I am still not used to people saying "your pig is cute" or "thanks for letting us pet your pig." It just doesn't roll off the tongue and land into the ears the same way sweet phrases about puppies and kittens do.
In the current discourse, happy pigs are the ideal alternative to the miserable and abused pigs raised in factory farms. Happy pigs become happy meat, and happy meat is good. We should feel good about eating happy meat.
Cramming animals into smaller and smaller spaces -- to the point where they're essentially immobilized and lined up like parked cars -- is the result of a decades-long industry race to the animal welfare bottom.
As a pig farmer, I live an unethical life shrouded in the justificatory trappings of social acceptance. What I do is wrong, in spite of its acceptance by nearly 95 percent of the American population. I know it in my bones.
Progress recognizes no pinnacles. It permits no stability. It demands constant, unfettered revolution. I am writing today to shed light on a pinnacle, and to suggest that we respect and embrace that pinnacle.
I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Suddenly, through unfiltered, raw emotion, I felt, quite frankly, like a cold-blooded murderer waking up to the reality of what he had done. I nearly threw up.
When I take good care of the pigs, I take good care of myself. When I take poor care of the pigs, I take poor care of myself. I find myself in an intricate web of relationships that give substance and form to my native home, to myself.
Before I sat down to write about John Currence's new cookbook -- Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey -- I surveyed my brown liquor shelf and found just the right courage: a bottle of Willett Rye with one good pump left in it.