How to Catch Wild Pigs

I recently came across the following story about how to catch wild pigs that serves as a commentary on the state of freedom in modern America.

A chemistry professor at a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.

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In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, ‘Do you know how to catch wild pigs?’ The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. ‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again.

You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat; you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught.

Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity. The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms—just a little at a time.

This story is illustrates how freedom can be taken little by little without the victims even realizing it and in a way that leads the victims to even consent to their freedom being taken.

Focusing on the issue of food freedom, Americans today have nearly lost their ability to feed themselves. Absent fast food, grocery store chains, and media pronouncements about what to eat and the latest health “discovery”, most people would lack either a source of food or knowledge of what foods to eat. In this way, Americans today are like the corralled wild pigs in the story. They retain the appearance of freedom because they are are free to drive to the grocery store. But their freedom is only a facade because they lack the means and knowledge to truly obtain food for themselves. They are dependent on the industrial food system to provide them with their food selection and information about what to eat.

Only by struggling to retain the traditions of centuries past that governed the selection and preparation of foods, and only by struggling to support local and diverse food sources, can we break through the fences that now confine us and exercise the food freedom that is justly ours.

This material has been published with the kind permission of Alzheimer Research UK.

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About Patrick Crawford

Patrick Crawford was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended college and law school at the University of Notre Dame, spending one year during law school studying at Notre Dame’s campus in London, England. He is now living and practicing family law in Annapolis, Maryland. When he is not practicing law, he follows the strong interest that he has acquired in the interaction between big business, government, the media, and the lives of individuals affected by these influences. He is particularly interested in the severely negative effects these forces have on nutrition, food production processes, local agriculture, and therefore, on health. He hopes that, through his articles, he will be able to educate others on the importance of traditional and sustainable foodways and agricultural practices, for the sake of both individual health and the security of local food systems. He runs his own website, called: National Fork.
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