Polish project

Resize text          Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

As I am on the verge of leaving the country for the first time, I’m a bit apprehensive. I am not worried about flying or leaving the United States. Rather, I’m worried about the project in which I’m participating with a student from Wroclaw University of Environment and Life Sciences.

I have never had to face such a project and it will be the hardest assignment I’ve had in my college career. The project is about animal welfare and, more specifically, the welfare of swine in confinement operations. Although it is not troubling for me to discuss or research what we do here in terms of U.S. swine production compared to how it is done in Poland/European Union. I am most concerned with my partner and our ability to work together.

My partner is from Poland and is majoring in animal husbandry at WUELS. I know very little about her, which does not help my concern. She is a vegetarian and works for a non-government organization (NGO). An NGO would be like an organization that is non-profit and an animal rights activist group. Her views are very different from mine when it comes to animal agriculture. I knew that when I chose her as my partner, and I picked her because I knew it would be a challenge.

 My hope is that we can recognize that we both have different views and that we can educate each other on why we have those views. I have never discussed this topic with someone whose views are the polar opposite of mine, so this will be interesting.

I have talked to many people in the industry on how to approach the situation. They’ve told me to be passionate about what myself and the industry, and how pork production fits in a world perspective, without being excessive or overbearing.

Without a doubt, this will be the most interesting and controversial thing I have done in my life. Do you have some suggestions that might help me communicate with my partner in this project?

View All Blogs »


Comments (5) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left

Al Penner    
Omaha, Nebraska  |  May, 16, 2013 at 09:20 AM

I have spent quite a bit of time in Wroclaw, Poland working with some hog farms. If you have an interest, i would be willing to put you in contact with a Polish friend that lives in Wroclaw and is Production Manager for several hog farms in the Wroclaw area.

Kyle    
Ohio  |  May, 16, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Ask a lot of questions. How would you make it better? How would you evaluate if it is better? What other aspects do we need to consider? Is this system better than stalls? Why do you say that? Another question - do animals have a right to form a peck order even though it will mean many injuries and possibably death just because they seem to have a inate need to do that? Should we prevent that? Should we prevent large sows from picking on smaller ones? Lots of questions.

Stuart Lumb    
East Yorkshire UK  |  May, 16, 2013 at 02:59 PM

I worked with group housed sows on ESFs back in 1988 here in the UK. The UK govt banned gestation stalls from service onwards in 1999. Sows in groups are as productive as sows in stalls (pigs/ sow / yr). Its all about management and stockmanship. You put a big boar with the sows at mixing time to stop fighting and you batch your sows by size ie big with big and small with small to stop bullying. European law has banned gestation stalls for all bar 4 weeks of pregnancy and grouping sows during gestation will gradually take over in the USA. Public perception is that gestation stalls are cruel in that sows can't turn round - and if consumers stop buying pork because of "cruel" production systems - what then ?

Stuart Lumb    
East Yorkshire UK  |  May, 16, 2013 at 02:59 PM

I worked with group housed sows on ESFs back in 1988 here in the UK. The UK govt banned gestation stalls from service onwards in 1999. Sows in groups are as productive as sows in stalls (pigs/ sow / yr). Its all about management and stockmanship. You put a big boar with the sows at mixing time to stop fighting and you batch your sows by size ie big with big and small with small to stop bullying. European law has banned gestation stalls for all bar 4 weeks of pregnancy and grouping sows during gestation will gradually take over in the USA. Public perception is that gestation stalls are cruel in that sows can't turn round - and if consumers stop buying pork because of "cruel" production systems - what then ?

michael    
kansas  |  May, 16, 2013 at 03:17 PM

Be respectful, but demand respect in return. Focus on The Science, not emotions or belief systems. Human beings, like pigs and most other mammals, are Omnivores - that's an undeniable scientific fact and you should firmly adhere to keeping that central to discussions with your partner, and all others. Vegetarians, by choice - not nature, can be very reasonable people who may have chosen their diet for a number of logical reasons. However, this is not common and it is important that you not waste your time and energy debating or attempting to reason with a person motivated by emotions or a "belief system". Simply refer them to basic biology and human diet anthropology texts and move along to subjects where cooperation can be achieved without a "conversion". Remain cheery and polite!


MINTREX®

MINTREX - MINTREX® chelated trace minerals are a highly bioavailable source of trace minerals protected by HMTBa, the active ingredient ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Generate Leads