Animal parts everywhere: the return of pig 05049  »

You remember pig 05049, of course; we introduced you last year September, when Christien Meindertsma’s three-year-long project cataloguing the 185 products that some of pig 05049 went into making was first released. Since then, she has published a book, also called PIG 05049, and given a TED Talk. Forewarning: she is absolutely adorable.

[can’t see the video? watch it at!]

How many of the items that Christien named did you already know? How many were a horrible, disgusting surprise? Observing a vegan lifestyle is wayyyyy more than neither eating nor wearing any animal products, you know? And even that isn’t a (dairy-free) cakewalk! Of course it’s good and admirable and lovely and everyone should abstain from eating and wearing animal products. That would be wonderful, and we are certainly entitled to stop there.

But is that enough? How much more work do you want to do to make your life even more animal-free? Obviously for most of us it’s easy to avoid bullets, and really you oughtn’t smoke cigarettes anyway, so that’s easy too, but the dough softener—do you even get a warning there?

Thank goodness for sites like Barnivore, checking your booze for you. Who wants to be the Barnivore of tools—Garagivore? (you can have that one for free.) Barnivore maybe should start a small empire of sites that research the veganness of everyday items. I would contribute to that, because dang it would be useful.

It’s good to call attention to all the uses people have for all the parts of one pig. As Christien says, perhaps it will teach pig-eaters to respect an animal from whom we take so much to make so many valuable items. And what do vegans learn, aside from GROSS there’s bone in my sandpaper what the goddamn? Is a truly vegan lifestyle impossible in our every-part-of-the-pig-in-every-room-in-your-house society?

I say no—we’ve got to have hope left. Life is just one punch in the face after another; at least let us try to be cruelty-free. But, really: What do you think?

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