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Pigs and Civilization

 
Erica Wisner
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Hi all,
I have a rant I want to do as a funny blog post, but I need some pictures.
Specifically, pictures of pigs, thrifty farmers, and the kind of almost-pretty high-grade compost that permaculture pigs get to eat.

Here's the rant.
If you have pictures (that are public domain or your own to declare as such) I would love to tell this story with them. (If you want a link back to your farm site, give it a caption using the original photo topic, then your farm, like this: "Heirloom breed pigs: Charley Brown breed, photo courtesy of BaconFarmHeaven.com"

“Civilization”
[images]

Civilization
is not just [iphone] and [Hong Kong skyline],
it is also [steakhouse pork chop]
which comes from [American China White Pig]
which is so big it takes a [farrowing pen]
to keep it from crushing its piglets,
which means someone has to do this [muck disposal] and this [artificial insemination of China White sow] and this [close up on antibiotic contents of commercial pig feed]
in order to keep producing [$2.99 grocery store meat].

If everyone got tired of doing }[artificial insemination]
then we might still be able to eat [gourmet pork chop]
from [heirloom breed pig]
which can pretty much take care of themselves.

There is also [Hawaiian feral pig]
which is very good at taking care of itself, but that's a problem,
because they are also very hard to catch. [pig hunt scene resembling Lord of the Flies].

Sometimes, when they damage [wildflowers] and [fawn in forest] too much [bare-root boar wallow or close-up farm pig wallow],
we resort to [helicopter feral pig extermination in denuded landscape].
Oddly enough, the [close-up of helicopter sniper] doesn't get to eat [gourmet pork chops]
because That Would Be Cruel ["Meat is Murder" protest signs].

But that's civilization.

However much we like to eat [gourmet pork chops], there are not a lot of [little heirloom breeds] being developed,
because right now most people buy [$2.99 per lb grocery store meat].
When heirloom meat does reach the grocery, it's usually more like [$12.99/lb organic prosciutto].

I get my [gourmet pork chops] for the same price as city folks pay for [$2.99 ground pork]
because I buy half a pig from the farmer, so I also eat [head cheese] and [sausage] and [heart and kidney pie]
and it's really tasty,
because the pigs live here [grassy pen] not here [farrowing pen]
and they get to eat [fermented grain, whey/apple cider vinegar, and bruised apples] not [commercial feed mix with antibiotics].

But not everybody can afford that, right?
She can do it [thrifty farmer] and he can do it [Mexican field worker] because they live in the country.
and she can do it [urban exec] and he can do it [Anthony Bourdain] because they can afford to buy the best.
Even she can do it sometimes [bike courier] because she cares, and she works hard for her treats, and food is fuel.
But there are a lot of [ghetto mama] and [Denny's owner] and [hobo]
who probably are not going to do it very often.
And sometimes when someone has [food assistance]
we get mad at them for eating [gourmet pork chops] no matter how they get them.
They should eat [half-price $1.50 grocery meat]
so we can feel like generous [Spanish patrone/ plantation owner]
instead of just being overworked [Swedish mama with a table full of relatives.]

Civilization is complicated.

But good living can be simple.

We don't all have to do the same thing [Soviet wheat plantation / giant granary conveyor].
When we live differently [German patchwork of small farms][African village farmer][bicycle courier eating gyro], we keep more options open.

If a few more of us ate [gourmet pork chops] and [heart and kidney pie] from [thrifty farmer], and made sure our [bruised apples] get back to the [heirloom pigs of several varieties],
then even if everybody stopped wanting to do this [artificial insemination],
we still wouldn't have to do this [Lord of the Flies pig hunt].

The End
(but not for civilization)

Want to help me fill in the pictures?
 
Erica Wisner
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p.s. I just realized China White is the pig-bristle paintbrushes I use for clay paints, and may not be an actual breed.

What's the most common industrial-commercial breed, those ton-plus pigs that are raised almost exclusively indoors?
 
Su Ba
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Fun ideas. But please note that the Hawaiian feral pigs are actually very easy to catch. It's only the macho boys hamming it up for the video cameras that try to make it look difficult and manly. I see hunters all the time going into the preserve above my property and come out with a field dressed pig in less than an hour. Most of the hour is spent walking in and carting out. I get feral pigs visiting my farm frequently and can take one just about any time that I want.....which I frequently do when I have a couple spare hours for dressing it out and processing the meat and leftovers. Getting a pig is more of a matter of knowing where they hang out rather than using any special hunting acumen to out smart the pig. Of course not all hunters are as quiet, odorless, and bright as a pig, LOL. Yes, I've seen guys blunder into my back woods and have a half dozen pigs scatter out. Dumb hunter.

I just want to state, aerial hunting of feral Hawaiian animals is done only by the Feds. It's a very expensive(our tax dollars of course) way for federal agents to play "macho hunter" for the day. There is a big, big controversy over here about the Feds' aerial hunting. Nobody here except the Feds themselves wants to see the overstock being taken that way. But the Feds don't cooperate fully with the local hunters (do not give hunters accurate information as to where the excess animals are located), thus cry that aerial hunting is required for control purposes. And the Feds want to eliminate 100% of the feral livestock population. Locals want the population just managed since it is an important source of food. Oh well, it's a long and ongoing story.
 
Dale Hodgins
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When the Spanish released pigs in the new world, they guaranteed good hunting for future explorers and settlers. They bred like rats. Native Central Americans generally did not fence their crops. In some places, it became impossible to get a crop, without spending a lot of time fencing crops. This labor drain reduced the amount that each village could grow.

Polynesians brought pigs to many island. They caused the extinction of many plants and animals, including flightless and ground nesting birds and plants with starchy roots.

If you live where there are feral pigs, eat as many as you can.

 
Craig Dobbelyu
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I have lots of pig pictures. Mostly happy pigs on pasture or enjoying huge piles of apples.

Here's one that I really like... Feel free if it suits your needs
July 24 2013 052.JPG
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Peppers the pig
 
Leora Laforge
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"I just realized China White is the pig-bristle paintbrushes I use for clay paints, and may not be an actual breed.

What's the most common industrial-commercial breed, those ton-plus pigs that are raised almost exclusively indoors?"


They are usually some sort of cross between Yorkshire, Berkshire, Large White, for the female side, and Duroc is often included on the sire side.
 
Erica Wisner
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Both very good points.
I could probably leave both the feral pigs, and the Federal helicopter hunters, out of the story and still make the main point (that eating differently can be affordable, delicious, and good for the future of life on earth).

Folks who care about the Hawaiian feral pig situation:
Do you think I should leave this out for now?

Or do you think it's possible to say some silly, over-generalized things with pictures and still make some useful point for this sequence?

Maybe the point becomes "so good at taking care of themselves, they breed like [rabbits] and destroy [cute ground-nesting bird].
So that's why you need [responsible farmer] and [livestock dog], or you will need [responsible hunter - quiet, laconical, smallish-bore weapon, maybe quietly sitting in the woods taking a selfie with an undisturbed pig herd]."

Do you have any photos of feral pigs, if you think they should stay in the narrative?

-Erica
 
Burra Maluca
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Feel free to use these if they are of any interest.











I also have some of a pig slaughter which might interest you - contact me privately about those.

 
Erica Wisner
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Leora Laforge wrote:
"I just realized China White is the pig-bristle paintbrushes I use for clay paints, and may not be an actual breed.

What's the most common industrial-commercial breed, those ton-plus pigs that are raised almost exclusively indoors?"


They are usually some sort of cross between Yorkshire, Berkshire, Large White, for the female side, and Duroc is often included on the sire side.


Thanks, Leora.
The closest I've seen to those breeds is fairs, and a few examples of something like that being raised outdoors: large pink mountains in lush green pastures with oak verges, alongside smaller ponies.
And I read a great book by a farmer's wife whose husband raises pigs the industrial way, with huge sows in tiny pens, and fans that can maim a small boy's hand.
"One Thousand Gifts." Inspiring book with an excellent main premise (basically, count your blessings, but vividly presented through the challenges of country life). A lot of the pig-raising parts were frankly terrifying.

I do know it's possible to raise the giant breeds in more pastoral and humane ways, but I haven't seen too many people try it.
I imagine it takes a fair amount of courage, superb fences, and a high level of skill at non-traumatic slaughter. (Especially if you have more than one.)

-Erica
 
Erica Wisner
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Thanks, Burra!
Those look like pretty contented little porkers. Are they completely penned in those stone walls, or just come in for meals?

I've seen something like that at our friends in Bandon, only longer snouts/not as heavy in the jowls (maybe they were just younger).
Are they a particular breed, or a mix known only to their mothers?

-Erica
 
Burra Maluca
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Difficult questions to answer accurately Erica as they belonged to the local gypsy family.

I believe they were Vietnamese Pot Bellied pigs and they were mostly housed in that old house, which had half the roof collapsed, but would also escape and roam the local pastures and pine forest quite frequently. They were fed on scraps, stale bread collected from local bakeries, and anything they could find. The owner of the old house and surrounding land eventually complained and they had to be sold, so I'm very glad I got the photos when I could. I believe the kids used to ride them, too.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Erica Wisner wrote:I do know it's possible to raise the giant breeds in more pastoral and humane ways, but I haven't seen too many people try it.
I imagine it takes a fair amount of courage, superb fences, and a high level of skill at non-traumatic slaughter. (Especially if you have more than one.)

And breeding. It's very difficult to acquire pigs of the main commercial breeds with the genetics to thrive on pasture.

Walter Jeffries [of Sugar Mountain Farm, an occasional poster here] put in a lot of work developing full size farm pigs that excel at turning pasture into pork.
 
neil mock
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not heirloom, but raised on pasture (and garden waste)
IMG_1338.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_1338.JPG]
IMG_1181.JPG
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William Bronson
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Neil, is that a hobble on the pig in the top picture, or just a harness of some kind?

 
neil mock
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its a harness. he does not wear it all the time, only when we need to move him around. although, the bucket trained ones are much easier to move.
 
Erica Wisner
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Craig Dobbelyu wrote:I have lots of pig pictures. Mostly happy pigs on pasture or enjoying huge piles of apples.

Here's one that I really like... Feel free if it suits your needs


Peppers the Pig - that is a wonderful picture. Especially with the hens in there with him, you get at a glance that this is a different game from industrial production barns.

Neil - thanks for those are good pics of happy pigs. The pictures with them eating leafy greens might work for my "they eat this" phrase, if nobody has one of apples.

Anybody want to submit a family portrait for the "hard working farmer" part? Or "they live in the country"?
"She [adorable child with flowers and a streak of mud on her face] gets to eat it because she lives in the country" could be a nice touch.
The gypsy boys may be good for that one too, for that matter, feeding their flocks. (Do they eat them? or just ride on them? That sounds like fun to watch.)


-Erica
 
Dave Hartman
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Here are a few pictures of our kunekune pigs that we raise on our homestead.
2015 ipod 016.JPG
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Heather Davis
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In Ventura, CA, Casitas Valley Farm raises heritage breed pigs and feeds them apples, persimmons, pomegranate, squash, etc. from their farm and other local farms. You can camp there for a small fee. I attended a talk by geoff lawton in August, 2014 and took these photos when the pigs woke me up just after dawn. I hope to camp there again sometime this year.
2014-08-30 06.52.27.jpg
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Heritage Breed Pigs at Casitas Valley Farm Persimmon Orchard
2014-08-30 06.54.19.jpg
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Heritage Breed Pig at Casitas Valley Farm Persimmon Orchard
 
Kaiten Rivers
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Hi Erica,

Not pictures, but other venues for raising pigs 'in' civilization.

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/08/4-h-pig-oakland-We walk our pigs in Oakland-is the title-Oakland CA
Novella Capenter's book-Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer-in a vacant lot on in Oakland, CA she raised turkeys and ducks and chickens AND PIGS, which she turned into prosciutto. She talks of dumpster diving in the middle of the night to forage for pig food from upscale restaurants.
 
Heather Davis
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While researching my ancestors, I obtained meeting minutes from Belchertown, Massachusetts from March, 1780. My distant great-grandfather, David Bartlett is listed as a Hog Reeve.
Here is the excerpt:
Twelfthly Voted to let hogs go on the commons well yoked and ringed
Thirteenthly Voted (David Bartlett, Urial Chapin, Lt. Daniel Smitth, Cyril Shinway, William Town, Paul Thirftin) Hog Reeves
Hog Reeve.jpg
[Thumbnail for Hog Reeve.jpg]
 
Nicole Alderman
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I don't have pigs and these are not my pictures, but I just ran across a new blog (http://marblemounthomestead.blogspot.co.id), and she has some awesome pictures of kids and pigs. If you can't find any good pictures, maybe contact her?


 
C. Letellier
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All white breeds that are common. Large white, Chester white and Yorkshire comprise most of the all white pigs in factory farming. Now Duroc and Hampshire in non-white pigs are also very common.

Now you are minorly missing some points in the beginning of the rant. The white pigs can survive outside. In fact they do well. AI is not necessary for raising these pigs. It is done because it is cheaper over all than maintaining the boars to service large herds, dealing with injuries during breeding and because it can provide better control of genetics. They are still perfectly capable of breeding on their own. Bigger pigs are raised because the economics typically work better. They have more nipples than many of the smaller breeds meaning they will raise larger litters. Feed conversion efficiency is better per pound of meat typically. The next piece of this is consumer expectations. Most consumers would consider themselves being ripped off if they were getting the small slices of bacon off smaller pigs. Same thing with many people buying hams.

And there is middle ground between what you describe as bad and what you describe as good. Growing up at our peek we were farrowing 400 sows a year. We were not using AI. We were running mostly Yorkshire sows and Duroc boars. Crates are used as loss prevention but we were not keeping the pigs in them steady. The sow was put in when she started to make good bag and she was there till she had the babies. For the first few days after birth she was kept in the crate to bond but after that she was allowed to come and go till the babies were old enough to mostly be safe from being crushed at which point the sow and the piglets were moved to the creep pen. They were then held there till they reached weaning size at which point mom was moved back to the main sow herd and young into the feeder system. Feed values of the food and keeping the pigs about the same size to avoid injuries were the reason for this. Pigs have a pecking order just like many other creatures and if they are roughly the same size injuries are reduced. Antibiotics were used as needed by injection but not with the feed. The exception to this was the first feeder full to the babies which some of the time we were using feeds with antibiotics. The sows got the scraps and other odd ball feeds and if we used pigs for weed control it was usually the about 100 lb feeders. The reasons was they were small enough not to need large amounts of auxiliary feed and easier to fence while still being far enough away from sale to not affect the flavor of the meat if they were eating something that was a problem.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Are injuries truly reduced when pigs are nearly the same size?

It seems to me that would be when injuries happen THE MOST [barring concentrated feeding troughs or such] because the pigs see one another as rivals and vie for place in the pecking order rather than being simply and succinctly put in their place by a big pig.
 
C. Letellier
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Keeping the sizes the same reduced serious injuries. You still have a pecking order but with roughly equal sizes usually any damage was minor. One of the problems with a confinement feeding system is there is no place for the bottom of the pecking order to retreat to. They still need to eat and drink and those areas are controlled by the bullies of the system so if they are close in size they manage to hold their own. More recent research indicates that the other thing that can be done to maybe reduce injuries is to provide "toys" to play with. It can be as simple as some old tires to push around.
 
Yampah Starr
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Here is a link to an excellent, in-depth, five-part article; focused in Texas, but applies everywhere that there are feral pigs, at least in the US:
The Feral Pig “Problem” – Introduction | Circle Ranch
http://circleranchtx.com/the-feral-pig-problem-introduction/

per Joel Salatin:
Farrowing crates are not all bad. They can serve a useful purpose. They can be implemented in a range of ways from more to less humane. They have been spotlighted by animal rights organizations such as PETA, while conveniently putting much less attention (if any) on the vastly larger inhumanity and utter insanity, on all counts, of hog (and all) CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). This is one of many, many examples of how our attention gets focused on the wrong target and the wrong "solution."

In the first clip (link below), Russ Kremer talks about why he switched from being a pork CAFO operator to a pastured pork producer and some of the differences in those two types of operations:
FRESH the movie |  Video Clips
http://www.freshthemovie.com/watch-fresh/more-trailers/


I disagree with your assessment, "that's civilization." The mess that the world is in today did not happen by accident or by any random, "evolutionary," self-generated or self-propelled process. It has all been engineered very deliberately, following a very malevolent master agenda.

To better understand this, see:
Episode 310 – How Big Oil Conquered The World : The Corbett Report [12/28/15; 1:11:26]
https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-310-rise-of-the-oiligarchs/

For even more understanding and an interlude of calm sanity, see:
Soil Not Oil Conference ~ Dr. Vandana Shiva Keynote Speaker - YouTube [46:20]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3syIKl9A6o
Rethinking development in the 21st century - Vandana Shiva at the Governance Innovation Week 2014 - YouTube [46:14]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtuoi8Btkqk

To fully understand the source and implementation of the malevolent master agenda, see:
Almost 7 Hours David Icke Non Stop - Human Race Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More - YouTube [15 May 2010 Brixton Academy; 6:55:09]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2pQKTsvVug


The difference in price between "cheap" industrial CAFO pork and integrity, local, pastured pork is due to deliberate manipulation of all sorts as part of the above-mentioned, very malevolent agenda. The same applies to all of the industrial pseudo-food system versus the integrity food system. When all costs are accounted for, including the worldwide annual $400 billion in subsidies (with 365 days in a year, that is over $1 billion per day, all taxpayer money), industrial pseudo-food is by far the most expensive.

We humans are endlessly creative. As we wake up one by one, assist each other in waking up, understand what the problems really are, solutions are plentiful. Life on this planet was designed by Creation to be abundant and joyous. Scarcity and all the negativity—the inversion of abundance and joy—have been created artificially. We can, step by step and bite by bite, return to abundance and joy.
 
Andrew Schreiber
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Howdy Erica,

here are some pics that might work for you. A link to "The Windward Community" and/or out website www.windward.org would be muich appreciated.

These are our American Guinea Hogs.







 
Julia Winter
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Walter Jeffries, of Sugar Mountain Farm, in Vermont has hundreds of pictures of happy pigs (and pretty big ones, too!) that he raises on pasture and dairy "wheyst" up in the mountains.

He's a member here, I hope he finds this thread! I love visiting his web site, I know more about pig raising than is reasonable for a pediatrician.
 
manuel correia
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here is one of myself and some tamworth partypigs hanging out on THEIR farm in NH a few years back.
a great pasture breed with wonderful mothering instincts.
I have to look on a different HD for other pictures of them, mainly of the complete herd with piglets and some of the boar.
feel free to use it under public domain.

I guess it could fit in with your "spanisch patrone/plantation owner" requirement...

peace and joy,
manuel
NH pig party 1.JPG
[Thumbnail for NH pig party 1.JPG]
 
                  
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Here are some happy pigs. Our website/farm is www.lotfotl.com

happy pig 2015.jpg
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bath time 2015.jpg
[Thumbnail for bath time 2015.jpg]
 
riccardo moro
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Hi Erica,
from Italy, in my friends farm we have been rasing Pigs in Nature for 10 years, and a new brred is coming out. Will send you many pictures of theis story and details. Wait a bit, please
Ricc
 
Nick Truscott
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Breed: Bulgarian White
Location: Alekovo (near Svishtov) Bulgaria
Photos by: Toby Truscott (my son: www.taotet.com)
Our blog: www.alekovo.com
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