Posted by: Rob | October 21, 2010

The Price of the Taste of Bacon

Hog confinement barn interior, slatted floor

Image via Wikipedia

Bacon.  It’s nearly ubiquitous in North American culture, added to all varieties of fast food, and craved by many.  Unless you’re a Muslim, for Muslims will not touch the “filthy swine“.  I am personally neither a Muslim nor a bacon eater.  I won’t touch the filthy swine either, but for a different reason.

You see, my family and I, and my neighbours and community are all paying the price for your bacon.  Our hamlet is a scant two miles distant from an Intensive Livestock Operation or ILO.  That’s just a fancy word for a factory farm.

The Scotford Colony was successful in their application a few years back for a permit for a 5,000 hog barn.  That’s right.  5,000.  You say, “That would generate a lot of manure.”  And you’d be right.  Do you know what that hog manure looks like and what is done with it?  It’s a dark, evil smelling liquid and it’s sprayed onto the fields.  Fields which are closer to our hamlet than the hog barn itself.  And when those factory farmers are spraying that manure on the fields, it stinks in our hamlet.  A lot.

You can not go outside.  You can not open a window in your house.  Or you will gag.  You might vomit.  Worse yet, if you have asthma, you may not be able to breathe.  The odour infiltrates everything, and you can not get it out.

I’ve complained to the NRCB.  I’ll complain again.  But I’m sick of it.  Something has to change.  Our quality of life should not suffer from this.  But it is and it’s not right.


  1. but… but… but… i LIKE bacon…

    (but, having grown up near a farm, i do understand the pure evil smell that pig manure makes)

    • gnukid: I can be understanding too. To an extent. The local Hutterites, however, have exceeded both the extent AND my understanding.

  2. Hi,
    I also love my pork, but I just couldn’t imagine living next to or near something like that. It really must be terrible. I know when there is a terrible smell around from somewhere, it usually goes all the way through the house, but what your describing would linger for days, surely they can do something about it, is it not a health hazard?

    • Welcome to my blog. Thanks for commenting.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think the regulations have really been developed in Alberta yet to safeguard the health and quality of life of residents who happen to live nearby to such operations. It could be worse, though. I’ve read some real horror stories about intensive hog operations in the US, in places like North Carolina. There, the hog operators actually spray the liquid from the manure into the air. It makes people who live nearby significantly physically ill. In one incident I read about, a couple of workers who fell into one of the ponds died before they could be rescued. Scary stuff, indeed.

  3. Geeze, that was sobering. Sometimes, I try to avoid the truth. Particularly when it comes to how my food is prepared. I don’t want to watch anyone prepare sausages, but do so love eating them. I fear that every time I see strip of bacon on my plate, I’ll think about this post. Not kidding.

  4. What we do to pigs is beyond anyone’s imaginings-anyone not in the “industry”.
    I spent a summer on a farm in PEI and met four piglets. They roamed free as they had reason to want to go. They came to their individual names after two days and would often caper about to please me and themselves. Aside from the unfortunate castrations they lived a short but happy life. These are not the pigs you eat.
    I don’t eat pork ..and yes I do eat chicken and fish and yes, maybe one suffering should not be more acceptable than another but if you ever really met a pig, you would understand.

  5. Sorry, I meant NO reason to want to go!
    Certain farmers will say that pigs need to be housed completely indoors as they will escape out door penning. I have seen pigs on many farms and the young are often not penned all day and the older pigs are penned in minimally fenced areas they could easily get out from. Because they are treated well they stay. They also feel no compunction to chew each other’s tails, noses and genitals off like they do at your neighbor’s down the road.

  6. Hi – I’m Andrea from the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation ( We are interested in adding your blog to the blog roll on the resource page of our website. Please email me at to let me know the best way to contact you so we can discuss the possibility of adding your blog. Thank you so much!

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