National Bacon Day is celebrated annually in the United States on December 30. When I was growing up, I would have gladly participated in the unofficial holiday.
I was part of “bacon culture” before it became a thing. Morning bacon and cheese sandwiches from the local deli were the only reason I actually got out of bed on the weekends. I would eat bacon with almost anything. But this year, I refuse to celebrate National Bacon Day and I will never eat bacon again.
Here are five reasons that we should all stop celebrating National Bacon Day.
1. Gestation Crates
By now you may have heard that the pork industry worldwide forces mother pigs to live almost their entire lives in cages so small the animals can’t even turn around—the equivalent of living in an airplane seat. An industry representative actually stated:
So our animals can’t turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets. … I don’t know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around.
Because these cages are so incredibly cruel, 10 U.S. states, New Zealand, and the entire European Union have banned them.
Taken from their mothers’ sides as young as 10 days old, piglets have their tails cut off, teeth ground down, and testicles ripped out—all without painkillers. Testicles. Ripped. Out. After these painful practices are inflicted on them, they’re packed into filthy, overcrowded pens.
One word: “thumping.” This horrific yet legal and standard practice involves slamming piglets headfirst onto concrete floors to kill them because they are too sick or too small for meat industry standards. Other piglets are tossed into overcrowded gassing carts where they slowly suffocate from CO2.
4. What They’re Fed
This is just downright sick. Farmers were reportedly combating Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, an often-fatal illness, by feeding pigs manure containing the virus or remains of dead piglets who were infected. Factory farms are literally turning pigs into cannibals.
After spending their entire lives at factory farms, where not a single federal law protects them, pigs are violently and brutally killed: They are hung upside down, often while still conscious, and their throats are slit.
So even though I was obsessed with bacon as a meat eater, I can no longer support something so cruel just for the sake of my palate. Once you open your eyes to the suffering of pigs, it’s hard to look away—and I would never want to.
Fortunately, I’ve found vegan versions of bacon that have me completely satisfied without contributing to the industry that viciously abuses pigs. So whether you’re making vegan bacon 6 ways or life-changing coconut bacon with just four ingredients, you can enjoy the taste without the cruelty.
Learn how to leave all animal products off your plate by downloading our complimentary Vegetarian Starter Guide today!