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The Pork Industry is thrilled to have legislators at their expo

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Look out Springfield, you’re in for a porkin’.

The Annual Illinois Pork Expo has found a new home in the state capitol, and legislative attention is their goal. Over a weekend in February, more than 120 vendors will keep pork propaganda alive. The king of these bacon-huckers is Curt Zehr, a fifth-generation asshole. He says that the move back to Springfield, the first since 1983 for the expo, is to “expose more producers to legislators and more legislators to producers.” With 116,558,900 pigs seeing their death at the hands of pork producers yearly in the US alone, Zehr still thinks there’s a need to be “more relevant as an industry.”

In fact, The Illinois Pork Expo will be sharing the weekend and convention space with the Annual Legislative Lobby Day, traditionally held later in the year. He said that with the variety of regulatory challenges facing the industry, combining the events would be more “effective.” He’s not alone on that, as the expo space is already sold out. Agricultural companies, equipment manufacturers, universities, state and federal agencies, agricultural lenders, and everyone else who profits from pigs are going to be there. Consumers are led to believe this is a good thing before they even attend, with a link to the Pork Cares website highlighting “responsible antibiotic use” as the sort of thing that should come to mind when regulation is involved.

But industry loves regulation. It should be no surprise to anyone that regulations in animal agriculture come into place to benefit those with control, and certainly not animals. Most often, these legislative bodies that the pork council is trying to get close to would help regulate conditions that make the processes for manufacturing easier. Even though stunning an animal before killing it is called “more humane,” it doesn’t result in any less dead animals. Instead, it gives society a false sense of comfort with what’s really happening, and maybe drives more sales and deaths. A cursory glance at the sponsor list for this show makes it clear who stands to profit most from more pig slaughter.

Zehr goes on to squeal, “we want to do a better job of telling our story to people.” I hope that story includes this incredibly backhanded way that humans continue to manipulate the “system” to make the killing of animals easier, and more widely acceptable. To read more about industry manipulation, Gary L. Francione explains Animal Welfare Regulations, “Happy Exploitation,” and Speciesism beautifully.

When it comes to a sandwich of pork-people and legislative-people, count this vegan out.

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