Monday, September 15, 2008

Lipstick on a Pig


When we moved away from North Carolina in the early 1980s, we received a gift from one of our friends. It was a photgraph that had been on the cover of a recent magazine and featured two pigs in a loving gaze. The caption of the picture was, "North Carolina Hogs are Beautiful." We loved the picture and for years it was found hanging in our bathroom. Keep in mind this is an actual photograph, not digitally enhanced. The pigs were so beautiful, no lipstick was needed.

At that time, hogs were beautiful and pig farming in North Carolina was beautiful with small farmers taking great care of their stock. That is not the case any longer. Pig farming is no longer beautiful as huge corporate operations have squeezed out the small farmer by a variety of nefarious means. The land, air, and ground water are increasingly polluted by these large farms. The animals are treated inhumanely and no one seems to care much about any of it as long as their pork is cheaper as a result.

So our pig picture has been given a place in the attic. We don't feel right advertising North Carolina hogs anymore.

Pig farming is only one little example of how we have gone so wrong here in the U.S. In our attempt to buy more and buy more cheaply, we have failed to notice what this has done to our economy and our neighbors. Giant corporations control most of the food we consume, and there is only a small place remaining for the small farmer.

So, from the local farmer whenever you can. Stay away from big box stores. Think global, but shop local.


This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Well said but so hard to do. There are so few places that the small farmer is still in business.

KGMom said...

Too funny. As you might figure from my childhood photo, I love pigs. Real ones.
Factory farming has certainly become the bane of farmers (and probably consumers) everywhere in the U.S.

Twisted Fencepost said...

I agree 100%!!!
Wish I knew more local farms to buy from!

Dog_geek said...

Totally agree. We are lucky to have some local family farms around that we support when we can, and the local Farmer's Market is only about 3 miles from our house. Mr. Geek would like to do more with our land, too, but we still have day jobs.

Unknown said...

Hey do you watch Fork in the Road on PBS? He is always saying thnk global and buy local.

We are fortunate to have local farmers here and the grocery store we like to go to buys from those local farmers and advertises it and even features them in there weekly ads.
Pretty cool huh.

Cicero Sings said...

We DO try to buy local whenever we can! It not only tastes better but supports the "little guy". I feel people are selling their souls to the "big operators" all for a cheaper price and a poorer product ... a way poor product! Sooner or later the big operators are going to have it all and then where will the prices go? Yea Little Man! I refuse to buy at Walmart or from some of the other big guys.

It is being made increasingly difficult for the "little operator" in our country to even exist ... they are regulated almost to non-existence!

Jayne said...

It's true. Turkey farms are the same. But no one seems to care as long as they have a tasteless turkey to cook at T'giving. Hog farms are beyond description. All the drugs injected into them, all the hormones... ack... and we wonder why the nation is so much sicker.

The Birdlady said...

I won't even start in on this, because the meat and poultry industries are so abhorant to me - I quit eating meat at all almost 20years ago, and discovered that food group to be unnecessary -
(and I will go "there" - I also think untruthful insinuations are abhorant as well. "You can't just make stuff up!")

Ruth said...

How true! We are very fortunate in our area to have a large number of Mennonite farms and three large farmers markets. It is easy to find local foods. Our region publishes a yearly guide (free of charge) with a map showing all the local farms that sell organic meats and produce. I avoid meat unless I know where it came from.

NCmountainwoman said...

fishing guy - Sad, and true. It is increasingly difficult for the small farmer around here as well.

Donna - It breaks my heart every time I go past those huge operations.

twisted - There are fewer of them around.

dog geek - We still have farms here as well and we are grateful.

Toni - I have watched Fork in the Road, but our local PBS doesn't carry it. Our grocery also tries to buy local produce as well.

Cicero - I'm with you.

Jayne - You are right. The turkeys fare no better than the pigs with these huge operations.

Helen - We have tremendously reduced the amount of meat we eat and I admire you for going vegetarian. And since you "went there" I agree wholeheartedly. Such total fabrications told with straight faces.

Ruth - how wonderful. And it shows that it can be done.

Kerri Farley said...

Oh, I LOVE the picture!

I do try to buy local if at all possible.