Pigs have feelings, too

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A reader — an actual pig, in fact — sent the following e-mail:

Sir: Recently you, others in the media and several politicians referred to “pigs on Wall Street.” I write to question the appropriateness of the phrase because, well, I’m a pig. My name is Carl.

Let me be plain. My friends and I are deeply offended to be compared to — nay, made the equivalent of — the “pigs” on Wall Street and/or in Washington because these comparisons are as ignorant as they are insulting. First, we pigs are not “pigs.”

Indeed, we are one of the very few species in the animal kingdom that neither messes its place of rest nor eats itself into obesity or death.

In fact, when given free access to unlimited food, unlike humans, we never overeat. Surprised? Don’t be.

After all, we’re not horses, sheep or man who’ll eat until they either founder or die. (We pigs have a name for these fools; we call ’em cows.)

As such, it is an insult to every pig that’s ever walked the earth to be linked — a word I never use lightly — to the many insatiable appetites of mankind.

Wall Street

Wall Street fat cats, on the other hoof, have an extensive history of overindulgence. Just the other night my brother Jimmy, who some know as No. 2787, and I were debating the finer points of government bailouts when he reminded me that Wall Street has spent more of the last decade in the slop than sun.

“There was the Internet bubble, then Enron, Bear Stearns and Lehman,” Jimbo offered without raising his head.

“Before that there was Drexel Lambert, the savings and loan bailout, the Mexican bond collapse …”

To anyone whose world revolves more around a stock trailer than a stock market, Jimmy’s point was made before he finished. Wall Street has sired more blind sheep and headless chickens than all the bears, bulls and pigs that ever lived.

Washington

I mean, these slicksters take your money to fill their wallets and when you’ve been successfully sheared they go to Washington for a bailout, composed entirely of your money, and start this whole merry-go-round again?

Hey, I might be just a pig but I know a hose job when it hits me in the ham and you’re getting hosed in the ham. Both of ’em. Big-time. By Wall Street and Washington.

On a personal level, while you’re paying to pull these guys’ bacon out of the fire again, we real pigs are heading to slaughter in record numbers because of record high feed prices.

By my count, my buddies and I are about $3 billion in the mud this year. But no one’s coming to our rescue. Why? Because we’re pigs?

Yes, we’re pigs! And yes we’re $3 billion underwater! But that make us easier to save than an already-dead, $80 billion insurance company! Who’s next, General Motors?

What about the pigs of America? I’m sorry; I didn’t write to lose my temper. I wrote in the hope that someone as fair-minded and animally (pig Latin) inclined as you could set the record straight and put an end to these vulgar comparisons.

Look, we can live with everyday insults like “perfume on a pig” and even “lipstick on a pig.”

After all, no one is so narrow-minded to argue their meanings anymore. But we will not be compared to these “pigs” on Wall Street or their counterparts in Washington any longer.

We’re not cows; we have only one stomach and it’s full. Should these lies persist, however, we are prepared to act. All I’ll say on that is this: Christmas, ham, not kidding.

(Signed) Carl.

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Alan Guebert was raised on an 800-acre, 100-cow southern Illinois dairy farm. After graduation from the University of Illinois in 1980, he served as a writer and editor at Professional Farmers of America, Successful Farming magazine and Farm Journal magazine. His syndicated agricultural column, The Farm and Food File, began in June, 1993, and now appears weekly in more than 70 publications throughout the U.S. and Canada. He and spouse Catherine, a social worker, have two adult children. farmandfoodfile.com

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