• Posted by Califia Suntree on December 20th, 2010, 9:44 AM

    In an undercover investigation at a factory farm owned by Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, the Humane Society discovered (and recorded) hideous abuses of sows and piglets at a piggery in Virginia. Yes, piglets. (And yes, they’re called piggeries!) Most of the cruelty stemmed from the use of so-called gestation crates, which are already illegal in seven states and will be phased out of the EU by 2013. I couldn’t watch the Humane Society video myself, but you can learn more details over at the Huffington Post.

    I happen to be a huge ham fan, but if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Pick up a humanely raised ham from a company like Niman Ranch, which not only come from small, sustainable farms, they are brined in salt and brown sugar and taste incredible. (You can still order in time for Christmas!) Alternatively, go to the Eat Well Guide, and in “advanced search” type in your zip and the word “ham.” I got several butcher shops in my area offering humanely raised pork products.

    Whatever you decide to serve, boycott Smithfield. Oh, and boycott Paula Deen while you’re at it. Never did like her…

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