Maineck- the excursion of the bund naturschutz (BUND) offered a contrast to industrial animal husbandry. On the estate of benno fries and his wife heidemarie schellwanich-fries on the outskirts of maineck, surrounded by an idyllic landscape, ten pigs of old breeds are obviously at ease in free-range husbandry.
Animal welfare is not a foreign word for the fries family. The individual pigs of the breeds are crosses of multicolored "bentheimers" and "swabian-hallic" as well as "duroc". They have a rough run, allowed to play, tease each other and dig in the ground for food. "They feel like shit", emphasized benno fries and informed: "pigs are intelligent animals, capable of learning and have a natural urge to move. They are real lickspittles and like to wallow in the mud to protect themselves against sunburn and bites even in summer." therefore, the pasture areas on the approximately one hectare of rough ground are changed regularly, so that the curiosity of the animals is challenged and the soil can regenerate with the appropriate vegetation. "In addition, we are required by law to ensure that the animals do not come into contact with wild boar. This is ensured on the one hand by an electric fence around the respective grazing area, and on the other hand by a game protection fence around the entire property." however, grazing pig husbandry is still the rough exception in germany, fries said. He emphasized that the keeping of pigs in germany is largely done in so-called intensive farming systems. "Especially in the new federal states, such as brandenburg and saxony-anhalt, gigantic facilities in the rough order of 15,000 to 85,000 pig places are being planned." the hobby pig farmer didn’t want to have anything to do with it.
Love of organic farming
With him you can feel the love for the hops, he runs his small organic farm according to the strict demeter criteria. He has the animals ready for slaughter butchered in the nearby region by butchers he knows well. Most of his customers come from the surrounding area and are willing to pay more for good quality. According to the motto: "it is better to eat less meat, but then in excellent quality." veterinarian dr. Klaus prell pointed out that 60 million pigs are slaughtered each year in germany in large-scale fattening plants with minimal space for the individual animal and a high incidence of disease, which had to reach their ideal slaughter weight in six to seven months.
The participants of the excursion listened carefully when they learned that one-third of the pork produced in this way ended up in the garbage can all the way through the production chain to the consumer. It is comforting to know that small-scale agriculture provides two-thirds of the world’s food, while large-scale industrial agriculture provides only one-third. Consumers can influence the way food is produced through their buying behavior. However, people often behave very differently in opinion polls than when shopping in discounters, where they usually only pay attention to the low price instead of the quality of the food, the origin and the journey from "field to fork".