Japanese Schoolchildren Raise Pigs, See Them Become Pork Chops


From Sina Weibo:

@小野妹子学吐槽: Japan‘s top-rate tear-jerking show: Have 36 children collectively raise two piglets, following the children as they first were afraid of and disliked the little pigs, but gradually fell in love with the little pigs, seeing them as one of their own, giving them the names “Ayana” and “Tomatsu”, finally raising them until maturity five months later, and finally the touching moment when they tearfully said farewell… Then the show’s producers had Ayana cut into pork chops, and specially sent back to the children to see. [拜拜]

"This is Ayana~"
“This is Ayana~”

Comments from Sina Weibo:


The children all cried, feeling especially distressed. As they shed tears, they said braised pork sure is TM delicious!


Childhood ended. [拜拜]


This is a pig and a lot of people can still accept it, but if it were changed to a dog… then the show’s producers would be chopped into human chops. This story tells us that although pigs and dogs can both be pets, their lives are ultimately not equal.


In the end, everyone happily ate Ayana together…


Then the question came, how traumatic was it for the children?


I feel once an animal has a name, it should no longer be used as food.


These two piglets are commercial livestock, raised specifically as food, never to be raised until they were old. With such a premise, taking care of them until they are grown, so they can become delicious food, is to realize we should be thankful for all our food. This is probably the intention of the show. However, given that the children will unconsciously treat them as pets, this kind of education may be a bit too early for them.


When I was small, I lived next to a slaughterhouse, and at 5-6 in the morning, there would always be pigs squealing. I remember my mom once asking me if braised pork was delicious. I said it was. My mom then said it could be one of the pigs that were tragically screaming in the morning. I remember thinking at the time that I must make their meat a part of my own body, so as to extend their life, and so I did. [doge] Appreciate the flavor of pork chops, absorb their nutrition, then live a good life. This is the way to accept [the sacrifice of] their lives.


Children: Love that comes too fast is like a tornado. [Note: A lyric from a Jay Chou song.]


The storyline of Silver Spoon, to understand that the meaning of commercial crops and pets and other wild animals are different to humans, that to survive necessarily means harming other life so we must cherish and be thankful even more for the food and other things we have. It’s very realistic and very cruel but very educational.

The internet connects us all: chinaSMACK is about seeing what Chinese netizens paying attention to through what internet content they make popular. Sometimes they are paying attention to themselves, but often they are looking outward, at other countries and other people. They might be looking up at them, down at them, or just looking…just like chinaSMACK readers. The Chinese internet is a big place and its netizens are as numerous as they are diverse. We hope our translations make it just a little more accessible to you. If we’ve helped, please consider becoming a patron of our work so we can continue doing so. Thank you.
READ  Chinese Road Show Involves Dislocating Child's Arms, Reactions

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Irvin

    well…….that’s one way to get people to go vegan.

  • FYIADragoon

    Actually that comment about absorbing the life is rather insightful. Because its really hard to explain it to a child otherwise, once they realize that they have to kill things to eat meat.

    Scarred For Life: The TV show though. Trust Japan to come up with the most wacky things.

  • phressh83

    What a goldmine of delicious comedy

  • lonetrey / Dan

    That is terrible.

    I also thought of the manga Silver Spoon immediately.

    • Edward Kay

      Exactly. After a 2nd season and a movie, now a reality show.

    • Robz Sarmy

      Is there a movie version ? I think I watched a movie like this where a young boy went and enrolled to a farming school to escape his house but found out its not as easy as he thinks

  • MonkeyMouth

    In the next installment……..DOLPHINS!

  • Zappa Frank

    seems from one of the Simpsons episodes.

    • biggj

      When I grow up im going to bovine university lol.

      • Zappa Frank

        hahaha that one Ralph..

  • Chris

    “I feel once an animal has a name, it should no longer be used as food.”

    Bambi and Thumper were delicious.

    • ClausRasmussen

      I think the Chinese commentor you quote is onto something essential about our relationship with animals: The instant we give a name to an animal we create a relationship that we betray if we later treat it as meat

  • monster

    its very normal.

    once my father had a rabbit, he gave it the best food, even meat and candy,at last we still killed it,and it’s super tasty.
    i love rabbit meat.

    • jin

      Stop being brainless

      • monster

        do not write to me.
        i do not need anyone to reply.

        • Zappa Frank

          eattot please. if you don’t want anyone to reply you than don’t write at all.

  • Teacher in China

    So was this a TV show, or was this just a news story about a classroom project? If it was the former, it seems pretty twisted to me, and a questionable thing to put on television for others’ entertainment. If it was the latter, I guess it would depend on how it was all handled by the teacher; it could serve as a very valuable lesson to the kids about animals’ lifecycles and how we get our food, or it could just really scar them for life……

    • KenjiAd

      I think it must be a documentary TV program. It’s a popular format in Japanese TV stations. Go to youku/tudou/etc and type “NHK记录片.”

      In fact I just watched a documentary of a Chinese guy who had lived in Japan for 13 years without proper visa. He kept sending money to his daughter and wife in China, without being able to see them. In the year 12, the daughter and wife finally visited Japan to secretly see him. It was a very touching moment.

      • Sum Ting Wong

        Yeh, I remember that one. There’s a whole bunch of them documenting the hardship that Chinese students in Japan went through in the late 90s. It was great.

  • Raymond

    This is great. Most people are far too removed from the realities of where meat comes from.

    • Free Man

      Exactly. If you wanna eat meat, then learn where it comes from and how its processed. Not knowing where your food comes from is the unnatural thing.

      • mr.wiener

        Agreed. I think there should be more of this.

      • Irvin

        I beg to differ, ignorance is bliss, especially in china. You wouldn’t be able to eat half the food you eat if you know where it came from.

        • Free Man

          I am pretty sure the average chinese person is able to imagine about how safe his food is. But being sure is different from knowing.

          Maybe if people know, they will start to care and change things.

        • Raymond

          Soylent Green is People

    • Xio Gen

      It’s one thing to raise them as part of a herd. It’s another to raise them like a pet with a name and love them. That’s just cruel to the kids. Have them work on a farm so they don’t bond with the particular animals. Jeez, these kids are going to have trust issues now.

    • 금정산

      Sure, people are too far removed from where meat comes from. I will add that people are unaware of the reality of factory farms – something which wouldn’t have been part of this lesson. So now the children mistakenly believe that pork comes from a clean, loving place.

      This lesson isn’t great. You can teach kids where meat comes from without the children raising and becoming affectionate to the animal. Introduce them to a farm and explain the meat processing. No need to let the children raise the animal as a pet.

      • Ken Morgan

        I dunno, it’s not something they will forget in a hurry is it?

        • 금정산

          Well, that it can be either good or bad.

  • 42

    I think this is real good education. Not only kids nowadays, but also adults have no sense about what they are eating and where it comes from, and really think that meat comes pre-packaged in lumps from a factory or something. Not knowing that animals are indeed slaughtered before becoming food products in the supermarket. In western countries its even worse, they get rid of the head, paws, and face of the animals. They like to eat meat, but can’t stand the reality that the meat belongs to a real animal, so they make it as unrecognizable as possible. We should not be hypocrites, if we decide to eat meat, we should eat it in full glory!

    • Irvin

      We chinese been eating meat in full glory for thousands of years, head, feet, guts, testicles…….

      Them ‘mericans are the real problem here, so much waste, they don’t even eat the balls.

    • Sam

      Do really you think any mentally competent adult doesn’t know at least the basics of how meat gets to the supermarket (raised somewhere, then slaughtered, then cut up and shipped to supermarkets in packages or large chunks….)?

      I find that hard to believe. To me it’s like saying most adults believe in Santa… I think the fact head isn’t used in Western nations is generally more due to appetite then anything else. You can find pigs feet/skin or cow bones in a supermarket in the US though, that’s probably as close to unusual as it gets here. You can find whole fish at supermarkets (minus the guts). I don’t think the situation is as extreme as you say.

  • Free Man

    I think the only sick thing here is showing this on TV. The kids are learning something from this. The audience of the show is only looking for entertainment and in this case they are taking it from sad kids who had to learn a hard, but important lesson.

  • Ken Morgan

    Exactly the same thing was done by Gordon Ramsey in 2006. He didn’t look happy at all when they were taken to the abattoir and slaughtered. He then did the same thing with his children showing them how meat is produced.

    A lot of British people were offended. They don’t understand how and where meat comes from. It comes in plastic packages in the super market. I too was ignorant until I was about 9, then I saw my dad butcher a whole sheep.

    Worked in an abattoir (where chicken were clipped onto a moving clothes line thing and had their necks cut by a giant tin opener thing, blood everywhere you could never get the smell out of your clothes) and even had proper Mongolian goat from running around happily to grabbing it cutting it open and squeezing its heart and cutting it into bits and cooking it.

    • Ruaraidh

      When I was in London I met a few people who’d never even seen a farm animal in the flesh. Let alone a butchered carcass or a cow getting KO by a captive bolt pistol.

      • Irvin

        I’ve seen people being awed by cows, taking pictures with their phones and everything.

      • Boris

        I’m from London and been to the city farm. Seen plenty of farm animals live.

        I’ve helped my old man kill birds for food, such as chicken and pheasants, when I was a child.

        I’ve seen a cow killed for food as a kid, mutton and lamb too. But that was 20-25 years ago.

        I guess the new generation ain’t use to this or the namby-pamby parenting of the modern age expects parents to ‘protect’ their children from such sights and actions.

        My only issue with the above show/article is when the children raise the animal as a pet instead of what the actual intention was, which is to slaughter it for food. If it is for food, raise it for that purpose.

  • Luke the Duke

    The most notable thing about this story is probably the fact that people consider this to be entertaining television.

  • R. Vandaka

    Cycle of life. In Japanese culture, before a meal, they usually begin with the phrase itadakimasu (いただきます?, literally, “I humbly receive”), to express gratitude for the lives that were sacrificed and those who prepare it. At the end, gochisōsama-deshita (ごちそうさまでした?, lit. “you were a feast (preparer)”), to thanks.

    • Irvin

      I wonder if they did that when they rape the women in nanjing.

      • vincent_t

        no, instead they made the women to do so.

        • Irvin

          I should do the same next time, they’ll be saying “thank you lord for this bountiful feast”.

  • bossel

    That’s probably why there were so many vegetarians back when Western societies were still agrarian…

  • AG

    How about Japanese sex education?

    • Zappa Frank

      that was a Japanese sex call…

  • KenjiAd

    I grew up in the countryside. One of my duties as a farm boy was to take care of chickens, the kind that freely roam in the yard. I became attached to a brown-color hen; every morning when I fed the chickens, I would hug and kiss her.

    But one day, she wasn’t showing up for meal. I was very worried and asked around. Eventually my grandfather told me that they had cooked her to make a soup for the guest.

    I can’t tell you how upset I was. After 50 years, I am still a little bit upset.

    At the same time, I have to admit that I did learn something from the experience. Animals too have feelings, even chickens. We have to remember that when we are eating them.

    • Irvin

      Samething happened to a friend of mine, his family was raring a chicken and he took it for a pet. One day when he came back from school, he saw his pet chicken at the table, cooked chinese style (whole chicken still recognizable but without feather).

      He said he scream for a whole 2 mins, and was never able to eat chicken again, so we always take him to kfc when we’re out. lol

  • tomoe723

    This is old. They already even made a movie out of this.

    School Days with a Pig (2008)


  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    So long as the kids aren’t asked to take home a ‘free sample’ I think it isn’t that bad.

  • Zen my Ass

    Good idea for a show. They should make an episode on prostitutes and broadcast it worldwide.

  • Sam

    I had worked at a supermarket butcher for two years, it was an interesting experience. I learned so much about meat. Our beef and pork came in huge chunks that we worked with. The chicken all comes in pre packed and it’d just be a nightmare to have to deal with cutting it there yourself due to health codes. It was always funny that I do have one tip for anyone looking for a cheap steak, get a couple “chuck eyes”, they’re like half the price of even the cheapest “regular” steak and are better then sirloin and strip steaks in my opinion.. pretty close to a ribeye.

    I think that this is a bit of an odd thing to do with kids who aren’t exposed to it, but not a bad thing.

  • Sum Ting Wong

    I’m sure they don’t get shot for being non-white either.