Dreams Aren’t Made of Thigh-High Snow Drifts

Free range” isn’t all that picturesque when snow drifts are thigh-high and winds are blowing at 30 miles per hour. As I sit here – all cozy in my house – watching a blizzard roaring outside, I’m comforted by the fact that I don’t have pigs outside in this nasty weather. I recall years ago when I tried to herd pigs through snow banks to the feeder. I had to haul hot water from the house to thaw their water. That was not ideal for sure!Dreams Aren't Made of Thigh-High Snowdrifts

There is no doubt in my mind that the way we raise pigs today is better for all involved. Pigs stay nice and warm inside computer-controlled barns with access to fresh feed, fresh water and fresh air. Modern pig farmers engaged in #RealPigFarming keep a close eye on their livestock. If a pig gets sick, we can recognize the symptoms and promptly treat it with antibiotics as prescribed by a veterinarian. Stress causes illness, and I know being outside in a blizzard like yesterday would be stressful! I could always count on sick pigs after a snow storm when I was raising them outside.

December Snow in Iowa

Reminiscing about the “good old days” makes me give thought to what is “natural.” I’m not talking about “natural” so much as the way we used to raise livestock before modern technology but, you know, in nature before man intervened. When I was young, I watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and remember seeing the hardships suffered by animals in the wild. It’s natural for one animal to become another animal’s food source. After all, that’s how they survive. Survival of the fittest.

Animals are a link in the food chain. The first thing people in emerging economies want when they can afford it is animal protein. (Click here to see how food consumption has evolved in China, for example.) Right now we have the luxury of too much food, but what’s going to happen as the world approaches 2050 and our population soars to 9 billion (#feedthe9)? Will the next world war be fought over food?

Right now, we have an overeating problem in this country. We eat more calories than we burn, but depriving our bodies of certain foods isn’t the answer to weight loss. Certain foods satisfy better than others. (Bacon. Bacon. Bacon.) When the body is deprived of what it needs, it makes a body want to consume more. Increasing calorie intake with less manual labor results in heavier Americans, and the newest nutritional data shows it. P.S. I’m not talking about the USDA recommendations that are biased by radical groups with an agenda! It’s a fact that Americans aren’t making the best food choices, regardless of what health professionals recommend and government regulations mandate!

Balance is key. Eat sensibly. Splurge a little. Enjoy your food. Enjoy the New Year. “No More Food Fights!” makes a lot of sense!