Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hogs in the Crosshairs

Great piece on hog hunting from, of all places, Slate:

About seven years ago I made a decision to stop eating factory-farmed pork. I think my first look at a modern farrowing crate was the final straw. Pigs are as intelligent as domestic dogs and are capable of seeking out human affection. I don't know where the line is between refusing to eat a chimpanzee and being concerned that eating honey inconveniences bees, but pigs seemed like a pretty good place for me to draw one in the sand. I went about five years without touching pork. Considering that this period coincided with America's bacon renaissance, I missed out on a lot.

During this time I started deliberately pursuing invasive species to eat. I ate nutria from the swamps of Louisiana, speared lionfish in the Bahamas, and sniped black spiny-tailed iguanas in front of the Bush family’s Florida vacation house (no trouble from the Secret Service, oddly enough). All of it is detailed in my book Eating Aliens. After about 16 months on the road, I noticed that the most effective work against invasive species was often a result of a few locals taking personal responsibility for the problem. Wild pigs are some of the most destructive invasives in the United States. I decided to hunt wild pigs, and if you care about the environment, you should, too.


Invasive pigs are going to be removed only when people decide to take personal responsibility for the problem and go hunting. Even people like me—a former vegetarian who still wouldn't eat so much as a slice of commercial bacon with my toast and coffee.


argoman said...

farrowing crates are used to prevent the mother from laying on the piglets. also prevents the mother from eating their young.once the piglets are old enough to run a-round the crates are no longer needed. i used to raise feeder pigs here in Wisconsin, and like you say, they are alot smarter than most people give them credit for.

Frank W. James said...

Feral hogs are a growing and increasing problem for southern agriculture, but before processing and eating the meat, make sure someone in the local authority is conducting blood tests on the 'sounders' to make sure they aren't infected with brucellosis, ecoli, or anthrax.

Brucellosis is a blood borne bacterial disease that is treatable in humans, but so far it is NOT curable.

Proceed at your own risk...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...

I can't leave this one alone.

If we stop eating animals that are "smart", shouldn't we also stop eating smart plants too?

Much of my corn crop got washed down in the fields this year due to a big summer storm. So, I started to stand as much of it up as I could. The ones that I couldn't get to started to curve their stalks upward on their own, so that they could catch the sun. Now, most of the fallen stalks are reaching toward the sky again and they all have healthy cobs on them. That seems pretty smart to me. So, anyone who enjoys freedom may feel free to stop eating corn because it's "smart".

My melon and squash vines are travelling across the garden, reaching toward objects like the fence and tree stumps, so that they can "climb" up on them as that's what vine plants do. They're crawling away from the sun now, just so that they can climb up a taller object and be guaranteed of full sun light later. It's as if they can actually "see". Even when I re-direct the vines, they re-re-direct themselvs back toward objects to climb on. That seems pretty smart too. Melons, squash; out!

I'm a farm boy and I can tell you that chickens are really smart and the scientists have confimed that too. The term "pecking-order" comes from the observations that chickens establish an "order" based on social position within the flock. That seems smart to me. So, you know what to do there.

And cows are smart too. They also establish a "pecking-order" in the herd and often an old "milker" will adopt another cows calf, if the calf's own mother rejects it. That's pretty smart too. So, Big Macs are out!

And don't forget salmon. You all know the whole story there. Out!

Maybe farmers started to set their hogs free because they were smart.

I can go on and on, but I won't. Most will get it.

I will offer this last observation that a wise old man-of-world once told me. He observed that "vegetarians spend their entire life searching for something that tastes as good as meat".

Life Member (Sent with a smart-alleck grin)

Michael Bane said...

I personally never eat brussel sprouts, because I believe those round little bastards are talking behind my back!


Anonymous said...


They ARE talking behind your back!

Life Member
; )