The meat supply chain has been subject to drastic changes during the coronavirus outbreaks. As thousands of workers across the country get sick with coronavirus and meat processing plants are forced to close, the supply chain is disrupted. Because of a lack of processing, farmers are forced to kill and discard thousands of hogs.

CoBank estimates that 7 million animals have been destroyed in this quarter of 2020, which means billions of pounds of wasted meat. Farms in Minnesota are using chippers to grind up hog carcasses and use them for compost. Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian with the National Pork Producers Council told Bloomberg News, “It is devastating. It’s such a tragedy and it’s such a waste of food.”

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According to Michael Crusan, spokesman at the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, “In the agriculture industry, what you prepare for is an animal disease. The thought is never that there’s not going to be a market. We have lots of pig carcasses that we have to effectively compost on the landscape.”

See a video of a farmer trying to sell his pigs:

Josh Balk, vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society of the United States, said farmers should move away from “intensive confinement” of animals so producers would not need to use “ad hoc killing methods,” during supply chain changes. 

Read more coverage of coronavirus and the meat industry in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals, and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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