-----------Sensitive Nostrils

Weekes - April 20, 2000 - By:Phillip Lindenback

a bit of aroma

With grain prices in the cellar, and rails disappearing like snow on a sunny spring day, some innovative farmers are trying to convert their seemingly unwanted grain into pork, for which there still seems to be a demand. Unfortunately, pigs while they generously provide us with tasty hams and bacon, they also provide a bit of aroma, which is not exactly the scent of roses. And, not surprisingly, some with sensitive nostrils are complaining, much like Wiebo Ludwig in Northern Alberta. Hopefully it won't get to the extreme level that it did there.

winter manure pack adds colour

It is regrettable that pigs do not have a romantic past as cattle do, with the mystic allure of nostalgic memories of Cowboys in ten gallon hats, yodelling “get along little Doggies” which very effectively diverts attention away from the fact that Bossie out on the range, is said to have been (and still is) responsible for a lot of methane gas and which is (in part at least) responsible for the holes in the Ozone layer which is there to protect us from radiation burn. As well, the modern way of raising beef is a far cry from “out on the range” and is mostly confined to huge feedlots, far too often on a creek or river bank, where the winter manure pack adds colour to the spring run off, which then flows into a lake in which we will be splashing around in, come summer time! Well, at least that should help with that lovely “tan” right!

deposited into the soil

Yet Bossie lumbers on secure in her prestigious setting. While poor Porky the pig must hang his head in shame, even though he is reared in a scientifically designed building, with the latest in ventilation equipment, where the waste material is constantly and instantly flushed away through underground pipes to a sewage lagoon, that is lined with plastic to ensure there is no ground water contamination, which has a heavy cover of straw to contain the odours, and keep the wind from carrying them afar, and where the solids are regularly removed by pumping direct into an injection machine, where it is deposited into the soil to serve as plant nutrients. And, which poses far less environmental damage that the manufacture of chemical fertilizer.

No way!
Keep those
pigs away

Yet, at the slightest mention of a hog barn, it is “No way! Keep those pigs away.” But that may be about to change. With the recent reports of medical science having cloned a special batch of piglets, for the purpose of growing replacement organs for us humans, such as hearts, livers etc., which, despite our best efforts by way of providing these, through highway carnage, even with the help of the mind confusing beverages, we brew from barley, which would be better fed to pigs, we just can't keep up with spare parts for us aging Homo Sapiens!

Man's best friend

So, its good to that we have a close cousin in the animal world to lend a hand (or a hoof in this case) and to ensure that we will dodder along a year or two longer. But this clearly indicates that we should perhaps come off of our high horse, and look less disfavourably on our benefactor. Indeed, we should regard Porky right up there with the Dog, as “Man's best friend, Right!”


Yes, I think so, as well we should maybe exercise a bit of caution as they are advised to do in the Hill Billy villages, where everybody is related to everybody else, and it pays to consider what you say, and about whom! So, maybe you should careful, you anti Porcine Wiebos!
  Philip Lindenback
Weekes, Saskatchewan

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