The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs Book - Review & thoughts on the moral implications for raising and eating animals

When The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs arrived on my doorstep, my son couldn't stop smiling. He took it as a sign that we would be getting pigs soon....

I saw it as an opportunity to learn more about raising pigs before we jump into animal husbandry. It turns out, we were both wrong.

It turns out, the book is an appeal to get the rest of humanity to understand why treating animals with dignity and respect is important - with a twist of Biblical influence.

In fact, the book begins with a testament of Joel's faith. I almost stopped reading the book immediately, because I wanted to read about pigs, not "religion." Thankfully, I stuck it out and read the entire book.

The book has been on my counter, in my cabin, in my car, behind the couch.... I have taken it with me and read little bits here and there. And a lot of people have commented. The title is intriguing to most people. And the people that know me assume I'm reading it to learn about pigs.

The gist of the book is this: God created everything and everything is important to God. Harming animals IS harming God. How can someone who calls themselves a Christian, turn a blind eye (or even actively participate) in the harm and abuse of animals? They wouldn't right? BUT - every day, Christians eat at McDonalds. Every day, Christians buy meat at the store without ever thinking about where it came from, how the animal was treated, what it was fed....

Every day, millions of Christians participate in the global economy. Buying stuff that doesn't matter, and throwing it away just as quickly. Millions of Christians contribute to the pollution of our oceans, the enslavement of underpaid workers, and much, much, more. And they don't care!

I have had this debate with many of my Christian friends and family for years. It is the biggest hypocrisy! The truth is - most "Christians" are Christians in name only. They want to go to the church events and belong. They want to write a check to "save the children" but not participate. Do you know how many centuries people have been saving the poor children in Africa? At least 3.

I read a lot of fantastic old literature. Last year I read a great homemaker guide (great off-grid cooking advice!) written in 1720. The author told about how she put aside money each week to send to the children starving in Africa. Their church was also creating a fund to help them get clean water. Almost 300 years ago!!!! Why hasn't this problem been solved by now??

Because people just want to send out their money and put it out of their mind (and because lots of people MAKE money off the "poor children" in Africa or Haiti.)

It's the same with animal care. Nobody wants to go into the chicken sheds or the CAFOs and see what really happens. To see would be horrific and an admission of reality. To see would mean you can't just buy the meat at the store and walk away happy. It would mean you couldn't just irreverently toss your excess food in the trash.  It would mean your whole "AMERICAN" existence would have to be questioned!

I commend Joel for putting this out there. It's truth! I share his frustration and I am hopeful that because he included some Biblical rationale, maybe people will listen to him. They have not listened to me. In fact, I came to the horrible conclusion that most people do not want to see reality. They want their bread and circuses - and nothing else. You can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved...

On that note - let me briefly recommend the book as a heartfelt plea to our better selves. You will be better off, having read it.

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