The Happy Pig? A slice of life

This is a pretty disturbing image, to say the least. I don't have a year on it, but our attitudes have certainly changed since those days; now we would never want to make the connection between smiling anthropomorphic piglets and jumbo breakfast rolls.

Meanwhile, Jamie Oliver is at it again. No doubt you've seen him killing those fluffy little chicks live on TV. No?

His School Dinners series was a timely and eye-opening indictment of the modern child's diet and its effect (although The Sun picked up on the counter-reaction of lazy yob parents who complained Oliver's diet was making their kids 'picky' about their food, and that the take-away served 'cheaper and better' food).

His latest venture, Jamie's Fowl Dinners, seeks to wean the UK public off of 'factory' chickens and on to the free-range variety. To this end, he has shown in detail the outrageous farming methods currently employed by the poultry industry.

Conversationally and anecdotally, many people are disgusted by Oliver's chick-suffocating antics and, as you can see in the TV footage, there are plenty of adverse reactions from amongst the audience members.

Of course this is nothing new, he killed a conscious lamb back in 2005 while touring Italy for Jamie's Great Escape. But then as now, the howls of disgust came from carnivores who didn't want to see where their food actually came from.

Jamie's various supporters have included spokespeople from the RSPCA, Animal Aid, and PETA who all feel that the meat-buying public needs to be educated in the basics of the food chain.

The Simpsons' misleading food chain

I agree. Many years ago, I read enough about the industry to change my eating habits. I no longer eat animals, since there's really no need to do so.

So why not take a stroll through the killing floor with Troy McClure and Little Jimmy in 'Meat and You: Partners in Freedom' [.wmv file] a Meat Council propaganda film, from the Resistance is Useless series.

Or if you want to go the whole hog, so to speak, you could have a look at the following documentary. Be warned: it's the real thing!