“Across Romania, fear is growing of a looming porcine genocide as the country prepares to negotiate its way into the EU. For the fact is that most pigs are bred and slaughtered here in a way that fails to meet EU standards, and no one is prepared to invest the money needed to get our piggeries up to Union levels. But will our beloved pig be permitted to put the supreme national interest in jeopardy?
The problem is that, in Romania, we have a hard enough time comprehending and protecting human rights, let alone animal rights. Veterinarians are few, but our human health services are in ruin as well.
Indeed, most people cannot afford proper medication, and hospitals suffer from gross under-funding. So it seems to most Romanians not only preposterous, but immoral, for the EU to care so much for a pig’s last moments of life when it seems to care so little for the everyday life of ordinary Romanians.
Moreover, how is our government supposed to get millions of farmers to give up their barbaric ancestral habit? By trying to coerce them with fines? In America, I am told, a slang word for the police is “pigs.” Are we to have pig police here?
Our ruling social democratic party has its stronghold in Romania’s rural areas. If Romania’s peasants come to believe that the EU insists that they hug their pigs, not butcher them with knives, their fidelity towards the social democrats will wither.
Those lost votes, however, won’t go to responsible center-right parties, but to the fiercely nationalistic, anti-European, Greater Romania Party, perhaps the closest thing Europe now has to a fascist party. This is a nightmare that both European and mainstream Romanian politicians want to avoid.”
“Fortunately, there seems to be a way to conciliate both EU bureaucrats and even our most diehard peasants. Our ugly pre-Christmas ritual butchery can be christened a “traditional, folk custom,” a sacred rite deeply embedded in the fabric of Romanian nationhood. The proximity of Christmas will provide the ritual with a religious patina.”
Also see this story from the Moscow Times