ARCHIVE

Biography of a Pork Chop: David Kirby’s Animal Factory, and the Not-So-Hidden Costs of Cheap Food

Here in Iowa we have an event called RAGBRAI – The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa – the oldest, largest and longest non-competitive ride in the world.  Simply put, roughly 15,000 of us dip our back tires in the Missouri River one July Sunday Morning, then pedaling past the cities, fields and farms we dip our front tires in the Mississippi River 6 days later, having ridden an average of 465 miles.

When the ride started 38 years ago, riders rolled past countless fields dotted with little lean-to style huts – shelters for the hogs that have been raised here since the European settlers came in the early 1800s.  Since then, though, the huts have all but disappeared, replaced by long, narrow steel buildings with pairs of 6-foot exhaust fans on each end and large lagoons outside. Read more