Thanks for the inside information ("Hog Heaven," Nov. 19)—it was a pleasure to read it and be a tiny part of that story. I know Tim very well.
I live in the Netherlands, and the eight pregnant sows mentioned in the article came to me from the Mangalica Farm in Hungary (from Péter Tóth, president of the Hungarian Mangalica Breeder Organization), all from different bloodlines. They gave birth in my quarantine stable, and I cared for the 50 piglets for almost three months. The 18 best—10 reds and eight blonde—were selected for the States, and eight of the reds went to Tim in California. He is one of the most dedicated breeders I know! Tim truly loves the breed, and he is willing to sacrifice all that is needed to establish a healthy breeding base in America with Wilhelm Kohl of Pure Mangalitsa, Michigan.
Tim works closely with Pure Mangalitsa, which arranged the first import of original Hungarian livestock to the states. Pure Mangalitsa was also the first to import the blonde Mangalitsa from Austria in 2010. Until the beginning of this year, it was not possible to get breeding stock from the Hungarian herdbook, because the Mangalitsa is a protected breed in Hungary, so no breeding material was allowed to leave Hungary.
It took Wilhelm Kohl almost two years to build a stable relationship with the Hungarian Mangalica Breeder Organization before they permitted the first export of Mangalica ever! So what we see here is also a very important moment of Mangalitsa history, written in our days. Most people don't know this, but I guess it's interesting for some. The other two reds are in Michigan at Pure Mangalitsa as well as the six blondes, two of which went to Atlanta to Justin King's Farm.
Pure Mangalitsa has a unique position in the United States when it comes to the original Hungarian lines. They are the only ones that have the contracts for importing these "royal Hungarian Mangalitsas" to the States. Why royal? The Mangalitsa was only bred for the Habsburg dynasty, so it's truly a pig for royalty.
Nothing like stupid online comments from people who know nothing about raising pigs, or nature for that matter. Guess they'd rather have seen the breed go extinct. The reality is that you can't maintain the species without having a meat program since (1) pigs are very prolific, and (2) only the best genetics are bred. In nature, with predation, that's how hardy breeds are maintained. Without apex predators, man assumes that role.
Shame on Us
I like Utah Phillips definition of the 1 percent: "The Upper Crust . . . a bunch of crumbs held together by a wad of dough." The fake conversation about the Democrats vs. the Republican's is getting tiresome, don't you think? The media, largely the mouthpiece of the 1 percent and no way representative of the rich diversity of our society, stirs the pot by creating an artificial tug-of-war between these wealthy armies. And thanks to the most political Supreme Court in modern history rendering the most partisan political decision in modern times, the floodgates of influence have been appropriated by a handful of greedy, self-serving fanatics. Of course, we let them do this. We bought their distraction about Dems and Republicans. And we run with it. But any real candidate who dares name the real issue—the struggle between the super-rich and the rest of us—is marginalized by the corporate owned media and slandered into obscurity. Bernie Sanders not withstanding.
A word of caution: As fascinating as the electronic toys are nowadays, when used in a personally unregulated way they create increasing social and emotional disconnect. In other words, we are less involved, concerned, interested in each other.
Additionally, way back in the 20th century, Jerry Mander wrote a book called Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television in which he said a prophetic thing. I'll paraphrase. He said if there ever comes a day when humans confuse the experience of watching a video of nature on a screen with the actual experience of being in nature, we will be in deep doo-doo. In other words, the more we diminish, or miss, the real experience of people and places, the more at risk for exploitation those people and places will be.
Elizabeth Warren is right: the game is rigged. But not just rigged against college students; it's rigged against all of us. It's the old bait-and-switch.
And evidence from our last election seems to indicate that their strategy of distracting us with toys or boring us with lies works—the lowest voter turnout in years. They have convinced us that the one thing that could make a real difference doesn't. We surrender our most potent expression of dissatisfaction with government and, by indifference or impotence, hand the keys of the kingdom to the corporations that ignore the common good, shamelessly purchase the congressional votes needed to pass laws that put them beyond reproach and squeeze the life out of our once thriving middle class. Shame on us all.
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