“China is the biggest pork producer in the world—almost all of its 50 million metric tons of production in 2010 (half of all the pork in the world) was consumed domestically” (http://iatp.typepad.com/thinkforward/2011/05/the-global-impact-of-chinas-pig-industry.html). The Chinese eat A LOT of pork.
We’ve been in China for almost three weeks and I’ve consumed more pork than cumulatively in my 28 + years of life. I’m not proud of it and it’s a far cry from my dairy, meat, grain, and sugar free diet I had temporarily adopted prior to flying across the Pacific, but as they say, when in China, eat as the Chinese do. Barbequed pork, pork wontons, minced pork in everything under the sun, and the list goes on. I have generally looked at tofu as being a vegetarian meat alternative, well, not in China. Part of said pork has been consumed alongside tofu. Every day I tell myself that I will not consume pork and will generally be more particular about my meat consumption… and then I realize that I slipped down that slope the day I arrived. I’ve even encouraged my kids to eat it. Again, not my proudest moment. But damn, when it melts in your mouth like it’s the sweetest piece of bacon you used to never let yourself have but salivated at the smell of, it’s just hard to say no.
I’m a struggling would-be vegetarian. I was able to live almost a decade of my life by those ideals but since having kids, I’ve struggled… let’s be honest, since having kids, MANY of my ideals have given way to more convenient unideal realities. In an effort to find self discipline, I’m going to do a bit more research on Chinese pork production and see if that doesn’t curb the habit…
Crap! It looks like the Chinese government’s little internet drone that blocks my access to websites just as the page is loading is at it again. Apparently they don’t want bad press on their pig industry, which I deduced from the brief search that I was able to read, is BIG business here in China. That can’t mean good things.
For now, I’m going to pretend that the pigs that end up on my plate are from a small family farm just down the road, the one sandwiched between gigantically modern high rise skyscrapers. The one across from the modern loft apartment building that houses multiple families in a shanty.
Maybe, tomorrow I’ll live up my ideals. Today I may just eat some pork wrapped asparagus.