Monday, November 2, 2009

The Blackhead Pig

There is no kindness in nature. Those effete, modish inheritants of an overly technological world who hold, usually at no fault of their own, the sadly mistaken assumption, handed to them by whimsical progressives—self-styled as such largely because they have progressed beyond reality-- and fostered by a few decades of nineteen-eighties-and-nineties public schooling and the television specials they watched after that schooling from three-thirty until their parents got home, that at least some animals are ‘nice’, had better avoid taking any vacations near the ‘natural world’ or their mistakenness will soon be sorely so. Animals are not intrinsic victims, but very often, if not normally are wicked, stupid, loathsome things intent upon the destruction of others and usually themselves. Anyone who thinks animals have rights has never discussed it with any animals, for if they did, the animal would bite their mouth off and end the conversation. ‘Animal Rights’ fideists have never met this blackhead pig that lives on my farm.

I went to buy feeder pigs with my friend Will. I forgot to tell him that the best way to carry a pig is by the back leg, and when he grabbed the blackhead pig around her middle, she began her shrieking, suicide inspiring scream that is still continuing as I write this two months later. The other pigs make somewhat pleasant grunts, and when worked up at my proximity, and the anticipation of food, they might emit as much as a grunting-snort sound. The blackhead pig condemns everything about me with her squinty, contemptuous eyes, and her pointed ears that curl back and around her head much like Satan’s horns must do. While I try to pass by, feeding the chickens, she screams commandingly at my cardiovascular system, frantically demanding it jack up my blood pressure until my brain explodes out of my eyeballs. If this fails, she increases the decibels of her deflating-balloon-combined-with-a-falling-bomb-and-locomotive-brakes cursing screech, mockingly daring me to shoot either her or myself in the face.

I tried to tell myself, in my better moments, that it was not her fault that this was her only means of communication. Perhaps she was the victim of her own limited, wretched vocabulary. I tried scratching her back, patting her while I fed her apples. My hours of kicking back the mud pushed over the electric fence in the pigs’ clever attempts to escape-- doubtless conjured by the blackhead pig in order to seize my farmhouse, kill me in my sleep, and begin running the farm—and my back-breaking labor repairing their warm straw hut that they insisted on destroying so they could spite me by freezing to death, were rewarded by the blackhead pig’s increasingly clever attempts to eat me.

For example, one sunny afternoon, as the birds cheerfully chirped death threats to other birds near their territory, I strolled over to the pigs’ pasture to give them a bucket of corn. They love corn more than I love Krispy Kreme donuts, but not, apparently, as much as they love human flesh hot off the femur. The pigs were nowhere to be seen, which is unusual because they are normally frolicking about the pasture pretending they are chasing down little kids, or ruling the world. Thank God I am just enough smarter than the pigs that I suspected that something was up. I closed the gate behind me, and still they lay hidden. I poured out their corn, and they remained silent. It was only when I walked out into the pasture, seemingly cut off from ready escape that they poured forth from their den, the blackhead pig emitting her gleeful ring-wraith siren, and surrounded me. They had not accounted for my easy ability to step over the electric fence, and they gnashed their teeth and kicked each other for overlooking this obvious flaw in their perfect crime.

Every increase in my attempts to coddle and care for the pigs has been matched and raised by the pigs’ efforts to eat me. Since the overt attempt upon my life, they have chosen to keep their cards close to the chest, only casually opening their jaws and nonchalantly putting my leg between them. Never do they act violently enough that it will demand conclusive reciprocity on my part: after all they know that they only grow more valuable as they put on meat, and it would take a clear and present danger from them to make me butcher them before they weigh enough.

Animals are not kind, and they have no ‘rights’. Without the human person to care for them, to domesticate them, to drag them into the fire-light as White Fang was, animals trample each other, lay down in puddles to drown themselves, poop everywhere, seek out heavy objects to crush them, and eat their young. The ‘natural world’ is a free-for-all in which everything competes in exhibiting a newer and more absurd form of dying. The human person struggles to eke out a tiny corner of kindness, sense, and creation, before the ragweeds and multiflora roses of dying drag it down. Animals do not deserve our care, they have no ‘rights’ before which the human will must pay respect. However, our dignity demands that we care. Human rights and dignity are only kept alive by responsibility, and in caring for things, in tending our gardens, we safeguard our own human rights, and pay respect to the grave duty of being a human being. Failing to care for those things that are our responsibility does violence to our rights, to our dignity and freedom. Without this being truly human, the chickens would all be torn limb from limb by possums. Imagine a world where possums roam at will. 

Disgusting. I have to go now; I hear the blackhead pig screaming for her dinner. If I fail to return to provide this essay with an adequate conclusion, it is because the blackhead pig has eaten my fingers.

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