Thursday, April 5, 2012

Enviropig Chops Chopped

I recently read a news article headlined “Death knell may sound for 'Enviropigs'". When I read this I immediately thought that “Enviropigs” was a derogatory remark aimed at “tree huggers” and “nature nuts” and that the environmental movement was on the decline.

Not so. Enviropigs are genetically engineered pigs that are supposed to have less of a negative environmental impact than those found in traditional farming. The call is out, I guess, to make a cleaner, ecologically agreeable cut of palatable porcine product. And if that does happen, it just might mean the death knell of the common everyday sty-dwelling pig.

The news item said in part, “Scientists at the University of Guelph, 90 km west of Toronto, bred the first GMO pig that was developed to address an environmental problem in 1999. The animal - known as Enviropig - digests its feed more efficiently than naturally bred pigs, resulting in waste that may cause less environmental damage to lakes and rivers” It also stated that, “key backers of Canada’s “Enviropig” project withdrew their support for the controversial engineered animal”.

The problem, as I see it, is that we haven’t thought this through completely. When you get a great idea like this, you have to go the whole hog. Why don’t they engineer a pig that has absolutely no waste? You know, they could make a hybrid of pig and corn or something like that. Keep working on it until the pig is mainly vegetable product yet still looks somewhat like a pig — like how tofu turkey can be made to look kinda sorta like a real turkey.


I can just see it now; rows and rows of large pig-shaped corn stalks.

Don’t they already make corned beef?

We can expect to hear in the near future a conversation like this in some fine restaurant:

“May I recommend the Enviropig?”
“Yes, that will be fine. Do you have any truffles?”
“No sir. No one has truffles anymore.”
“How can that be?”
“There are no more real pigs left to root them out.”

Another part of the article states, “The project has produced eight generations of Enviropigs, including the current herd of 16 animals. But they may be the last of their kind, after Ontario Pork - an association of hog farmers in the eastern Canadian province - yanked their funding last month”.

Eight generations of Enviropigs have already been produced, including 16 alive today? Why have I never heard of them before? And why have I never heard that 16 pigs constitute a herd? And would you hear a herd of 16 hurrying hogs?

Furthermore, the report says, “Canadian environmental groups welcomed the setback for the Enviropig”.

That‘s ironic. You would think that anything with the prefix ”enviro” would be welcomed by environmental groups. You could put that prefix on anything and make it acceptable; enviroforestry, envirodrilling, envirosmog, envirocrap, environazis, etc.

Here‘s an interesting excerpt from the article:
"“The GM (genetically modified) pig was going to drive consumers away from eating pork if it was ever approved for market,” said Paul Slomp of the National Farmers Union, in a statement".

Paul SLOMP? In an article about pigs? Good thing he had that m in his last name or I would have thought someone was playing another April Fools’ joke on me and I wouldn’t have believed a word of this article.

The report also states that “Canada is the third largest pork exporter”. No elaboration on this. What kind of reporting is that? Third in what? The world? North America? And to where? It could be that we’re just the third largest pork exporter in North America to Burkina Faso.

Finally this: “Environmentalists are also closely watching applications by AquaBounty Technologies’ engineered Atlantic salmon, which contains a gene from another fish species, the Chinook salmon, to help it grow twice as fast as normal”.

Could it be that they'll grow twice as big as normal too! If so, make sure your range hood fans are on high, and you have a bottle of Febreze handy (unless the fish is crossed with a rose, then problem solved).

So we've discussed corned beef, Enviropigs, tofu turkey, and Envirofish. It's probably only a matter of time before we start mucking around with seafood — Envirolobster, synthetic shrimp, and squid crossed with a rubbery substance (this is already a well-known delicacy called calamari).

Fruits and vegetable have already been genetically modified, including tomatoes that have fish genes.

Is anyone hungry? I didn't think so.


  1. Great post from start to finish! For some unknown reason, as I read this, I remembered a terrible movie I saw years ago. Can't remember the title, but it was about this couple who kidnapped people and then buried them up to their necks in the garden, so they could feed and water them ... to fatten them up and then turn them into sausage. Weird, I know. (Enviropeople?) I don't know what all the fuss is about pig poop, anyway. All they have to do is... put a cork in it. (sorry)

    1. Thanks Susan.
      That movie sounds like it could be hilarious (if it weren't also so creepy).
      Can you really cork pork?

  2. An interesting and hilarious post. Perhaps you should start an enviroblog! Just keep your hands off all of that candy you mentioned in your c post. Genetically modifying the waxed lips would be a sin. :)

    1. I can't believe I haven't been genetically modified from eating all that stuff.