Sadly, this is not a joke. Although jokes have been made about how, “Pigs will not be flying but their seed will take to the air.”

Thanks to The Guardian for that little gem, it’s sure to become a classic.

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Joking aside, “This new deal to export pig semen will be worth [$61.5 million] to UK firms and means Britain’s best pigs will help sustain the largest pig population in the world.”

Why is this deal taking place? The demand for meat in china is growing (it’s now double that of the U.S), and China farms more pigs than the next 43 nations in the world, according to the Poultry Site.

However, raising and slaughtering the “most” pigs in the world just isn’t enough. The country needs to “improve the quality” of their pig genetics to make their pigs grow bigger in less time – and that’s the basis for the deal with the U.K. The Guardian explains that, “A government source said: ‘China has an interest to increase the efficiency of their production, while [minimizing] the environmental impact of increased production.'”

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Let’s get something straight here: intensive animal agriculture, factory farming, “increased production,” whatever you want to call it, hurts the environment. Period.

Need some proof? It’s out there. See 10 scary facts about meat and the environment for a refresher. Need a visual? Do these satellite images of feedlots look like they are not harming the environment? We didn’t think so.

There are countless better uses for $73 million than exporting pig semen. What more can we say?

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Image Source: Alan Turkus/Flickr