'The Last Pig' Presents Deeper Look at Humane Pig Farming
It was excruciating for Bob Comis to transport the last group of his pigs to the slaughterhouse. It was also the start of a compassionate journey for this farmer. Comis believed he was providing an alternative to factory farming for the 250 hogs he owned on his Upstate New York property. The pigs frolicked in mud wallows, roamed together on endless acres set against a backdrop of rolling hills, and munched on corn grown on site, for the duration of their short lives before succumbing to an untimely demise.
As the years went on, raising and bonding with these playful, sentient beings became increasingly difficult. He felt sorrow for the pigs whose friends he snatched away. He struggled to comprehend why farm animals that were just as intelligent as his faithful dog, Monk, were stuffed in the back of the truck while the canine rode shotgun. “Each of these pigs, if I could only ask them in a way they comprehended, would choose to live rather than die. I nurture these sentient beings, making them thrive, only to snuff them out when it suits me,” Comis said about being a humane farmer.
One day, as his pigs grunted for his attention in a wooded grove, Comis was struck by the deeper meaning of being truly humane and decided to quit pig farming, even if it meant giving up his livelihood. “I’ve made this decision because I no longer want to have anything to do with death. I want to embrace life,” he said in the upcoming documentary, The Last Pig.
In the film, animal advocate and Emmy-winning film-maker Allison Argo, takes us on the compelling journey through Comis’s introspective, final year as a pig farmer.
It was a challenge, but Comis was able to place eight of the 250 pigs in sanctuaries. The fate of the rest was sealed. Thus began the arduous undertaking of sending them to their deaths before giving up livestock farming for good.
In the film, his transition is juxtaposed with the changing seasons: the autumn leaves turn red as Comis takes a load of pigs to slaughter; the pig population dwindles as the trees shed their leaves; when the last pigs make their final trip, the branches are stark and naked. Comis is now trying his hand at vegetable farming and advocating a vegan lifestyle.
Argo hopes the film sheds light on humane farming and repairs the disconnect between people and what is on our plates. Filming is in final production and it is expected to release in Spring 2016. Argo has begun fundraising efforts in collaboration with Farm Sanctuary.
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