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What I wish people knew about pig farming

Courtesy of Wanda Patsche
In the pig barn

Recently, I participated in an online video discussion with an Animal Welfare class from an eastern U.S. university. The purpose of the class was to give class attendees a farmer’s perspective on pig issues concerning animal welfare. There were two of us, myself and another farmer from Indiana. We were given a few questions ahead of time, but we also answered questions directly from the class. By the end of the class period, it was apparent there was a definite flavor of animal rights views within the classroom. Later, as I pondered about how the class discussion went, I thought very hard about the animal right’s perspective and agenda. I really wanted to “see” animal welfare issues through their eyes. I struggled and frankly, I just don’t get it. I think what is most frustrating for farmers is how do we communicate our experiences so others also feel the same experiences and compassion we feel. Thus, this is what I wish people knew about pig farming:

I wish people could experience the things we experience. I wish they could see the fights that sows have which are a natural response to their innate social hierarchy that determines who is the “king” sow. The fights that result in injuries such as bites to body parts including ears, snouts, legs and vulvas. And sometimes these injuries are lethal. I wish people could hear the ear piercing screams we hear when a sow is attacking another. No, we don’t rush to grab our phones to videotape the pig attacks. Instead, we attempt to break up the fights, assess and care for the injuries, all while hoping not to be injured ourselves.

I wish people could see the utter contentment sows experience when they are housed in gestation stalls. I wish they could see how pigs respond when they no longer fear for their lives and are safe. I wish people could see the “night and day” difference between sows that are housed outdoors and sows that are housed in gestation stalls because we can give them specialized individual care.

I wish people were on our farm to see the looks on our faces after the drowning of newborn piglets who were savagely placed there by another pregnant sow. The horrified looks when we discovered a total of 10 baby piglets laying at the bottom of a mud puddle, a mud puddle created by a recent thunderstorm. I wish they could experience our heartbreak as we removed each baby pig from the mud puddle. And I wish they also had my memory as I still remember it like it was yesterday. Or the frustration when an unruly sows bites at her newly born pigs or accidentally lays or steps on one. I wish people understood this is why sows are housed in farrowing (birthing) stalls to prevent these heartaches. And, yet, the animal rights agenda thinks farrowing stalls are cruel. They honestly haven’t seen cruel until they see deaths that could have been prevented.

I wish people could see the realities of disease. Diseases that cause nearly 100% mortality of newborn pigs for 4-5 weeks. I wish people could walk in barns and see nothing but dead baby pigs and knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do about it and the despair that follows. I wish people were on my farm that Thanksgiving Day when my determined husband was going to save newborn pigs who were doomed for an imminent death because of a virus. A virus with no vaccine or a treatment drug. Only to realize his heroic efforts went to waste. I wish people could see the look on his face upon the realization that he didn’t succeed, and yet, managed somehow to look forward to the next day because “it will be a better day.” Farmers live in reality, not ideology.

I wish people realized that “natural” behaviors are not always best for pigs. “Natural” that can result in bullied animals, injuries and death. But animal rightists look past and turn their heads to the painful consequences when pigs are allowed to exhibit their “natural” behaviors towards each other. In their eyes, natural is best. Natural is not always best. Comfortable and content pigs is what is best. 

It’s easy and feels good to reach for ideology. It’s pleasurable to visualize the sunny 70-degree days where pigs roam pastures under trees and never hurt one another. You know, the whole Charlotte’s Web scenario. Who wouldn’t love a world like that? But we don’t live in Charlotte’s Web’s book, we live in reality.

As a farmer, our main goal is to eliminate or reduce stressors in a pig’s life. Stressors such as thirst, hunger, disease, unsafe environment, temperature extremes, weather conditions, unclean air and pig behaviors. Our challenge is to create a balance where we reduce/eliminate as many stressors as possible that results in making a pig’s life as comfortable as possible. That is real pig farming.

I think it’s easy for outsiders to tell us and insist on how we should or shouldn’t raise pigs. But the problem is most of these people do not experience the same things we do. They do not see what we see. They do not hear what we hear.

And it’s particularly frustrating when large corporations, who use pork from our farms in their stores, also tell us how to raise pigs. Evidently, they also think they “know better” than we do, but until they experience, see and hear what we do, they really don’t “know better.”  

Farmers raise pigs in many different ways. One way is not better than another. I truly believe pig farmers raise pigs in the way that works best for them. And we need every pig farmer.

Farmers work diligently to improve their farming practices continually. We take better care of our pigs than we did yesterday. And tomorrow, we will do better than today. Are we perfect? Not by a long shot, but we really do care about what we do.

Despite what others may say.

This post was written by Wanda Patsche and originally published on Minnesota Farm Living. Follow Wanda on Twitter: @MinnFarmer.

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Comments (46)

  1. Submitted by Brad James on 10/07/2014 - 08:50 am.

    Farming

    Is the noblest profession in my opinion. Humble, yet literally the most important.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/07/2014 - 08:59 am.

    You left something out

    You spent a lot of time discussing “savage” pig behaviors. What you left out is a discussion of whether or not those behaviors would be as prevalent (or as savage) if the pigs were not living with such high numbers in such confined quarters – regardless of whether that confinement is indoors or outdoors.

    Crowding is also a stressor. And yes – if crowding is inherent in your setup, then you are probably going to need to resort to other “management” methods (such as gestation stalls) to offset the way “natural” behaviors become distorted within the stressor of crowding.

    I understand that economics play a role in this. But please – don’t try to paint such a simplistic picture that “natural is bad” unless you also step up to the plate and admit that the very UNnatural crowding these animals must live in contributes to the warping of behaviors which would make no evolutionary sense in an actual “natural” environment.

    • Submitted by Charlotte Allmann on 10/07/2014 - 04:29 pm.

      I may not be a pig farmer, but I have farmers in my family, mostly small dairy farms who also raise other species for family and neighbors’ benefits – goats, rabbits, sheep, chickens – and pigs. In my experience, pigs are pigs, and the behavior that the author describes is indeed very natural, and very common, whether the animals are crowded or not. In today’s agricultural market, it hardly seems practical for more than a very small percentage of hog farmers to raise hogs in the manner you might approve of, or find esthetically pleasing and morally superior. My local farmers market has a hog producer who sells “pastured pork”. He proudly displays photos of idyllic scenes of spotted heritage pigs grazing in open woodland. He has no photos of winter, and this spring I overheard him telling a customer how deadly last winter was for his hogs, and how much he was set back in his efforts to make a living – he has to hold a regular job, and I wonder who manages these animals while he is at work. Expensive, I imagine. I walk by his stall, there is no way I can afford to buy the meat he sells – astronomical prices. And I’m not poor. And from the tone of his voice, I wonder if he will be there next year. I’d support him if I could afford his prices, and I know they are fair for what he puts into it.

      The bottom line, WELFARE. If the pigs are content, suffer fewer illnesses and injuries, your argument is nonsense. You are illogical, elitist and shamefully self-righteous. Stress in animals is measurable. So if the pigs are not under measurable stress, what difference does the number of pigs per square foot make? NONE. Period. Meat quality is better, health is better the way modern farmers operate today, and there are observable positive results. Welfare of farm animals is the primary concern for moral and practical reasons, and today’s farmers are miles ahead in this area than my family’s farms back in the Old McDonald days of rustic box stalls with “pig rails” and an overload of effort keeping sows and piglets safe enough to bring the maximum number of animals to market.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/07/2014 - 06:31 pm.

        You obviously missed the part . . . . .

        where I said “I understand that economics play a role in this”. Yes, I am fully aware that it would be far more expensive to raise pigs in an environment where they had much more room to roam. The crowding becomes an economic necessity – I understand that. I did not state whether I agreed with that or not.

        However, it is hard to believe pigs would have survived evolutionarily had they spent all their time rolling over on their babies and drowning one another’s litters. These are not “natural” behaviors. But then, these pigs are not living in a “natural” environment, so this makes sense.

        The artificial management techniques employed by modern-day farmers are necessitated by being required to deal with the unnatural behaviors developed by these animals in this artificial environment. That is not a value statement. That is just a statement of the way things are.

        I’m having trouble finding ” illogical, elitist and shamefully self-righteous” in what I just wrote. In fact, it strikes me as eminently logical, and that’s without me even stating whether or not I’d prefer things were different. After all, I’m not the one who described the behavior of these artificially housed pigs as “savage” or that “Natural is not always best”. Those value statements originated with the author of the original piece.

        I just asked for some honesty from the author. That rather than leveling judgements against the unnatural behaviors that the author has observed in her pigs, she should be willing to admit the role that artificial environments dictated by economic drivers play in this and in all that follows.

        • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 10/08/2014 - 08:01 am.

          Wait A Minute!

          Pat, if you don’t agree with them on the issue, then you are automatically clueless, illogical, elitist, and shamefully self-righteous. Todd forbid anyone should have a different perspective and beg to disagree.

        • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/08/2014 - 09:36 am.

          savage

          At no point did the author call the behaviors “savage”. You did not even read the article before you commented with your elitist agenda.

          • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/08/2014 - 02:16 pm.

            Try again

            Fourth paragraph down:

            “I wish people were on our farm to see the looks on our faces after the drowning of newborn piglets who were savagely placed there by another pregnant sow.”

            Now, tell me more about my “elitist agenda” . . . . . . .

        • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 10/09/2014 - 10:59 am.

          Are you aware that pigs are domestic animals?

          “these pigs are not living in a “natural” environment”

          Of course not. Pigs were domesticated 15,000 years ago. Why would you treat a domestic animal like a wild animal?

          • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/09/2014 - 12:00 pm.

            Did I say I would?

            Domestication is unnatural. The fact that unnatural behaviors follow is not unexpected. Therefore, the need to utilize unnatural management techniques also comes into play.

            Those are not value statements – they’re simply statements of fact.

            Where ethical lines start coming into play is when we acknowledge that we – the domesticators – have created this situation, and that therefore we – the domesticators – have choices in how we proceed to manage the situation.

            Of course those choices are driven in part (almost certainly in *large* part) by an economic component. But we owe it to those animals we have domesticated to acknowledge that they are powerless in the face of the choices we make on their behalf, and that because of that, we have a responsibility towards those animals in our care. That should also play a part in the choices that we make.

            It is disingenuous to pretend that the constrained spaces in which animals are housed does not have an effect on their behavior. And it’s a fact that those behaviors are not always pretty. Trying to solely blame the *animals* for those behaviors is both unfair and illogical.

            We created the situation, we must address it. It’s as simple as that.

            • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/09/2014 - 01:00 pm.

              behaviors

              It’s also disingenuous to pretend that those same behaviors did not take place in areas where the animals are not in constrained spaces. The author stated that they do display those same behaviors when not in constrained spaces. Do you have some proof that they don’t? If not then you are the one who is unfair and illogical.

          • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 10/09/2014 - 12:17 pm.

            Housing

            I believe people are advocating for something in between wrapping the pig in a straight jacket or letting them run feral through the forest. Instead of running from one gunwale on the boat to the other, how about the center?

            • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/09/2014 - 01:32 pm.

              Bingo!

              A responsible acceptance of our responsibilities.

              It’s really not all that difficult a concept to understand.

            • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/09/2014 - 04:22 pm.

              Straight Jacket?

              I think it is obvious that you and the other person posting on here have some extremist views if you are comparing the current system of raising swine to having straight jackets on them. It is also obvious that neither of you are advocating for anything in the middle and both think pigs should roam the countryside free (wild, free-living) as stated by the other poster. I think the author of the article nailed it with her well thought out reasoning as to why the current system is better. To suggest otherwise is not a well educated opinion.

        • Submitted by Wanda Patsche on 10/14/2014 - 09:42 pm.

          Pat, these are natural behaviors. Pigs have a social hierarchy where they need to determine who is the “king” sows. These behaviors include attacking/injuring/killing other sows in order to determine their pecking order. The purpose of barns is to minimize stressors such as these behaviors. You talk about economic drivers. Housing them outside costs a lost less money than building barns and housing them inside.

    • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/08/2014 - 09:31 am.

      read the article

      Did you read the article at all? everything you stated was addressed in the article already. The author never painted the simplistic picture that “natural” is bad. The author was simply writing an article to those with the simplistic view that anything not organic or pasture raised or without gestation crates is bad. You need to get over yourself. The author stated in the article that the behaviors the pigs display do happen when not in confinement. Read the article before you make dumb comments.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/08/2014 - 02:20 pm.

        “Dumb comments”?

        Um – moderators – is this what passes for intelligent discussion?

        As to whether or not the behaviors happen when pigs are not “in confinement” – I’d need some definitions of what does or does not constitute “confinement” as well as some comparisons of population densities of pigs in agriculture compared to population densities of wild, free-living pigs.

        • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/09/2014 - 01:02 pm.

          Read the article

          The article has your definitions right there if you care to re-read it. It would be improper to compare swine raised for consumption to wild, free-living pigs since those would be feral hogs. Feral hogs are very dangerous creatures that should be eradicated because of the destruction they cause.

          • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/09/2014 - 01:36 pm.

            Feral animals are those which once lived as domesticated animals which escaped at some point and are now living free. Feral animals are not the same as wild animals which have never been domesticated, and it is not uncommon for behaviors of feral animals to differ from those of their truly wild counterparts.

            • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/09/2014 - 04:14 pm.

              exactly

              So you would advocate creating more feral hogs then. Great plan.

              • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/09/2014 - 04:26 pm.

                Talk about missing the boat!

                Where did I advocate for creating feral hogs? You might wish to reread the thread. A little more slowly this time.

            • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 11/06/2014 - 10:42 am.

              wild-free living swine

              Definition right from MDA feral swine report as follows: Wild or wild-living swine (Sus scrofa) are any form of free-ranging pigs and can include Eurasian wild boar, feral hogs, or hybrids between these two. Impacts of this is as follows from same report: In addition to ecosystem impacts, wild pigs can damage timber, pastures, and, especially, agricultural crops. A conservative estimate of wild pig damage to agricultural crops and the environment in the United States is $1.5 billion annually.

              Link: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/reports/legislative/feral_swine_2010.pdf

      • Submitted by Wanda Patsche on 10/14/2014 - 09:43 pm.

        Thank you for your comments Joe Smithers.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 10/09/2014 - 09:45 pm.

      Does the same logic apply to humans?

      If so, why is it ideal to pack as many humans as possible into our downtown urban areas where we are all close to everything since most of the housing goes straight up, nobody has a yard, but a bus or train arrives at our doorstep to take us a few blocks to work, the theater, or our nearest bike trail?

    • Submitted by Wanda Patsche on 10/14/2014 - 09:38 pm.

      The savage behavior I am talking about occurred when we housed our animals outside in what is called free range. That is why there was a mud puddle where the piglets were drowned.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/16/2014 - 06:50 pm.

        Definition of “free range”

        As I understand it, there is no official definition of “free range” for pigs.

        I found this on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_range#Free-range_livestock), so take it as you will, but if you wish to clarify what it says, hopefully you’ll have another citation(s) to support your statement:

        [begin quote]
        “The USDA has no specific definition for ‘free-range’ beef, pork, and other non-poultry products. All USDA definitions of ‘free-range’ refer specifically to poultry.[9] No other criteria-such as the size of the range or the amount of space given to each animal-are required before beef, lamb, and pork can be called ‘free-range’. Claims and labeling using ‘free range’ are therefore unregulated. The USDA relies ‘upon producer testimonials to support the accuracy of these claims’.”
        [end quote]

  3. Submitted by Sally Sorensen on 10/07/2014 - 09:04 am.

    The customers are always wrong

    Is there any successful industry that tells customers–whether corporations, retail outlets or consumers–that they’re simply wrong, wrong, wrong about what they want in a product?

    • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/08/2014 - 09:38 am.

      Customers drive the industry. The customers preferences are what drives the industry to produce pork the way it does today. Gone is the fatty pork we used to have. Now we have lean, good tasting pork due to pressure from consumers to get rid of the fat in pork. Some may still prefer fattier pork and that is fine because there are producers who sell that but the majority of the public does not want that.

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/07/2014 - 10:02 am.

    Let Us Not Forget

    That a substantial number of people trying to reform the way farmers raise their animals for human consumption,…

    are harboring the hope that other humans will come to be so offended by the treatment of such animals,…

    (and I believe maltreatment certainly does exist)…

    the human consumption of animals as food will come to an end.

    Some seem to assign “innocence” to animals that places those animals on a higher moral plain that any human can possibly attain.

    Over the past few decades, they began by attacking beef,…

    then came pork,…

    and, in case you hadn’t noticed, the health-damaging effects of the consumption of chicken (which was previously held up as the healthy alternative to red meat) is now increasingly beginning to be questioned.

    No doubt, fish will be next,…

    followed by grain.

    I’ve already read references to the “suffering of plants” caused by our raising them in controlled ways and consuming them for food.

    I suppose “soylent green” is the only acceptable way for humans to find nourishment for at least a few folks who have come to believe, in the depths of their souls, that humans are the source of all evil on the planet,…

    (that when animals commit violence against each other, when they tear each other apart and consume each other for food, when plants and fungi poison us, other animals, or each other, that can’t possibly be evil because it’s “natural”)

    and who believe that Planet Earth would be far better off without us.

    • Submitted by Laurella Desborough on 10/08/2014 - 12:06 pm.

      Pig Farming

      Greg has pointed out the critical factor here….the animal rights goal of removing all meat from our plates, not to mention, all pets from our lives, all exotics from our zoos, and all research animals from our labs. This radical movement has captured the hearts and minds of too many compassionate humans who do not fully understand the ramifications of this radical movement. These good people have been well propagandized for over some 30 years now by the dedicated animal rights leaders. If only they realized they have been hoodwinked!!!

      In terms of the appropriate care for animals, I think it is amazing that ANYONE who is not or has not worked with farm animals has the GALL to suggest to farmers that they know a better way to care for these animals than those with the experience, the background and the training. It is truly incredible as it makes no sense. I don’t think most of us are going to ask plumbers how our surgery should be performed. Nor do I think we should be listening to anyone who has “ideas” about the natural world and how it works so that those “ideas” can be implemented by farmers!

      Growing up on a farm where the animals were treated well, it is abundantly clear that life among animals is not Disneyworld. Even with plenty of space to roam, hogs can be murderous with each other. We had a 40 acre fenced area with trees, hills, streams for about a dozen hogs…and they would still behave murderously towards their young and each other. Hogs are animals, not some kind of compassionate creatures. The same can be said of rabbits…house a bunch together and you will have murderous fights….just as they do IN THE WILD!!!

      It is all well and good for individuals with no actual experience with animals, domestic OR wild, to think that “there oughta be a better way” to care for them…but that simply doesn’t make it so!!! Reality is a harsh teacher, but I do think some reality infused into the experiences and minds of the animal rights followers would provide them with sufficient information to cause some serious re-thinking of their position regarding animal care and welfare.

  5. Submitted by eric mills on 10/08/2014 - 12:42 am.

    hog farming

    Consider this quote from renowned poet/essayist/novelist WENDELL BERRY, himself a fifth-generation Kentucky farmer:

    “The designers of animal factories appear to have had in mind the example of concentration camps or prisons, the aim of which is to house and feed the greatest numbers in the smallest space at the least expense of money, labor, and attention.”

    And if the welfare of intensively-farmed hogs is as bad as depicted here, then perhaps we shouldn’t be farming/eating these animals at all. The Jews and Muslims get along just fine without pork. So could the rest of us, if we weren’t so damned selfish. Reminds me of the old bumper strip: “Humans are not the only animal on the planet. We just act like it.”

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 10/08/2014 - 08:06 am.

      Pigs

      But I love my bacon! Please don’t ask me to give it up!

      Joking aside, I’ve tried different types of bacon just to see how it pans out. The free range organic bacon I get at the local co-op is absolutely out of this world wonderful! The regular bacon I picked up at the local Cub Foods was so inedible I had to throw it out. The bacon didn’t even fry up when I put it in the pan. It was injected with so much water that it simply boiled.

      Yes, the organic bacon cost a lot more, but shitty food isn’t worth it even if it’s free. Sorry about the language. I was going to use the phrase “crappy food,” but felt that didn’t adequately describe just how bad the bacon was.

      • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/08/2014 - 09:28 am.

        Bacon

        So what? You got some crappy bacon from walmart. If you like organic free range bacon great, go eat it but don’t expect everyone to think it is better. The majority of customers have decided what they prefer and that is what the hog farmers producer now. Get over it.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 10/09/2014 - 01:26 pm.

          Let’s be honest here, Joe

          The majority of customers haven’t decided on anything…the average consumer is going to buy whatever is in front of them at the supermarket on Saturday afternoon. The only preference at this point is what brand is cheaper. You seem a tad defensive about this. I too purchase organic free range bacon, but I also understand the limitations of the production of mass quantities of it. I think Greg laid it out quite nicely…most of us agree that factory farms are essential in being able to feed our population, we just want to see every effort made to assure that the animals live under the best conditions possible and that they are dispatched quickly and humanely. I would expect you and others like you to be at the forefront in condemning farms and personnel that are shown to abuse and torture their animals.

  6. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/10/2014 - 09:59 am.

    Honesty

    I can’t disagree with you at all Jason except that consumers do have choices available to them. If they choose the cheapest then that is their choice to do so. They have many choices in front of them from the cheapest pork factory farmed pork to pasture raised pork to extra lean pork to pork with more fat in it. If the majority of consumers are choosing lean pork or the cheapest pork then that is what the majority of the industry will try to produce for them. Consumers have nothing forced on them these days. I am definitely not in favor of the abuse of animals and will never condone those actions and neither would the author of the article but there are a couple of commenters with an agenda on this forum that would love nothing better than to see any and all confinement barns gone even though science and fact have shown it to be a better system and better for the animals. It is unfortunate that there are a few bad apples that abuse animals but that doesn’t mean confinement raising of swine as a whole is bad for them. If you think I am defensive about it you are absolutely right. I will defend what is right not any ill conceived notion that all pigs should be raised wild and free-running. I would hope you also see the same defensiveness including some nasty tactics from their counterparts when someone disagrees with their theories.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/10/2014 - 12:22 pm.

      I challenge you

      Find me the post and quote where I have stated “that all pigs should be raised wild and free-running”. You won’t find it because I never said it.

      What I said is that confinement raising creates changes in behavior. And since those changes in behavior can sometimes be to the detriment of the animals, confinement raising carries along with it practices that attempt to mitigate the damage.

      What I asked for is honesty in acknowledging the role of confinement raising in creating the need for those management practices. I didn’t say it was right or wrong – I just asked that it be acknowledged. Because if we create it, then we need to own it. As well as the responsibilities that come along with it.

      From there, choices are made. But that’s the starting point. And that’s all I’ve been trying to say.

      • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/10/2014 - 04:13 pm.

        challenge accepted

        Your exact words were “wild, free-living”. Contained in the post titled Dumb Comments. The meaning sounds the same to people reading your posts. I think we need to agree to disagree because as the author of the article already stated those behaviors existed with swine not raised in confinement barns so obviously the behaviors were not created by the confinement situation. I’m not sure why you want to keep closing your ears to anyone who has experience in the matter that tells you that. Both the author and I have experience actually raising swine and have told you that they still exhibit those behaviors in more open (pasture, open lot or other) situations and I’m sure thousands of other hog farmers would tell you the same thing. I think we’ve been pretty honest about it all along. It’s been falling on deaf ears apparently though. It’s the management practices that have been created as a result of the natural behaviors as a way to better care for them not the other way around. Confinement has been proven over time through many trials and errors, experiments, and farmers experience to be better for the swine and the environment but don’t let those facts get in the way of your agenda.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/11/2014 - 11:11 am.

          Reading comprehension

          Am I the only one reading this thread who is somewhat astonished that someone would think that quoting a couple of adjectives qualifies as “proving” that someone has made an entire statement describing their position?

          With this level of reading comprehension, is it any wonder that having any kind of a productive discussion is so difficult?

  7. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/16/2014 - 03:41 pm.

    Comprehension

    I think most people reading these comments can see what your position has been all along. I called you out on it and now you want to change it. Hate to break it to you, but that would contradict what you posted then. Just keep ignoring the truth.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/16/2014 - 06:34 pm.

      Trying to define others

      See now, this is interesting. I direct readers to this comment of yours on another thread:

      http://www.minnpost.com/minnesota-blog-cabin/2014/08/5-lessons-learned-while-working-oink-booth-minnesota-state-fair#comment-201487

      In which a commenter specifically states ” I grew up on a large farm where we raised pigs” and you – because you disagreed with her – simply stated that she was lying and based on that you discarded everything she had to say.

      Well, I hate to break this to you, but that’s not the way it works. You don’t get to declare what people “know” or define their positions for them because you don’t happen to like what they’re saying.

      And this is why it’s so hard to get anywhere in these discussions.

      I asked you a very simple question requesting a very simple answer on another thread. We’ll see how that goes . . . . . . .

  8. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/17/2014 - 10:02 am.

    Other reader

    It was obvious she had no experience raising hogs based on her opinion and I called her out on it. She displayed zero knowledge of how hogs were raised. I fail to see what point you are trying to prove by this. It wasn’t just because I didn’t like her position it was because her lack of knowledge gave her away.

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