However, "Poland China" has nothing to do with China, and it is a US breed originating in Ohio.
Hogs grow quite large. Due to the shortage and the rising prices, farmers are letting their hogs grow larger, rather than marketing them at the usual weights. The meat may be a little fattier and not as tender in the older animal, although Chinese cusine may not care about that. But it's not like they are genetically engineering giant mutant pigs.
No but they've gene edited pet dwarf pigs: https://www.nature.com/news/gene-edited-micropigs-to-be-sold...
I think pigs-as-big-as-polar-bears was just an opening hook to draw in eyeballs that would otherwise have skipped over yet another headline about African Swine Fever (ASF), which is covered in the second half of the article. ASF is the real meat of this story (pun intended, sorry) and the most significant factor currently impacting Asian pork production.
For reader reference a full grown sow can weigh 500+ lbs, a full grown hog can weigh 1000+ lbs and live 20+ years (~900M heartbeats). Livestock pigs reach market weight in 6-7 months.
Biological processes are often non-linear, so your intuition is probably correct. Here's an interesting paper I found that looks at body size, energy metabolism, and lifespan.
That final scene... oof. (bawl)
A TV reporter became lost on the back roads and stopped at a farm to get directions. As he was talking to the farmer he noticed a pig with a wooden leg. “This could be a great story for the Six O’Clock News. How did that pig lose his leg?” he asked the farmer. “Well”, said the farmer, “that’s a very special pig. One night not too long ago we had a fire start in the barn, and that pig squealed so loud and long that he woke everyone, and by the time we got there he had herded all the other animals out of the barn. Saved them all.”
“And that was when he hurt his leg?” asked the journalist anxious for a story. “Nope, he pulled through that just fine.” said the farmer. “Though a while later, I was back in the woods when a bear attacked me. Well, sir, that pig was nearby and he came running and rammed that bear from behind and then chased him off. He saved me for sure.”
“Wow! So the bear injured his leg then?” questioned the reporter. “No. He came away without a scratch. Though a few days later, my tractor turned over in a ditch and I was knocked unconscious. Well, that pig dove into the ditch and pulled me out before I got cut up in the machinery.” “Ahh! So his leg got caught under the tactor?” asked the journalist. “Noooo. We both walked away from that one.” says the farmer.
“So how did he get the wooden leg?” asked the journalist. “Well”, the farmer replied, “A pig like that, you don't eat all at once”!
It is in French and subtitled, but so exactly relevant to your point!
On the topics of pigs, dogs, and pets; most people don't realize how intelligent and affectionate cows are. Dairy farmers often love their cows more than their dogs. And the farmers that have dairy cows and other cows have this mental barrier where one group is food and the other is family. I bet most people that have eaten a hamburger have never pet a cow.
This is not some meat-is-murder tirade - I'm not even vegetarian. It's just neat to think about the assumptions that construct our worldview.
Given that most Americans have definitely never pet a cow, and I'd go as far as to propose most have probably never even seen a cow in person, that's probably a very safe wager. But what percent of people that have pet a cow, would you wager also do eat beef?
I've never considered the possibility of someone never ever having seen a damn cow.
I don't know if people are more crazy or more horrible. But whenever I see moral grandstanding on HN it always reminds me of experiences in SV and Seattle watching peers step over or ignore homeless, distressed human beings by day and do the same kind of moral grandstanding over drinks at night.
At some point as you travel north, you stop seeing pigs by the side of the road. You start to cross checkpoints where they spray your tires and places where they've put chemical (disinfectant) soaked hay on the roads that you're expected to drive over. You see signs everywhere warning people to spray things down.
The swine flu is real.
It has two facts:
1- There is a shortage of pork due to recent outbreaks
2- Large pigs have been breed in China.
The article then seems to insinuate that 2 is due to 1. But the article offers no stats or even any evidence that there is a causal effect.
Worse, the article seems to imply large pigs are a Chinese thing, when America holds the record for large hogs. Mostly large pigs are bread as male breeding pigs and to compete in local events (as therefore as part of a pig breeders boasting status). As far as I'm concerned, large pigs are not breed so much for consumption (though they will be consumed eventually)
Just very odd. Absolutely no journalism in that article. It just mentions two facts and draws fuzzy conclusions from it filled with innuendo. I'm not sure Bloomberg was ever a very quality source (as say the Washington Post or NYT), but I'm quite surprised at the trash rag style they are putting out lately. I also wonder why it's making the front page of /.
China's pigs average of 110 kilos. The only stat mentioned in the 'news' piece (other than things like 'up to') is producers wanting to 'increase size by at least 14%'.
Average pig weight in america at slaughter is 127 kilos.
The giant pig from the image is likely a competition pig, just like in America. As far as I know, it's not economically effective to raise pigs past a certain point if it's for meat production.
See how you were jumping to conclusions and even inserting things that were never mentioned 'in sacrifice of taste'? That's what I meant in my critique and why I called the style 'trash rag'. News pieces like this are filled with innuendo and are intentionally kept nice and broad so each person can read into it whatever they want.
Reminds me of the song:
We can do "The Innuendo"
We can dance and sing
When it's said and done we haven't told you a thing
We all know that Kraft is king
Also, the bigger the pigs get, the worse their health will be. Unhealthy pigs don't survive to market, convert their food less efficiently, get rejected at the slaughter house or their meat suffers in quality.
Next problem: You want similarly sized pigs for efficient slaughtering. Those "polar bears" won't fit into a standard line. But I guess China isn't that far into their agricultural industrialization yet. They are apparently also playing catch up in terms of food security and management of animal diseases.
The last two points are hampered by the general lack of transparency.
The golden retrievers would eat it faster though; my impression is that pigs tend to chew and take their time....
So Beef > Pork > Chicken. But if pigs can be bred to be as big as cows that helps a lot!
I defy you to find 1 chicken in 1000 that is capable of suffering this at this level.
Or the even heavier Elephant birds in Madagascar until 800 years ago.
It made me think that cows really are just big dogs. But big dogs that we have taken to eating, unfortunately.
I'm not sure I want to keep eating pork and beef. I do eat a lot of chicken these days in lieu of that anyways.
By that logic, the endgame would be an animal bred so it can't experience pain or suffering. After all, if it can't suffer, you can treat it however badly you want, right?
relevant Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri quote:
>My gift to industry is the genetically engineered worker, or Genejack. Specially designed for labor, the Genejack's muscles and nerves are ideal for his task, and the cerebral cortex has been atrophied so that he can desire nothing except to perform his duties. Tyranny, you say? How can you tyrannize someone who cannot feel pain?
I guess you could just strike that word without changing your meaning.
B12 supplimentation is pretty trivial.
“Need” was perhaps a strong word. But basically if one eats a strictly vegan diet during growth years without supplements, they WILL develop malnutrition related disorders and/or stunted growth. It is the recommendation of pediatricians to feed kids some meat so as to provide a natural source of essential vitamins and minerals. Kids who do not eat meat need to be screened for various malnutrition, growth, and eating disorders.
That’s not what ‘vegetarian’ means.
I feel absolutely no ethical qualms about murdering chickens from an intelligence aspect. ;)
2. Antibiotic resistance in humans because of overuse in pigs (it doesn't have to be the same medication, only the same/similar pathway mechanism)
3. Pandemics (zillions of pigs kept in close proximity to each other and humans)
4. Climate change (2nd or 3rd most anthropogenic source)
5. Some other hippie reasons
6. More expensive than plant-based food