It’s not surprising, then, that large numbers of young Chinese people are abandoning country life for the cities. Once they find work, many then divert a part of their wages to their older relatives back in the village. Agriculture is still a way of life in these rural areas, where farmers grow crops or raise livestock.
For those farmers involved in rearing animals, pigs are a popular choice. There are thought to be around 40 million pig farms in China, with the majority being run on a small-scale basis. It’s a tough life, though, and with increased regulation and reduced subsidies many farmers are now giving it up.
One man who has stuck it out is 51-year-old Bo Chunlou. He’s a pig farmer in Ju County in China’s Shandong Province. In August 2017, Chunlou was slaughtering an eight-year-old sow when he made a life-changing discovery. In the gallbladder of the 550-pound pig he came across what looked like a bundle of fur. But actually, it was something else. In fact, what Chunlou discovered was a 4-inch by 2.7-inch object known as a bezoar.