'The Daily Show,' Your Go-To Source for Ag News

Jon Stewart weighs in on a swine virus epidemic and gestation crates.
Jan 24, 2014· 0 MIN READ
Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

It took six months, but TV news—and "The Daily Show"is getting around to reporting (and commenting on) a story we brought to you back in August about a fast-spreading swine virus. Last fall, during state fair season in the Midwest, we wondered if bringing together masses of hogs for ag exhibitions and competitions could cause the virus, porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED), to spread faster.

States responded to the outbreak with varying degrees of caution, but as Clare Leschin-Hoar wrote, “there’s a lot about the virus we don’t know, including the total number of pig deaths in the current outbreak. Steve Meyer, an industry consultant, said in a client newsletter that it could be as high as 60,000–100,000 pigs since June.”

Now, some local TV news outlet is worried that the epidemic could cause bacon prices to spike—a concern Jon Stewart excoriates as beyond trivial when, you know, a viral disease is quickly spreading through America’s hog population.

After comically reframing the bacon-first perspective onto the sickened hogs, Stewart wonders, “Incidentally, whose pig luxury penthouse did you shoot your foot in? Because from what I recall, the typical pig facility has a little less elbow room and a lot more excrement.”

So there you go: the latest news on PED and a critique of gestation crates from one of America’s foremost satirists.