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October 2, 2012

Pigz Eat Farmer! (not me)

I couldn't pass up this headline - especially since a bunch of my pals sent it to me last nite. Consider yourselves warned!

"70-year-old Oregon farmer eaten by his hogs"

"On Wednesday morning, Terry V. Garner, a 70-year-old Oregon farmer, went to feed his animals. Several hours later, when he hadn’t returned, a family member went to look for him and found, on the ground of the hog enclosure, his dentures... "

And I'll throw in a "I told you so" just for good measure least all y'all think I make this stuff up. While we don't want to make light of a tragic death, I think I should say that makin' bacon is our only defense against the evil pig empire.

I'll repeat my admonition that pigz can be big, mean, and dangerous. Even the cutest little piggy-wiggie can grow up into an incredibly strong, aggressive animal. That eats meat. Any meat. Including you, your kids, and your favorite runner ducks. The hard truth is that more people are killed by pigs in the US and Canada than are killed world wide by sharks. So don't let those squinty little eyes and snuffy snout noises lure you into a false sense of security.

Inevidably at this point someone will say "Well what about....." and then insert some crazy picture of a fool snuggling a big hog or a story about how well behaved a fair hog can be. That's fine. And here is the way of things - even the most well behaved hog can be big, mean, and dangerous. Assume that a hog can easily move three times his (or her) body weight. So if you have a 200lbs snuggle bunny that can move 600 lbs with its nose, wouldn't you want to be a little careful?

Now I could lecture you all day about the dangers of owning hogs but instead I'll just say that all real hog farmers I know are extremely cautious around their animals. If you don't believe me then check out what Kelly Klober wrote in the Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs: 3rd Edition. He gives a great overview of safety measures for being around hogs, such as making sure you always have a line of sight to an exit when you are in a pen with them, having something in your hand, and being exceptionally cautious around boars and momma pigz.

As for me, well. I quit getting in the yard with the big pigz a while ago and I won't even get in with the little ones either. I never approach either of the pig yards unless I have at least one dog with me and usually a stock cane in my hand. And since Zander found out that them pigz are made of meat... well... lets just say I'm as safe as a kitten with him around.

Sometimes folks will feel lofty and tell me that I'm just afraid of pigz. Oh no no no, friend. I'm just not foolish. And I'm not that big of a person. In the barnyard size matters and them pigz just won't take me seriously at all. So just like I'm not afraid of that 12" compound mitre saw or a busy highway... I won't stick my hand in the buzz saw end of it nor will I run wildly into on coming traffic. Its not fear, friend, its just common sense.

Lets all look a little sideways at our pigz today, people, and remember that bacon is the best revenge.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Now get out there and re-evaluate your hog safety measures!