Defending Gestation Crates, Poorly

A galling New York Times opinion piece by former pig farmer Blake Hurst belittles efforts to improve welfare and ban gestation crates. Hurst doesn’t so much as acknowledge a single pork farming practice as being unacceptably cruel. Rather, he suggests that efforts to ban the cruelest farming practices amount to “selling expensive pork chops with heaping sides of nostalgia.”

There’s room for meat producers and animal advocates to have a productive conversation on this subject, but it starts with both sides honestly examining the compromises the industry makes in regard to animal welfare for the sake of reducing production costs. The only reference to this topic Hurst makes is that he says gestation crates, “do restrict pigs’ movements.”

That’s an interesting way of putting it. Gestation crates restrict pigs’ movements by keeping them confined, for months at a time, in a space so tiny they can’t even turn around.

By trying to sidestep this fundamental point, Hurst amply demonstrates that he’s not to be trusted about anything else he says regarding pork industry cruelty. Link.