Saturday, May 23, 2009

Episode 19 NZ Pork Scandal

Episode 19

NZ Pork Scandal!

Hello, and welcome to another fine episode of Jay Wont dart's podcast, where I talk about stuff I find interesting and that you wont.

This episode, I'll talk a little about the current NZ Pig Scandal, the media calls it Pork, but I think thats a euphemism, we're talking about Pigs here, not bacon.

Basically, the deal is that NZ Open Rescue, an animal rights group closely linked to SAFE, Save Animals From Exploitation, has broken into another farm, this time a Piggery, a place where pigs are farmed, and the footage taken was shown on mainstream news as a lead story. Part of what makes it worth the media hype is that Mike King, a "world famous in New Zealand", look up that term on wikipedia, comedian went along with the activists, he is in front of the camera for all the footage and talks about what he sees, hes the main character. Mike King was known for SELLING NZ Por, I mean, NZ Pigs on tv, he would go on about how great it was, raised in Gods Own as New Zealand is called. He now says he never knew how the pigs were raised, and has turned on his former employers. I have TONNES of audio clips to play back, I found an awesome way to save online video using Safari, Apple's browser, you can see the "activity" that the browser is undergoing, and when you see a nice big .FLV file, flash video, you can double click it and it saves it to the desktop of your computer. This should work on all sites, so its an easy way to get Youtube Videos too!

Sunday is a current events show, it airs on Sunday night, New Zealand time. It showed awful footage of how New Zealand pigs are treated.
In the footage taken, we see pigs in small cages, cages is the right word, they are thick metal bars, kind of like a sheep truck in design. The pigs are not meant to be able to turn around even, they are that cramped. I cant get over that, how could a cage be so small that the animals cannot even turn? How is that possibly right? The pigs are frothing at the mouth, they are biting bars, they have sores on their bodies from where they have rubbed against the metal bars. One is dead, just lying down dead. They all look terrified and like they have been ill treated for a long time. I think most New Zealanders knew that pigs were raised in small cages like this, but seeing it this graphically has just caused a huge issue, at least for the moment, and I'm quite glad its been brought up so we can fix this awful mess.

There are four main people featured in the clips, Mark Sainsbury the TVNZ presenter, Mike King, the former NZ Pork tv ad guy, Hans Kriek, from SAFE, and the Chairman of the NZ Pork Board, Chris Trengrove. Trengrove is kinda a typical "kiwi bloke mate" looking guy, or any hardened New Zealand man, serious and grumpy looking. His eyes are a lot like Greg Murphy's, they could be related!

Throughout the clips, Trengrove, the NZ Pork guy, pretends to be as shocked as the entire country about how these pigs are treated, he claims its just one or two farms that are like this. Sometimes he makes a stab or two at SAFE, saying they have just picked one farm, that Mike King knew about how some farms were, Mike King says he DEFINITELY did not know anything about it, and Trengrove generally waits until the interviews are over. He looks very uncomfortable.

Mike King is meant to be the good guy, hes the one whos came and unveiled how pigs are in New Zealand. He apologises for pimping pig slaughter, which I thought was pretty nice of him, he seems like a nice guy to me. But, as we hear at the end of the main story, he still eats meat, he still eats pork as pig meat is called, just this magical, organic, free range "Happy Meat". Its gross to me, after all the images we see him cooking up a ham or something, and the reporters eat it with him.

Hans Kriek, the SAFE guy is made to look like a radical animal activist, he seems quite calm and I've impressed with his performance, especially against Chris Trengrove the Pork Board bossman. I only wish he would say " Go Vegan " at the end of his parts, I've emailed him and he said that he mentions it on radio interviews at the moment, but the tv doesnt show it as its not in the current agenda, which is "ew look at this awful footage".

There is actually one other main guy who shows up, Colin Kay, owner of the farm where the footage was taken. Kay is craggy, looks like my Grandfather, hes the ultimate Kiwi Bloke really. Both the farmer side, Colin Kay the farmer, and Pork Board Boss Chris Trengrove look similar, no nonsense rural type New Zealand men. Colin Kay looks a little like Sir Edmund Hillary I guess. He used to be part of the NZ Pork board, hes not just some normal farmer, he used to be a big shot, and now hes known for ill treating his pigs. They werent allowed to have feelings, they got the cane at school, they sat down and shut up. Do you say "shat up"? Sounds gross.

My first big clip, the full Sunday Show piece about New Zealand Pigs, its about 20 minutes long. It makes sense to give you the full audio of the program. Afterwards, theres a few additional clips, from tv coverage of the aftermath, lots to do with Hans from SAFE, Mike King who's now an outraged ex Pork Pimp, Chris Trengrove the NZ Pork main man, and the farmer Colin Kay.

What do you think about that?

The video can be found online, I might try and upload what I saved to Youtube to make it easier to show other people, but it could be taken down if TVNZ dont want it up in other places online.

I noticed someone in the local paper, The Southland Times defending the so called " good indoor piggeries", I dont think they exist, I wrote in asking the woman who used to work at a piggery how she would like being in the pigs place. The next day, I noticed others claiming the "burglars", the activists who entered the piggery didnt steal anything as far as we know, must have upset the pigs somehow, and I wrote in about that too. I said that the activists had a damn hard job ahead of them if they were to have faked everything we saw, if they somehow made the pig cages look that awful, if they made them that scared in the middle of the night without being caught, if they used theatrical makeup to make it look like they had awful scars. That the froth coming from the pigs mouths could have been shaving cream, that SAFE must have trained the pigs to bite the metal bars, and they also must have killed the dead pig. Yeah right, I then said that the simplest explanation that we can come up with is that they just filmed what was happening to the animals inside as they were.

I'll give you a short history of whats happened since the Sunday tv show came out.

Mainstream New Zealand is meant to be outraged, according to the Media. Its mostly been on Channel One News, and the Sunday Program ,both by TVNZ. 3 News, which I normally would have watched until Malcolm in the Middle was put on at the same time on C4, has barely covered the story thats meant to have pissed off everyone in the country.

Recently there was a tiny scandal when it was found a lot of pork sold in New Zealand is actually imported, the Pork boss man Chris Trengrove says its about 45 percent of whats sold here. Even brands that sold themselves as New Zealand, and said Kiwi, or New Zealand all over the packaging, the meat was from overseas. And then this came, footage with Mike King hosting informally about how Pigs are kept. I only hope that people remember this, and its not forgotten in a weeks time. I went to the supermarket today, and looked at the bacon, it seemed like most of the bacon, even that which said NZ Pork, contained local AND IMPORTED INGREDIENTS, so theres two different pigs in the packet? If the imported stuff is cheaper, and may be in the packet of NZ pig, could it be that 1 percent is New Zealand Pig? And the other 99 percent, could that be the cheaper imported meat?

Part of what makes the story so fun for me to watch, is that Hans Kriek , the SAFE spokeman says pretty much the same thing, hes eager to show more examples of pig abuse, he says its mainstream in New Zealand, this is how all farms are. Chris Trengrove, the NZ Pork Guy flubs around for a bit, he never is prepared and cannot really defend himself. Every thing is that he didnt know it was happening, this is one example, and in later clips he briefly mentions that overseas some countries are worse, that NZ is moving away from these practices and soon we wont do it at all. All lies as he squirms in front of the camera.

Mark Sainsbury, the TVNZ host is quite rough with Chris Trengrove, he keeps asking the difficult questions, and doesnt let things go. He doesnt tear him a new one, but he isnt at all soft.

In one episode of this NZ Pork Saga, Chris Trengrove says that he can show the reporters around many GOOD factory farms, that what we have seen is just one bad place, not representative of the whole New Zealand Pork scene. Hans Kriek , from SAFE is great, he invites himself along each time it comes up. But it turns out farmers dont want the nosy reporters at their piggeries, as you'll hear in a clip below, farmers have parked GIANT tractors, the size of a small house in height, in entrance ways to a farm.

For a while, it wasnt even revealed who the farmer was, who owned the farm where the footage was taken. When it was announced, it was a breaking news style clip on One News,

Two more good clips, one with Mike King and the Pork Board head, Chris Trengrove, and the other which I call "scared pig farmers". Its another with Hans Kriek and Trengrove.


Notice Chris Trengrove blaming other countries, and imported meat? It really doesnt matter what other countries do, New Zealanders dont want to think of themselves as bad people who abuse animals. Even people who eat meat think of themselves as kind animal lovers.

Well, this episodes nearly over. I hope that this scandal will stick around, it has the potential to make lots of people think about leaving animals alone, not killing them by the millions. Its been mentioned in the clips I played that egg companies have already been through this, that now they have free range and factory farmed eggs labelled differently, and its obvious to tell which is which. If you care about how eggs are produced, and still eat them, you can pay more and get free range eggs. Perhaps this is how pig meat will be sold, caged and uncaged bacon will be sold for example. Frankly, I wish everyone would just leave animals alone, and be Vegan, not eating any animal products, but until everyone is Vegan, then I hope more shocking scandals come out about how animals are kept, so that more people are exposed to the issues, and more people decide to be Vegan. If I say that there are normally one single person each week in New Zealand who decides to be Vegan, one new vegan per week, then perhaps with big scandals like the NZ Pork situation will make hundreds of thousands aware of how pigs are treated, and instead of one new Vegan each week, it could be 10, or even 100, thanks to the mainstream coverage.

I guess in a months time it will be dead and buried, but I've enjoying the coverage for animal rights in mainstream media whilst it lasts. I hope everyone listening will look for themselves to see whats happening to New Zealand animals, thank you to the animal rights groups who provide break in footage, without a group of people breaking into a piggery with Mike King, there wouldnt be this huge coverage of the issue.

Thank you for listening to me.

If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to, j a y w o n t d a r t @, I'd appreciate it.

Have a super happy day, bye.

Sunday, a NZ Current Events Show,

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