The latest victim of the economy? A reasonable discussion about pork

The 2009 Responsible Pork Symposium was supposed to be in Kansas City this week. Then everyone lost their money and ruined it.

This year’s summit was canceled because everyone’s completely broke, the Responsible Pork Web site says. That includes pork producers who probably can’t afford a plane ticket and stay, even if a room at the Airport Hilton comes at a group rate. Looking at the schedule of speakers, this might’ve been an interesting discussion. Presenters were supposed to discuss how responsible pork production related to animal well-being and food safety and environmental concerns. We were hoping to hear the industry explain what it thinks responsible pork production is.

Considering the questions about how animals are treated and the conditions in which our future sausages are processed, this might’ve been enlightening. Especially if the speakers included some people interested in producing a better, morally sound pork chop. Now we’ll never know whether we would’ve heard a thoughtful debate on the ethical issues of agriculture, or just the merits of butt roast versus loin. Not to mention the money local businesses lost. Do you have any idea how much cash people who make their living off pigs would’ve dropped in a cowtown? That’s like a vacation in far away lands for them. We’re disappointed.

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