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ECO WORRIER ON THE PIG ISSUE.

LIFE'S a bit of a swine for farmer Dave Lang. At least it was when I decided to give him a streaky taste of his own bacon.

Dave, 47, claims that his 70 pigs lead the life of Riley at his farm near Chippenham, Wilts, before being herded off to be turned into chump chops.

In the week when Butch and Sundance, aka The Tamworth Two, captured the hearts of the nation by trotting to freedom from the slaughterhouse in Malmesbury, Wilts, Eco Worrier asked Dave if he'd like to spend 24 hours living like a pig.

He agreed, claiming that details of a pig's life have been greatly sensationalised. Well, Dave, here are the facts...

Approximately 15 million pigs a year are killed for meat. Pork, ham and bacon lovers eat about 30 pigs in their lifetime.

When a sow reaches the age of four and is too exhausted to breed, she'll be made into pork pies.

Meanwhile, piglet tails are cut off and teeth pulled out so they can't bite each other. They are ready for slaughter at four to seven months.

But let's give Dave a chance to join his "happy pigs". We're sure you'll find his diary a crackling read.

8am: I share breakfast with sows Jemima and Sam. I've got a bed of straw so it's not too bad. The floor is concrete and cold on my bare feet but it's no problem for a pigs' trotters. Breakfast is pig cake - a mixture of barley, wheat and other cereals. It tastes horrible. I'd love a cup of tea but pigs get water.

9am: Pigs are very clean animals. They're the only ones who won't defecate in their sty. I have to nip behind the barn to relieve myself.

1pm: There are six pigs to a pen, 6ft by 10ft. OK, it's not palatial but they have freedom of movement and there's plenty of straw. When they want to sleep there is a corrugated steel shelter called the Pig Ark. A godsend on a cold January day.

2pm: Getting some nasty looks from the farm's two boars. Boss Man weighs over 35 stone and Jasper 28 stone. They have six wives each and don't like to share.

7pm: Wish I'd brought a pack of cards. Pig life revolves around feeding and sleeping. Having said that, pigs are intelligent. It didn't surprise me that Butch and Sundance made a bolt for freedom. I've been in this pen for twelve hours and am thinking of doing a runner myself.

11pm: People ask how I can see them off to the slaughterhouse. At the end of the day it's a business. The pigs have had a good life. Of my 70 pigs, only 60 per cent go for meat which I sell at my farm shop. I can't afford to get get sentimental.

3am: It's all very well when you weigh over 30 stone and you've got a nice covering of lard to keep you warm. The thought of a nice cosy bed is keeping me awake.

6am: Rude awakening. Where's my pig cake? I'm herded into a van.

7am: We're at the abattoir but I am convinced my pigs don't have a clue what is going to happen. Unfortunately I do. How did Butch and Sundance do it again?

At this point Dave was seen legging it to freedom over a wall. Later when I caught up with him, he said: "It wasn't comfortable but my pigs have a bloody good life. All they do is eat, sleep and drink.

"And the boars have half a dozen wives! I'm certainly not changing the way I do things."

-VEGAN bacon and ham, made from soya, is available from Redwood Food. The first 100 readers to write to me will get a voucher for a free packet from Holland & Barratt health stores. Write to: Vegan Bacon Offer, PO Box 4014, The Sunday People, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5BF.

Bremner is back... inbronze

LEEDS United will pay tribute to the late Billy Bremner by putting up a bronze statue of the soccer legend outside the club's Elland Road ground.

Bremner's widow Vicki has given her blessing to the memorial just weeks after his death from a heart attack at the age of 54.

The statue will show the fiery Scots international with two arms raised in a clenched-fist victory salute.

Bremner made 770 appearances for United and went on to become the club's manager.

Curried wind

of change

THE Sussex curry house wrecked by the Selsey tornado while astronomer Patrick Moore was enjoying a meal there has reopened...with the new name The Tornado Tandoori.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jan 18, 1998
Words:775
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