A skyscraper full of pigs.

Plus: Quick and easy recipes you’ll love.

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Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."

George Bernard Shaw

Monday. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, the CDC is warning against eating precut cantaloupe from unknown sources. Why? Well, for one, no one likes cantaloupe. Although, I guess it’s better than honeydew. Isn’t it the worst feeling when you get a fruit salad, and below the single strawberry slice and grape, all you get is cantaloupe and honeydew? Ugh. Anyway, precut cantaloupe has been linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak. Speaking of deadly outbreaks, someone thought raising pigs in skyscrapers would be a good idea. Seriously. Let’s dive in.

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And Now, Pigs Fly (Kind Of) 

In a development that feels straight out of an episode of Black Mirror, the world’s largest free-standing hog farm, towering at 26 stories, recently opened in a rural village in central China. This high-rise hog farm, along with a similar one set to open soon, is expected to raise an astonishing 1.2 million pigs annually. 

The operation, resembling a massive parking garage, segregates floors based on the pigs’ life stages. At the top, massive feed storage distributes 1 million pounds of feed daily using automated machines, while manure and wastewater are processed at the bottom.


The level of automation in this facility is staggering. Reporters who have toured the farm compare it to a high-tech production line, with most processes computerized and minimal human intervention. While this might sound efficient, it raises profound ethical and environmental concerns.

I mean, what are we doing here?

Like all other animals we raise as livestock, pigs should be outdoors, with fresh air and ample room for movement. Needless to say, these conditions are impossible to replicate in a towering building. Reporters have compared the farm’s working conditions to those at Foxconn, known for producing electronics for major brands under questionable conditions. Should we really be raising animals the same way we mass-produce iPhones? 

Concentrating such a large number of animals in confined spaces significantly increases the risk of disease spread among animals and potentially to humans. This concern is particularly pertinent given that these high-rise farms were conceptualized partly in response to an outbreak of African swine fever, which devastated China’s pork industry in 2018. The irony is that this solution might actually do more harm than good, as the biosecurity risks are magnified in such densely populated buildings.

The environmental impact of these operations is another serious concern. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in the U.S. have been shown to pollute air, contaminate drinking water, and cause health issues in farmworkers and nearby communities. The scale of these new high-rise farms in China far exceeds the already concerning industrial factory farms in the U.S. I mean, what could go wrong with cramming thousands and thousands of animals into a high-rise building? The answer—pretty much anything. 

The key takeaway? This development in China should serve as a wake-up call. Sure, we don’t have pig skyscrapers in the U.S. yet, but if we keep moving towards maximizing profit and automation in our food industry over everything else, what’s to say we won’t end up there?  

We need to start seriously reconsidering our food production methods. The path toward cheap meat should not compromise the health and well-being of animals, workers, communities, or the planet. As consumers and global citizens, it’s crucial we support smaller and medium-scale livestock operations that prioritize ethical practices, community health, and environmental sustainability. 

And remember, mass-produced meat alternatives made on huge assembly lines from big companies like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods aren’t exactly the answer either. How about we just avoid anything coming out of a big factory and support those still raising real food the right way? That is how we reverse this colossal mess. 

Tonic Shots

1. A Quick and Easy Breakfast Option You’ll Love

This overnight oats recipe is delicious and can be a great way to start the day. Enjoy!

2. Can You Beat A Burrito For Quick And Easy?

Protein and healthy fats wrapped in a tortilla! I mean c’mon!

3. You Had Me At Garlic and Butter

A quick and easy side dish or snack everyone will love! Enjoy!

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