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November 09, 2009


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Karen near Portland, OR

Here in the lightly populated Pacific Northwest, we are lucky to be surrounded by corridors of protected National and State Forests.

Hunters can buy permits to shoot game such as pheasant, deer, and elk - even using new high-tech bows. Free-roaming pigs are considered “non-game” and can be killed anytime without a permit.

Wild pigs are an invasive species and growing problem - it would take a 70% kill rate just to maintain the current feral pig population. Our state Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates hunters only remove 40% each year. Everyone from farmers to environmentalists want to see them gone - Feral pigs dig up agricultural fields, kill young livestock, and dig up native habitat.

Nancy your comment about meat on Styrofoam rings so true. Here where hunting and fishing are common, I still find it difficult to kill a flopping trout. Killing a mammal, even an invasive pest, is humbling.

Rodney Fong

It's great to see how you continually challenge us with reading about a different lifestyle than what most of us are accustomed to. We have wild pigs here that live fairly close to residential areas, although I have not encountered any, fortunately. But I did meet a friend of a friend of mine who lives in Hilo on the Big Island, which is more small town/rural in setting. He talked about hunting wild pigs, which can get up to be several hundred pounds, and how he has to field dress the kill sometimes to carry the meat out. The way he spoke was almost as you described the kill, maybe not so solemn, but matter of fact. These animals are not to be taken lightly, as he relayed that many a time his response to a charging pig was to "run as fast as he can, screaming like a little girl." Even here that seems so removed from my lifestyle. Great writing again.


This is so sad, but I think it's important for us to remember where our food comes from-- it's an offering from another creature.


Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Sorry for the long silence. I have a couple other writing projects and was also in the States for a couple weeks. Priority is back on the blog, patience.

Karen: great seeing you in Portland and thanks for lunch (and sake). It's heartening to see what is happening just outside of some key U.S. cities. Go a bit further into suburbia and watch out, it's more than depressing. Food=plain old raw materials: vegs, rice, protein. Who needs Uncle Ben's or pre-cooked Trader Joe's rice. Don't get me started.

Rodney: Speaking of Uncle Ben's, I can imagine the yuck factor when you hit the mainland. I'm only recently understanding why rice never excited me. This summer, I craved white rice. Craved the pristine clean taste as the grains broke apart in my mouth. My beloved potatoes seemed almost too heavy. Damn that rice was good in those hot humid days. I loved your pig stories. As you said, they're definitely scary little beasts.

Naimah: Nice to have you aboard. Yes, sad...hard...a way of life. Better to kill and eat than kill and discard. My friend sent me a photo of wild pigs killed Texan style, stacked up like a pile of rats. Not nice.

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