Bliss writes that "the pig was and is man's best friend in the animal world". (p.37) He goes on to cite that swine store 35% of the energy they consume on their body, while sheep and cattle only convert 11% of their diet into mass. More of the pig is usable than cattle, and the protein is also better from pork providing the greatest energy value. Pork is also the easiest meat to preserve. No pigs were interviewed to determine their thoughts on this "friendship".
Twelve typical bacon hogs (2,200 lbs. together).
The Wm. Davies Co., Toronto.Topley Studio /
Library and Archives Canada / PA-026091
William Davies, the namesake owner of a meatpacking company which Flavelle would come to dominate, discovered that the peas, grains, and skim-milk refuse from dairies that Ontario farmers fed their pigs developed a superior meat. Davies left the cheap salt pork to others and specialized in the British market for bacon and ham.
Pen of hogs. The Wm. Davies Co.
Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada / PA-026094
Animal husbandry responded to the growing demand created by this market as Davies introduced of the Improved Yorkshire into Canada. As prices were higher for these leaner English breeds, Davies is said to have effected, "the Anglicization of the Canadian hog." (p.40) Bliss writes, "his parentage, length, leanness, and lightness now sharply distinguished him from his corpulent American neighbour. There were some Canadian who took a certain national pride in not raising hogs fed on cattle turds. It was an altogether cleaner business north of the border."
|Purebred Yorkshire sow purchased by William D. Albright, Beaverlodge, Alberta. NB-15-47|