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.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Hogs in the Crosshairs
Great piece on hog hunting from, of all places, Slate: