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Helen Bennett Harvey promises that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Vegging Out is a recipe for a new way of life. Or at least a new way of eating. Pull up a chair. Contact me at:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hog Heaven

It's closer than you think and this little piggy will never go to market

When was the last time you ate something that you could say “sit” to, and it sat?
Even thinking about that scenario makes me think about eating someone’s Golden retriever. And you know you would never do that.
We, in this country, have some sort of ingrained aversion to the idea of eating something that was a pet.
It helps when the pet in question is furry and cuddly.
This, of course, is not the case worldwide, where some cultures have a wider view of what should end up on the dinner table.
But if we really took a few minutes to think about how smart and aware our dinner fare is, would we still slaughter and eat it?
I know I don’t and I would like to introduce you to an example of why not.
Meet Iris Magnolia.
She’s a Wild Russian Boar.
I met her last weekend at Locket’s Meadow Farm in Bethany. The farm is so full of creatures great and small that farm “mom” Kathleen Schurman cares for, that I would be hard-pressed to list them all here, let alone name them.
But Iris Magnolia somehow stood out among the hooved and webbed and winged and pawed family.
Frolicking in her pen, as she so obviously loves to do, on the day I met her, little Iris clearly mostly had eyes for Kathleen. The connection is wonderful to see.
But it was when Kathleen told Iris to “sit” that I woke up again to something I have known for years: pigs - in this case a boar - are a lot like dogs. Maybe not quite as cuddly, but definitely as smart or smarter. This little girl clearly wanted to do whatever it took to make her mom happy, so when Kathleen said “sit,” Iris sat.
Iris is clearly a social animal; she let me pet her and was friendly to the other people getting the tour of the farm.
Yet, I see from many Internet sites that folks hunt wild boar in many places. I understand that the animals have become pests in some area because they got loose. Wonder who left that barn door open?
But we don’t need to hunt.
And I would ask that, next time you reach for that pound of bacon, that package of pork chops, or any kid of meat, think about Iris and all the joy she brings to the world.

This is Iris and Kathleen, at play.


Anonymous Rich said...

Hi Helen - What a great story! It is just so heartwarming to see people who love animals and really take care of them. Iris is special!
Kudos to your friend at Lockets Meadow Farm.

March 17, 2010 11:01 AM 

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