosser , now explores the dark side of the American pork industry Drawing on his personal experiences raising pAn eye opening investigation of the commercial pork industry and an inspiring alternative to the way pigs are raised and consumed in America.Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland and a writer of great skill and compassion Eric Schlosser , now explores the dark side of the American pork industry Drawing on his personal experiences raising pigs as well as his sharp investigative instincts, Estabrook covers the range of the human porcine experience He embarks on nocturnal feral pig hunts in Texas He visits farmers who raise animals in vast confinement barns for Smithfield and Tyson, two of the country s biggest pork producers And he describes the threat of infectious disease and the possible contamination of our food supply Through these stories shines Estabrook s abiding love for these remarkable creatures Pigs are social, self aware, and playful, not to mention smart enough to master the typical house dog commands of sit, stay, come twice as fast as your average pooch With the cognitive abilities of at least three year olds, they can even learn to operate a modified computer Unfortunately for the pigs, they re also delicious to eat.Estabrook shows how these creatures are all too often subjected to lives of suffering in confinement and squalor, sustained on a drug laced diet just long enough to reach slaughter weight, then killed on mechanized disassembly lines But it doesn t have to be this way Pig Tales presents a lively portrait of those farmers who are taking an alternative approach, like one Danish producer that has a far eco friendly and humane system of pork production, and new, small family farms with free range heritage pigs raised on antibiotic free diets It is possible to raise pigs responsibly and respectfully in a way that is good for producers, consumers, and some of the top chefs in America.Provocative, witty, and deeply informed, Pig Tales is bound to spark conversation at dinner tables across America.
Pig Tales An Omnivore s Quest for Sustainable Meat An eye opening investigation of the commercial pork industry and an inspiring alternative to the way pigs are raised and consumed in America Barry Estabrook author of the New York Times bestseller To

  • Title: Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat
  • Author: Barry Estabrook
  • ISBN: 9780393240245
  • Page: 393
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat”

    1. Immigrants with shit filled diapers, piglets operating computers and crazy Danish people seeking to do things right. Barry Estabrook's journalistic endeavor to educate the average american bacon fetishist and artisan of such unparalleled jokes as "I love pigsEY'RE DELICIOUS. hee hoo hug!" is a comprehensive overview of all you need to know about pigs.To begin with Pigs are intelligent--very intelligent in fact. Previously unbeknownst to me, pigs are emotional beings with individual personalities [...]

    2. I was a little leery going in that this book would be either all pro pork/meat or anti pork/meat. It really isn't either. The subject matter accepts the fact that eating pork isn't going away, but the book dives in to the question of how we, in the United States, process that pork from piglet to slaughter. Barry Estabrook travels from California to Iowa to North Carolina to Denmark to research how pigs are raised for consumption. He dives into the treatment of raising pigs from small independent [...]

    3. This is a well-written book and, unlike Ted Genoways' The Chain, this book examines pigs as the amazing and smart creatures they are while still, like The Chain, looking at the ugly side of modern mass industrial hog-producing/-raising and hog-slaughtering. Estabrook also looks at people humanely raising pigs as a source of meat and also delves into problems with feral pigs. For me personally, this book felt like too much of a stretch to make omnivores feel better about their decision to eat fel [...]

    4. This book was fascinating, informative, and gave straight facts so you didn't feel like you were reading propaganda. It was also very well written. Never once did I get bored or feel weighed down with facts or information- all of it was told with humor and compassion. I'll say it again, fascinating! One of those books you wish everyone would read. Also one where you feel smarter after reading it, so that is always a good thing! I loved it!

    5. Amazing Page-TurnerWell written, well researched, well told. This book has opened my eyes and touched my soul. I am grateful for Barry Estabrook's efforts to get this information to the public. I bought the book after hearing his interviews on public radio "Fresh Air" and "Science Friday." Miss Pig 890 will be with me for the time I have left on this planet.

    6. The first emotion most have when presented with a book on animal agriculture practices or meat processing is guilt. In Pig Tales Barry Estabrook challenges the popular notion that any look at the meat industry is a vegan-biased horror show. Estabrook presents interviews, eye-witness accounts, and legal proceedings in a way that allows the reader to see that while not all meat practices should be halted, the public is more manipulated by "big pig" than we realize. The most salient aspect for me w [...]

    7. Pig Tales is divided into three parts. Part 1 covers pig intelligence (about the same as a 3-year-old human), pig lifestyles (lots of rooting), and the worldwide problem of feral pigs (they're everywere and very destructive). Part 2 covers the problem of industrial agra-biz. Part 3 provides a glimpse into economically viable, sustainable ways of raising and slaughtering pigs. Think Chipotle and Niman Ranch.Part 2 neatly dovetails into one of my previous reads, The World of the Salt Marsh. Both a [...]

    8. A very informative, borderline info-dumping, tale about sustainable pig farming. At times highly repetitive, Eastabrook is able to keep the reader's attention even though not much is to be gained.

    9. This book has changed where I purchase meat. Knowing what I know now, it's worth the extra money to eat meat free of hormones and pasture raised. And if I'm honest, I already knew that corporate owned hogs had a tough life, but now that the stories in this book have sunk in I can't in good conscience purchase blindly.

    10. Fortunately, I avoid meat in general. Knowing that China bought out one of the largest pork producers in the U.S. (Smithfields) would worry me if I ate pork. However, the chapters on sustainable pork producers (although their meat is somewhat more expensive) is a return to what farms were like just 20 or 30 years ago. I would hate to live near a giant pork farm in North Carolina or Iowa. Just set the sprinklers on and let the pig shit fly all over the fields. It sounds absolutely hellish. While [...]

    11. You know, I liked this book. A solid three-star pick.If you've read some in the cannon of sustainable agriculture/industrial agriculture, I don't think you'll find a tremendous amount of information here that's new (sadly -- so much of it is depressing). It's still a worthy read, and a worthy endeavor by the author to shed light on terrible conditions for humans and animals -- to begin with -- and the awful consequences of "advances" such as low-does antibiotics. The intelligence of pigs was a n [...]

    12. Pig Tales has an amazing amount of information-- and what's wonderful is even though the information is mostly terrifying, the stories are so well told that just when you want to put the book down in disgust, hope comes into the picture and you feel like everything could be ok. Also, the book is pretty empowering because it's very clear what we all must do. Factory farms are bad for people, animals, the environment, and the health of the world.

    13. Pig Tales is a thorough and comprehensive book that is also a quick and easy read. Estabrook divides the book into three sections - exploring pigs as animals, the world of factory farmed pork, and how some farmers are going back to traditional, sustainable hog farming. Pigs are easily trained and incredibly smart animals with an intellectual capacity comparable to a three-year-old child. Because of their high intelligence and social nature factory farming is even crueler for pigs. Estabrook goes [...]

    14. Pig Tales is of full of stories and experiences of factory farms for pigs. Pig tales has given me the knowledge to make wise decisions that affect my everyone around me and the planet. They also showed me the ruthlessness of the factory farms. I am filled with disgust as I learn their practices to reduce cost like cramped living spaces where they can never turn around. I feel this book is a must read when forming the opinion of factory farms.

    15. Estabrook provided a good overview of the pork industry, it's issues, and potential solutions for eating in a more sustainable way. There was not a whole lot of convincing to not eat meat (which I enjoyed), but rather a presentation of evidence gathered by Estabrook. I honestly would have enjoyed more discussion on the politics that have allowed the explosion of mass production - but the overview and storytelling was fine.

    16. A less biased book than others it paints a picture of modern hog farming in a mostly negative light but with some hope for the future. I would have liked a bit more about restaurants and consumers and their use of modern day pigs in this book but over all found it an interesting, in depth an engaging read.

    17. Truth be told, going into this book I was already fully on the bandwagon of only eating meat from wholesome and sustainable sources, this book only gave me more scientifically backed reasons. I also learned about how people* are negatively affected by the industry as well as more regarding the animals' situation. I honestly just can't wait to have this book on my shelf when the industry has changed and these industrial farming practices, which are good for no one, are history! Read it!!

    18. I enjoyed reading it, but I felt that the author's conclusion was not fully substantiated by the evidences presented in the book. In any case, it was educational, so it is good.

    19. I liked Tomatoland more but I would still like all of my micro-histories written by Barry Estabrook (or Mary Roach).

    20. You will learn a lot about where your pork comes from. This was easy reading. The author doesn't go around bashing farmers on how they are raising their pigs. He was truly on a quest to see if there were really better ways to raise pigs, and there were. He interviewed citizens way out in the country where hog farms popped up out of nowhere and how it affected their everyday lives. You will be shocked to hear their stories. It's a very interesting read.

    21. Quite an interesting investigation about the packaged meat industry.It seems like it started as a long article then the author decided to turn it into a book by filling it about absolutely irrelevant details like the designs and colors of the clothes of people he interviewed and what was happening in the background when he was conducting the interview, like a dog was barking So, the book is half information and half noise.

    22. One of my few 5's.The author explores the different corners of a rather complicated topic without falling into clichés or pretending to write a manifesto. For me, the best is his way to talk about what's going on by means of the people living from that business.I enjoyed every minute while enriching my understanding of the industry.

    23. While there were some very solid aspects to the book, I think it ultimately fails to live up to its title as a "quest for sustainable meat". This book is basically an anti-Big Ag screed, with the "Little Guy" constantly described in glowing terms (several references to "handsome", as if how the people look matters) and Big Ag generally described as an amorphous, faceless, indistinguishable evil. I am no fan of Big Ag as it pertains to animal husbandry, and the book does a good job of detailing h [...]

    24. The promotion for this book focuses on the negative aspects of pig tales; in fact I was afraid to read the book for a long time because of that. But it turns out Estabrook does not focus wholly on the negative - far from it. It's kind of an arc which begins with a Trinidadian head of research at a major university, who gave us our understanding of pigs' intelligence. It moves on to feral pigs (bet you didn't know how many there are!). It then covers family farming of pigs - the kind of farming s [...]

    25. I have always been concerned about animal welfare and was a vegetarian for 12+ years for that reason. After having health issues, I needed to reincorporate meat back into my diet and I made sure I found the most sustainable/organic/healthiest meat not only for me, but for the environment. I am also from central Illinois and have several family members who raise hogs in CAFOs in both IL and IA. I have smelled and experienced pig "farms" first-hand, and let me tell you, 2 minutes in one of those b [...]

    26. The author seems to be perceptive enough about the evils of commoditization of sentient beings like pigs, and he accurately describe the intelligence to be higher than of a dog and comparable to human toddler. Yet he still prefaces that his family still eats pork and his final paragraph I find perverse:"She [the pig] had done her part in saving a rural corner of New York State from development and had contributed to the livelihoods of farmers, slaughterhouse workers, cooks, and servers, and done [...]

    27. Barry Estabrook has an uncanny way with words. In Pig Tales, despite spending a lot of time on courtroom battles and in filthy factory farms, he's able to keep the reader captivated. His writing skills across sections ranging from horrid to the sublime never falter and that allows the reader access to experiences that we'd never encounter otherwise. Fortunately the section near the end that celebrates bucolic farms that nurture the true nature of the intelligent and sensitive pig leave the reade [...]

    28. This book is a great read, despite all the devastating and gruesome ground it covers. Estabrook is such a warm, inviting author, creating well-drawn characters of all the people he interviews (as well as some featured pigs). I feel that is has changed me and that those of us who choose to purchase and consume meat need to read in-depth considerations of the animal food industry instead of forming our opinions and basing our buying/eating choices on information gleaned from the usual Huffington P [...]

    29. Estabrook takes a long, hard look at pig farming in the US (and abroad, as a comparison) and, using a multifaceted approach, lays out a compelling argument for more humane pork production. He leaves no stone unturned - - the intelligence of pigs, the cruel workplace that is the slaughterhouse, the environmental impact of our current practices, and I imagine most people who read this book will seriously contemplate where their pork comes from. Where Pollan laid out the issues of all kinds of fact [...]

    30. Listened to this NPR interview with Estabrook:npr/blogs/thesalt/2015All in all, a very comprehensive book. The meat industry has a lot to be ashamed of, but Estabrook shares some fascinating insights into pigs themselves, and how the industry could be more self-sustaining. It is being done elsewhere, why not here?I have to agree that Upton Sinclair would write an updated "Jungle" if he saw conditions today.

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