Imagine what it would be like to bury a pig alive. Picture digging a hole in the ground, taking Babe and throwing him in, then dumping the dirt back on top of him. Would he still squeal underground, before he stopped breathing and suffocated? Now imagine that a country has been digging mass graves, dumping hundreds of live pigs inside, and burying them all together. This may be an atrocity, or it may just be unpleasant. Not everything that’s unpleasant and deals with death has to be an atrocity. Especially if the pigs are lethargic.
Since April 2010, South Korea has been “culling” pigs and cattle. Recently, though, the methodology for disposing of the “culled” has taken a darker turn. One report says that 1.4 million pigs have been buried alive in the last few weeks. A young man whose family’s ranch was targeted in the cull, writes about how the government euthanized 121 pigs and cattle using lethal needle shots, and then buried the dead animals beneath them. He writes about a female government worker who stayed awake for three days to inject all the animals. This has been necessary, as a terrible foot and mouth epidemic has broken out across Korea. If the animals aren’t “destroyed,” the fear is that the disease will spread to all of the country’s livestock, and eventually all of the animals will became lethargic.
Lethargy is apparently a major sign of foot and mouth disease. As is salivating. The disease only affects hoofed animals – the hooves and the salivating leading to the name. Foot and mouth. The government had the option to vaccine the animals but chose not to. Now they’re paying four times what vaccinating would’ve cost in their culling strategy. The entire thing has cost South Korea hundreds of millions of won, and several pounds of pork cutlets.
Although animal rights activists must be screaming bloody murder, it’s important that things like this happen every now and again. There need to be reminders that there is a barbaric side to life. Advertisers can dress a piece of meat to make the average consumer hot and bothered, and to disguise the idea that even the most delectable-looking piece of meat used to move and bleed. But there should be time to pause and remember that our Big Macs had to have their eyes plucked out, our Nathan’s Hot Dogs had to have their lips removed, and for every bucket of KFC there’s another bucket filled with feet and bones. And that’s what happened to the healthy animals. The unhealthy ones, as we see, get put in the ground like dead pets.
The question, I suppose, is “why must they bury the animals alive?” Articles say that the burials began around Christmas. Can you imagine? While so many of us were sitting in warm houses with family, there was some guy who had to stand in the cold and bury live pigs. When children were unwrapping presents, someone flipped a switch that dumped a thousand pigs into a huge ditch. As cruel as it sounds, that’s probably why they’re being buried alive. So the man at the switch or the man standing on the edge of the grave can move away quickly, before the squeals die out, and before somebody somewhere stops caring that they’re not home.