Posted on February 11, 2011 - by

This Little Piggy Went to the Loo

Factory farms are notorious for cramming thousands of animals into confined spaces, generating a toxic concentration of animal waste and other polluting byproducts. In Taiwan, the country’s 610 million pigs account for 26% of waterway pollution (Epoch Times).

Now, one Taiwanese farming operation has come across a solution that may save millions of liters of wastewater each day: toilet-trained pigs.

The make-shift “toilet” consists of iron bars installed above the floor of the pig pen. The pigs are trained to do their business in one spot, making it easier to remove, and dramatically cutting the amount of water needed to clean the sty.

Chang Chung-Tou, manager of the pig farm Long Kow Foods Enterprise, commented on the innovative toilet-training approach. “Because we don’t need to flush the whole cage with water, the pigs are also less likely to catch colds. That helped us to raise the survival rate of our pigs from 70 to 90 percent,” Chang said (MSNBC).

After examining the experimental results, Taiwan’s government is now offering financial incentives for farms to convert to the greener manure collection method. The resultant manure is less diluted, can be sold for higher prices, and will reduce waste effluents in Taiwan’s rivers. Chang commented, “Farmers are fighting to purchase the concentrated pig manure, because when used to fertilize bamboo shoots, the bamboo shoots are particularly fragrant, sweet and delicious” (Epoch Times).

In other words, this is a major step in making sure that waste is not wasted, and nutrients will be returned back to the soil in a sustainable fashion.

On the other hand, if the pigs were not being raised in a factory farm operation, there would be no need to manage large amounts of waste in this manner. A diversified farm with free-range pigs would be able to incorporate the manure back into the fields without a problem. Arguably, toilet-trained pigs do not solve the root of the problem—our planet’s skyrocketing meat consumption.

No word yet on whether these sophisticated swine can help train your two-year-old to lose the diapers.

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    February 14, 2011


    Betty Saenz GREEN REALTOR said:

    I just love films like Fresh and Food Inc. to teach the American public about what a crisis we have with our food supply in America. We all need to vote with both our dollar and at the polls to turn America around!!