Harris On The Pig: Practical Hints For The Pig Farmer

Joseph Harris, in his classic manual on raising pigs, comments that “Like all other animals, pigs adapt themselves to the circumstances in which they are placed.” So do humans, presumably. The story attempts to find out.

PDF Download


I was wandering around the Twice Told Tales bookstore in Seattle when I came across Joseph Harris’s 1894 book. Almost immediately I knew I would write a story to suit the title. Harris’ book is something of a classic in agribusiness apparently, and as far as I can tell, it’s the first clear account of how to treat livestock as automata. There’s a straight smooth road between that attitude to life and the vast death factories we’ve had to set up to feed the world’s ever-increasing craving for meat.

It wasn’t hard to conceive an extremist group like the Koyaanisqatsi for whom biophilia is important enough to kill those who don’t share their point of view. According to the infallible web, “Koyaanisqatsi” is a Hopi word meaning “life out of balance” and/or “a state of life that calls for another way of life.”

It’s probably worth mentioning I’m not a vegetarian. And I find the tactics of organizations like PETA and Earth First unpersuasive as well as counter-productive. Means matter.


The banner image is due to Keefer “steamplanetkeefer” Rogers’ Moon Hog Time Machine