Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 3: A Few Life Lessons I Learned from a Pig


This post title is definitely strange, I know that.  What is surprising is how much you can learn from a pig.  Our local hog market has a whole poster on one of the walls that says something to the effect of, "Everything I Needed to Know in Life, I Learned from a Pig."  If you're not a pig person, which most of you aren't, I'm sure you may be able to relate with respect to some animal...

1. Never cease to be curious.
-If you have ever even observed a pig, full grown or in its infancy, they are some of the most curious critters I've ever dealt with in my life.  Do not take it that I feel you should test your curiosity the same way pigs do!  The best example I can think of is when nursery pigs are moved to a finisher and the first thing they do is go push on the waterer on the wall and try to wrap their head around how that shiny silver gadget works, or when they push and chew around on the feeder that's bigger than the last one they used, and has bigger paddles.  (I find this entertaining, but I'm sure a few of you are shaking your heads at me right now.)  Long story short, always question things.  The what, why, and hows in the world are meant to be questioned! (I think)

2.  Every meal is worth celebrating!
-As humans, we eat... all the time.  We do this so habitually that we often forget to sit back and say, "Wow, Isn't it great that we have an ample, safe food supply?" or "Dang my mom can cook (or dad)!"  or even "IT'S TIME TO EAT AGAIN!!"  <- Face it, we all have those days.  A pig is always thrilled about eating.  We have finishing hogs and nursery pigs in big buildings where they more or less have an unlimited buffet whenever they feel so inclined to eat.  This allows them to eat what they want, avoid overeating, and avoid malnourishment.  Pigs eat better than most humans due to regulated mandates on feed quality.  We must insure that there is a perfectly balanced ration available for our animals.  Sows get fed at certain times in the day.  You would not believe how happy they look when they see that pickup pull up in the morning.  You would think it was a revival or something the way they get so happy and start to bark.  After you have given them feed and walk back through the building the only sound you hear is the smacking of their mouths as they eat... I'm amused by things that other people can't understand, but pigs understand what it means to appreciate a meal and show you. 

3.  Stubbornness is often wasted energy...
-It is inevitable that when it is time to either move pigs to a new place or load them on a truck, that they are typically less than willing to go.  This is why we have to be careful when trying to move pigs.  Often they will decide they don't feel like going where you want and therefore make the decision to run or to try to charge you.  Pigs are dangerous, friends.  In the end the pig loses because if we just let them run in circles thinking they're getting their way, they usually end up going where we intended.  Let's be honest, if they don't go now, they will in time.  Humans are much like this.  We get bull-headed about not wanting to do things that we inevitably have to do, and thus eventually either pick up our pride and do it, or suffer the consequences of not.  If we take this lesson from the pig, just do it the first time...

4.  Learn to love those who you like least. 
-When pigs get grouped into pens or pastures, or however an individual houses them, the first few days are spent with high tension as the pigs decide who thinks they are in charge and who they think they don't like.  After these few days are over, they calm and to some degree settle into a pecking order.  Whether they're happy about who else is with them or not is insignificant.  This is how life is with humans and every creature on this planet whether in captivity or wild.  Whether we like it or not, we will be placed in situations for short periods (and sometimes long periods) of time where we don't like who we have to work with, talk to, live with, etc.  We have to learn to cope with the dead truth that no matter how much we don't like who this person is, or what they are, or a situation in general, it's only a matter of time until we will all be able to move on and the current state will improve.  If possible try to find something you like about the person/people/situation, and you can prevent yourself from being miserable.  (It's the state of mind.)

Thanks for reading!  Please continue to read on!

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