German meat lovers can now buy packs of sausages with pictures of the pig that went into the sausage as part of an initiative aimed at changing the way people think of animals. Consumers can visit a website to look at pictures of the pigs, read the latest news on each sow and then vote for the animal they want to eat.
The winner gets converted into sausages and other meat products. "I think man has lost touch with his food," said Dennis Buchman, the creator of the Meine Kleine Farm (My Little Farm) initiative. "People eat a sausage like a carrot; without any thought about what goes into it."
Mr Buchman selects the pigs from a free-range farm near Berlin, photographs them and then places the pictures online with descriptions of the animals. He also updates the website with the latest information detailing the lives of each pig so people can follow their progress.
Bernd Schulz, the farmer involved, gave the initiative his enthusiastic backing. "We have to face up to the fact that we descended from hunter-gathers," he said. "But we must also show respect and reverence for the animals, and think about those that die for us." He added that he also wants people to come to his farm to meet the pigs before sitting down for hog roast.