The pigs gave me double heartache during a week that Sasha was away visiting relatives. First, they started getting out of their large pen, and second, I saw that they had parasites. The parasites are large white worms (that’s what they’re called as well as an apt description). Discovering them is an unpleasant experience.
My wife and I tend to jump into farming adventures with both feet and then figure out what we did wrong after something bad happens (actually, she jumps with all four of our feet). In this case, we could have prevented the parasites by moving the pigs around, which is something we always intended to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.
I don’t eat pork due to some connection I feel with my ancestors, although the rest of the family does. When I describe the many reasons I don’t like raising pigs, Sasha accuses me of justifying my irrational repulsion of pig-meat (but I do like the smell of bacon). I think my reasons against raising pigs are valid.
Although many people say that pigs aren’t really piggish, I disagree. I provide them with clean water and they still drink from the mud puddle that they shit in, and that’s why they’re prone to hideous parasites. They’re filthy and brutish, and ( I acknowledge the irony of saying this) their a lot like humans. Their body chemistry is close to ours: They eat similar food to ours and their shit looks and smells like our shit, which means any disease that they develop is likely to be dangerous to us.
But Sasha loves the other white meat, and is actually following a higher calling than her affection for sausage. She’s experimenting with methods that people can use to raise food on a low budget, and wants to spread the word that people can learn to survive by interacting with the land, rather than trying to amass wealth and depending on others to feed them. If an old New Yorker and the daughter of mathematician can do this, than so can others.
I treated the pigs with horse medicine hidden in Twinkies and am working on training them to stay in the confines of an electric wire. What I’ve done so far is run the wire near the bottom of the fence that they have been burrowing under. Once they learn to respect the wire, we can move them around more easily, like we do with the goats.
I’ll let you know how it all goes.