【经济学人】中国猪猡-猪不落帝国

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中国猪猡【译注:经济学人向来信奉微言大义,它不用pork或pig,而故意用swine。大家可上网查swine这个词,骂人的词。记得曾经看经济学人的一篇文章,在提到中国对XZ的统治时用了annex一词。列位网友对英国人的小心思理解一下即可。】

Empire of the pig

猪不落帝国



China’s insatiable appetite for pork is a symbol of the country’s rise. It is also a danger to the world.

中国对猪肉的无底洞般的胃口标志着中国的崛起,也是对世界的威胁译文来源:龙腾网 HTTP://WWW.LTAAA.COM

PIG number 5422 saunters into the pen, circles its few square metres and mounts a plastic stand. The farmer cleans the animal’s underside, feels around and draws out what appears to be a thin pink tube around 30cm long. He begins to massage. Pigs elsewhere snort, grunt or squeal, but the alpha pig is unmoved. Soon he has filled a thermal cup with more than 60 billion sperm. Around 150 pigs will owe their short, brutish lives to this emission.

5422号猪漫步进入围栏,在狭小的空间内转了转,然后爬上一个塑料台。养猪人弄干净猪的下体,为猪撸了撸(feel在俚语里,指摸弄…的身体,尤指生殖器等部位) ,然后拿出一个粉色细管,约30厘米长。他开始按摩。其它猪哼哼着,噜噜着,尖叫着。但5422不受影响。很快,养猪人装满了一保温杯的精子,足有600亿个。这些精子足可以产出150头猪,150个短暂、残忍的一生。

A malty smell hangs in the air at the Fuxin Breeding Farm in Jiangxi province in central China, 10 hectares of low concrete barns and fields beside a small reservoir, which is home to around 2,000 pigs. The business was started four years ago by 31-year-old Ouyang Kuanxue. Mr Ouyang’s friends say he was destined to be a pig farmer—he was born in the Chinese zodiacal year of the pig—but his own explanation is more prosaic: when he came back to Pingxiang, his hometown, in 2003 after studying management at university in Beijing, he could not think what else to do. His grandfather was a coalminer who kept a few pigs. His father already had 100. He decided to expand.

中国江西省富鑫养殖场,麦芽的味道回荡在空气中,低矮的混凝土养殖棚和场地有10公顷,旁边一个小水库,这就是2000头猪的家。四年前31岁的欧阳宽学开始了养猪事业。欧阳的朋友们说他是注定要成为养猪专业户的--欧阳生于猪年。但是他自己的解释很实在-2003年,在大学学企业管理的欧阳回到家乡萍乡,不知道该做些什么。他的祖父是一位煤矿工人,养了几头猪。他的父亲养了100头。他决定扩大规模。

Now the whole family is involved: together they have three farms with a total of around 5,000 swine. Mr Ouyang’s younger brother is in charge of production; his sister-in-law runs the office. The past year has been hard for them and other pig farmers, Mr Ouyang says, because pork prices have been low and feed expensive. But this lean year followed many fat ones. Mr Ouyang drives a Volkswagen SUV; his wife has a new Audi, wears a Cartier bracelet and runs two nail bars; they own an apartment in a new block in the local town. Mr Ouyang has a panoply of pig-related news feeds on his phone. Still, when he goes out for dinner with friends, he tends to avoid pork.

现在,养猪成了整个家族的事业:欧阳家族一共有三个养殖场,5000头猪。欧阳的弟弟负责养殖,弟媳负责销售业务。对欧阳和其他养殖户来说,最近这一年是困难的一年,因为猪价走低,成本高企。但之前几年猪价都较高。欧阳开着一辆大众suv,欧阳的夫人开一辆新款的奥迪,戴着卡地亚手镯,经营着两个美甲店,夫妻俩在当地的新小区有一套豪华寓所。欧阳在手机上时时关注猪肉市场的新闻。不过,当他与朋友聚餐时,还是尽量不吃猪肉。

A brief history of Chinese pork

中国猪肉简史

The family’s good fortune is emblematic of China’s flying pig market over the past 35 years. Since the late 1970s, when the government liberalised agriculture, pork consumption has increased nearly sevenfold in China. It now produces and consumes almost 500m swine a year, half of all the pigs in the world. The tale of Chinese pigs is thus a parable of the country’s breakneck economic rise. But it is more than symbolic: China’s lust for pork has serious consequences for the country’s economy and environment—and for the world.

欧阳家的好生意是过去35年中国飞涨的猪肉市场的绝好象征。从70年代末,中国放松了农业管制,猪肉消费量增长了7倍。中国现在每年生猪出栏量和消费量大约是5亿头,占全世界一半。中国养猪业是中国极快经济增长的一个缩影。但是中国对猪肉的欲望对中国的经济和环境-以及整个世界-有着严重影响。

Pigs have been at the centre of Chinese culture, cuisine and family life for thousands of years. Pork is the country’s essential meat. In Mandarin the word for “meat” and “pork” are the same. The character for “family” is a pig under a roof. The pig is one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac: those born in that year are said to be diligent, sympathetic and generous. Pigs signify prosperity, fertility and virility. Poems, stories and songs celebrate them. Miniature clay pigs have been found in graves from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). Historians think people in southern China were the first in the world to domesticate wild boars, 10,000 years ago.

几千年来,猪在中国文化、饮食、家庭生活中都居重要地位。猪肉是中国人主要的肉食来源。汉语里,‘肉’和‘猪肉’常是同一个概念。汉字‘家’就是‘猪在房顶之下’。猪在12生肖中有一号位置,据说生于猪年的人勤奋、有同情心、慷慨大方。猪象征着富裕、多子多孙和男子气概。诗歌与古老的传说中有它们。汉代的墓穴中就有陶猪雕塑。历史学家认为10000年前是华南的中国先民最早驯养野猪。

For centuries sacrificial pigs—and the eating of pork—featured prominently in all forms of commemoration and festivity. At the autumnal Double Ninth Festival (on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month), male elders gathered at their ancestors’ tombs and slaughtered a pig as a symbol of that forebear’s ongoing provision for his descendants. When an estate was in financial trouble, pigs were the last expense to go, says James Watson, an anthropologist at Harvard University, because if the autumn rites were neglected, the ancestor would die a second, terrible death, a final expiration of his spirit.

几千年来中国人在祭典上节日上献祭猪肉享用猪肉。九九重阳节时,年长者杀猪以祭先人,猪肉也象征着祖先对后代子孙的赐福。哈佛大学人类学家James Watson说:当人们遇到经济困难时,也不会轻易把猪卖掉,因为若无秋季的祭典,祖先的灵魂将会魂消魄散。

Almost every rural home once had a pig, not least because, well into the Communist era, the animals were part of the household recycling system. They consumed otherwise inedible waste and were valued for their manure (even Mao Zedong was a fan of the “fertiliser factory on four legs”). And their meat has always been central to Chinese cooking: it has “the perfect flavour for Chinese cuisine,” reckons Fuchsia Dunlop, a food writer and cook. Nothing is wasted. Pigs’ faces are served whole as a gourmet treat; their brains, says Ms Dunlop, are “soft as custard, and dangerously rich”. The appeal is medicinal as well as culinary: the innards are ascribed therapeutic benefits.

几乎每一农家都有一头猪,这是因为猪是家庭生活循环的一部分。猪能吃那些人没法吃的饲料,猪粪还能作肥料。猪肉在中国烹饪里居核心地位。美食作家和厨师Fuchsia Dunlop说:中国饮食中猪肉是绝佳食材,猪的每个部位都不浪费,猪头肉能做成佳肴,猪脑松软的如同蛋黄酱,内脏有食疗作用。

From trotter to tail, the Chinese eat the whole hog. Still, for much of China’s history, pigs were a luxury consumed only rarely, sometimes extremely rarely. That has changed dramatically.

从猪蹄到猪尾巴,中国人把猪的所有部分做成菜肴。然而,历史上,猪肉并非人人都享用的起。但现在大不同了。

Everything but the squeal

猪的尖叫声

Lei Xiaoping, the manager of Mr Ouyang’s farm, eats pork for every lunch and dinner these days—swine from the farm that have died in a fight or are too small to sell. He is not squeamish about guzzling pigs he has reared himself. After all, as a child Mr Lei (now aged 51) ate pork only three times a year.

欧阳的养殖场的经理雷晓平每日午餐晚餐必食猪肉-不过他吃的是猪场里因争斗而死亡的猪,或是那些因个头太小无法卖出的猪。吃自己养大的猪,对于他并没有任何心理障碍。毕竟,老雷在小时候一年只能吃三次猪肉。

Even before the revolution of 1949, most people in China got only 3% of their annual calorific intake from meat. Pork soon became scarcer still. Tens of millions died in the famine that followed Mao’s Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and early 1960s. For decades after that peasants would rub pork fat around their woks to give their vegetables a meaty hint, says Ms Dunlop, before putting the fat away to use on another occasion. As recently as the early 1990s many Chinese mostly subsisted on a diet of vegetables bought at street markets.

49年解放前,大多数中国人每年摄入的大卡,只有3%来自肉类。解放后,猪肉更难寻觅了。【这几句不翻了,你懂的】直到上世纪90年代,很多中国人的副食还是以来自街边摊贩的蔬菜为主。

For Mr Lei, as for many of his countrymen, the years of deprivation are well within living memory. Not surprising, then, that eating meat has become a symbol of triumph over hardship, as much a part of China’s transformation as the towering skyscrapers and glistening cities. Grandparents who once went hungry stuff their grandchildren with the treats they lacked—and top of the list is pork. The average Chinese now eats 39kg of pork a year (roughly a third of a pig), more even than Americans (who typically prefer beef), and five times more per person than they ate in 1979.

对于老雷以及他的老乡们来说,匮乏年代的记忆还如昨天一般。吃肉,如同摩天大楼和耀眼的城市一样,成为战胜困难和中国巨变的象征也就不奇怪了。遭受过饥饿爷爷辈为孙子辈提供他们那代人所享受不到的食物-首选就是猪肉。现在平均每个中国人一年要吃掉39公斤的猪肉-那将近是一头猪的三分之一。这个消费水平比美国人都高,也是中国人自己在1979年水平的5倍。

The most obvious impact has been on the pigs themselves. Until the 1980s farms as large as Mr Ouyang’s were unknown: 95% of Chinese pigs came from smallholdings with fewer than five animals. Today just 20% come from these backyard farms, says Mindi Schneider of the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. Some industrial facilities, often owned by the state or by multinationals, produce as many as 100,000 swine a year. These are born and live for ever on slatted metal beds; most never see direct sunlight; very few ever get to breed. The pigs themselves have changed physically, too. Three foreign breeds now account for 95% of them; to preserve its own kinds, China has a national gene bank (basically a giant freezer of pig semen) and a network of indigenous-pig menageries. Nevertheless, scores of ancient variants may soon die out.

这极大影响了猪或者说养猪业。海牙国际社会科学研究所的Mindi Schneider表示:80年代时,95%的猪来自于小规模养殖;而今,只有20%的猪来自于家庭散养。一些国有的或合资的工业化的养殖场每年生猪出栏量能达到10万头。这些猪一生都呆在金属板条上,不接触地面,不见阳光,只有很少的猪能繁衍后代。猪在生理上也有大变化。所有的猪里95%是国外的三个品种。为了保护本土品种,中国建有国立的基因库,冷冻了猪的精液。还建了一个本土原生猪种的保护网络。以避免古老的品种灭绝。

But China’s pigs are far from the only victims of their popularity. Demand for them worries the Communist Party, underpins what will soon be the world’s biggest economy and threatens Amazon rainforests.

但猪肉的广受欢迎不仅使猪遭了罪;对猪肉的需求还使中共发愁,支持即将世界第一的经济体,威胁亚马逊雨林。

This little piggy stayed home

小猪在家

The Chinese eat so much pork that when its price goes up, the cost of other things rises, too. For the Communist Party, therefore, keeping affordable meat on the table is vital, not least for the stability of the economy. In 2007, for example, an estimated 45m pigs died in China from “blue ear pig disease”. Pork prices rocketed; the annual rate of increase of the consumer price index (sometimes known as the “consumer pig index” because of the creature’s prominent role in it) hit a ten-year high. Panic buying ensued. There were reports of customers being injured in a crush on a supermarket escalator when rushing to buy cheap chilled pork in Guangzhou, and a general pork-buying frenzy across China. Imports doubled.

中国人消费如此多的猪肉,以至于当猪价上升时,其他相关商品价格也跟着上升。对中共来说,维持猪肉价格稳定是至关重要的,这不仅是为了经济平稳运行。例如,2007年,蓝耳病造成4500万头猪死亡。猪肉价格飞涨,当年cpi增幅为近十年之最。这引发了恐慌性购买。新闻报道有顾客在超市抢购优惠猪肉时被挤伤。猪肉进口量也增加了一倍。

In response the party established the world’s first pork reserve, some of it in frozen form and some the live, snorting variety. This aims to keep pork affordable and reasonably priced: when pigs become too expensive, the government releases some of its stock onto the market; if they become too cheap, the reserve buys more porkers to keep farmers in profit. Other pro-pork policies include grants, tax incentives, cheap loans for farms and free animal immunisation—all intended to boost intensive pig farming and to keep plates loaded high with Chinese pork. According to Chatham House, a London-based think-tank, the Chinese government subsidised pork production by $22 billion in 2012. That is roughly $47 per pig.

作为应对中共建立了世界上首个猪肉储备机制-包括冷冻肉和生猪。这是为了向市场提供足够的猪肉和保持合理的价格-当猪肉价格太高时,政府向市场投放一些储备;当肉价过低时,政府向养殖户购买猪肉以维持养殖户的利润。其他的支持政策包括-拨款补贴、税收优惠、低息贷款、免费的防疫-这都是为了促进养猪业,以及保证中国人的餐盘里有足够的猪肉。据一伦敦的智囊机构Chatham House,中国政府2012年为养猪业补贴了220亿美元,平均每头猪补了47美元。

Yet even the Communist Party can no longer control every aspect of this vast industry. That is partly because the appetite for pork is now so great—and growing so fast—that sating it depends on places far beyond China’s borders. Chinese pigs, in turn, are reshaping the environments of faraway countries.

然而即使中共也不能再控制这个巨大产业的每个环节了。因为中国人对猪肉的需求太大且增长太快,以至于若要满足这种需求,靠中国一国之力根本不可能。中国猪(译注-其实应该是中国的猪肉需求,英国人故意的)正改变着其他国家的生态环境。

The Communist Party prizes self-sufficiency in food. Most of the pigs China eats are indeed home-grown. But each kilogram of pork requires 6kg of feed, usually processed soy or corn. Given the scarcity of water and land in China, it cannot feed its pigs as well as its people. The upshot is that Chinese swine, which previously ate household scraps, increasingly rely on imported feed.

中共很看重粮食的自给自足。中国人消费的猪肉大部分是本国产的。但每6公斤饲料才产出1公斤猪肉,饲料主要是经加工处理的大豆和玉米。考虑到中国水资源和耕地的紧张,生产足够老百姓消费的猪肉是难以达到的。结果是,中国猪猡越来越依赖进口饲料。

Ms Schneider reckons that more than half of the world’s feed crops will soon be eaten by Chinese pigs. Already in 2010 China’s soy imports accounted for more than 50% of the total global soy market. From a low base, grain imports are rising fast as well: the US Grains Council, a trade body, predicts that by 2022 China will need to import 19m-32m tonnes of corn. That equates to between a fifth and a third of the world’s entire trade in corn today.

Ms Schneider认为在不久将来全世界超半数的用于饲料的谷物将会被中国猪吃掉。2010年,中国的大豆进口占全球市场超过50%。谷物的进口也在飞速增长,美国谷物协会预计到2022年中国的进口需求是1900万吨到3200万吨玉米。这是现在全球玉米贸易的五分之一到三分之一。

As a result, land use is changing drastically on the other side of the world. In Brazil, more than 25m hectares of land—parts of which were once Amazon rainforest—are being used to cultivate soy (Chinese companies have not signed up to the “soy roundtable”, a voluntary association, the members of which agree not to buy soyabeans from newly deforested land). Entire species of plants and trees are being sacrificed to fatten China’s pigs. Argentina has chopped down thousands of hectares of forest and shifted its traditional cattle-breeding to remote areas to make way for soyabeans. Since 1990 the Argentine acreage given over to that crop has quadrupled: the country exports almost all of its whole soyabeans—around 8m tonnes—to China. In some areas farmers harvest two or three crops a year, using herbicides that have been linked to birth defects and increased cancer rates.

这导致世界的耕地利用发生了巨大变化。在巴西,2500万公顷的耕地用于大豆种植,其中部分耕地曾是亚马逊雨林。中国企业没有签署‘大豆承诺’-承诺不购买来自毁林造田的大豆。为了养肥中国的猪,大片的森林被砍伐。阿根廷为了种大豆,已经砍伐了数千公顷森林,还把它传统的养牛业迁到更偏远的地区以腾出耕地。1990年以来,阿根廷用于种植大豆耕地面积增长了3倍。阿根廷生产的大豆几乎都用于出口中国,达800万吨。在一些地区,农民一年要种两到三季,还使用导致婴儿出生缺陷、增加癌症几率的除草剂。

All these imports have made China ever-more exposed to global commodity prices. China has responded by buying land in other countries, some of which is used to grow feed crops or to raise pigs that are sold onto the domestic market at preferential prices. China itself is secretive about these purchases, but the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a Canadian think-tank, calculates that it has bought 5m hectares in developing countries; others think the total is higher. When Shuanghui, China’s largest pork producer, bought Smithfield Foods, an American firm, in 2013, it acquired huge stretches of Missouri and Texas. As demand for pork rises, China’s porcine empire is sure to expand.

对猪肉的进口使中国越来越受全球大宗商品价格的影响。作为应对,中国购买了国外的土地,一些土地就是用来种植谷物或养猪,这些猪肉可以优惠价在国内市场销售。中国对这些购地行为保密,但一加拿大的智囊机构-可持续发展国际研究所-计算出中国已在发展中国家购买了500万公顷的土地;其他机构认为总数还要高一些。当中国最大的猪肉生产商双汇2013年购买美国Smithfield食品公司时,双汇获得了密苏里州和德州的大片土地。随着猪肉需求的增长,中国的猪帝国必定要扩张。

Pigging out

大口吃肉

Feeding the pigs is not farmers’ only concern. Their greatest fear is disease: growth slows when a pig gets sick, and, even more worryingly, swine on modern Chinese farms tend to be genetically similar (many are half-siblings), so when one gets ill, much of the herd may succumb. Farmers routinely add small doses of antibiotics to their feed, and this, too, has daunting knock-on effects. In America and Europe such practices are associated with the emergence of “superbugs”, bacteria in animals and humans that are resistant to most antibiotics. In 2009 pigs exported from China to Hong Kong were found to harbour one such bug. The mainland government acknowledged the problem, yet the use of antibiotics, hormones and growth-promoters is barely regulated.

养猪户不仅仅操心饲料问题,他们最大的担忧是猪病-当猪得病时生长就慢;更要命的是,现在中国养的猪基因相似度太高,这样经常会出现整个猪群都得病。养猪户常给猪群注射抗生素,而这会出现可怕的连环效应。在美欧,这种抗生素使用会导致出现超级细菌-寄生在动物和人体中的细菌对大多数抗生素免疫。2009年,中国销售到香港的生猪就被发现携带有超级细菌。大陆政府承认了问题,但是抗生素和激素的使用仍没有被规范。

These drugs pass into the wider food chain partly via sizzling plates of pork, and partly through the 5kg of manure that the average pig produces a day. This once-desirable substance is now a critical problem for China. Though large swathes of land have been set aside to contain it, they are poorly managed. The billions of tonnes of waste China’s livestock produce each year are one of the biggest sources of water and soil pollution in the country, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. The 16,000 dead pigs that were dumped in the tributaries of the Huangpu river, a source of Shanghai’s tap-water, after a virus outbreak in 2013, were a lurid indicator of a seeping national problem.

这些药物进入了更广泛的食品链。现在这些药物已成为中国的一个重要问题。另据农业部表示,牲畜养殖业产生的几十亿吨废料是中国水和土壤污染的最大源头之一。2013年,16000头死猪被扔进黄浦江,污染了上海的水源。

Porcine waste also contributes to emissions of methane and nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Intensive swine-farming is much more polluting than smallholding. So, as well as depriving Earth of the natural cooling function of the rainforests they displace, Chinese pigs contribute to global warming more directly. Greenhouse-gas emissions from Chinese agriculture increased by 35% between 1994 and 2005. The global expansion of livestock production is one of the primary causes of climate change, says Tony Weis of the University of Western Ontario, Canada, responsible for almost a fifth of emissions produced by human activity.

猪还排放甲烷和一氧化二氮,一氧化二氮的温室效应是二氧化碳的300倍。所以,中国猪不仅通过砍伐亚马逊雨林摧毁地球的自然降温系统,还直接的导致全球变暖。中国农业部门产生的温室气体排放从1994年到2005年增加了35%。全球的牲畜养殖业的扩张是气候变化的重要原因之一,养殖业的排放占人类总排放的五分之一,牲畜加拿大西安大略大学的Tony Weis表示。

So although its proliferating pigs are a resonant symbol of China’s prosperity, they are also a menace. A few inChina—a very few—are beginning to question the benefits of eating more and more pork. Meat consumption is beginning to plateau among the very rich; health scares have boosted sales of organic food, though it still accounts for a tiny share of agricultural production. Vegetarianism is growing, but is generally thought eccentric. The ambition of most Chinese continues to be to devour as large a slice of the pork pie as possible. In much of the rich world meat consumption is stable or falling but in the Middle Kingdom it soars unrestrained. Forget the zodiac: in today’s China, every year is the year of the pig.

尽管不断激增的猪象征着中国的繁荣富裕,这些猪也是威胁。有些中国人已经开始质疑多吃猪肉的益处了。在最富裕阶层,猪肉消费量已经开始持平;对健康的重视促进了有机食品的销售,虽然其只占农产品的一小部分。素食主义影响力在增加,但还是被大众视作古怪。大部分中国人还是喜欢大口吃肉。在许多发达国家,肉类消费处于稳定或下降阶段;但在天朝,肉类消费还是在无休的增长。忘了十二生肖年吧,因为在中国每年都是猪年。



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