By: Lana Hollenback

It’s a simple word that I’d lay odds that most of us have used in one form or another over the years. We see people doing stupid things and we go off. Yet going off never changes it. Coming face to face and arguing will never change it. We rant and rave and it does not change. I am 70 yrs old and I’ve ranted and raved but it never ever changed the stupidity. I have been in pig rescue for over 20 yrs. I’ve turned on my computer and went off at some of the stupidity I have seen on there. But because of my early training in dealing with people, I have learned that you don’t change stupidity with all the ranting and raving you do. Only one way to change it and that is by educating the person being the one in need. Yet you can’t sit a pig person down and say “I’m going to teach you the right way.” They will never sit and accept and listen to the real answer. But you can educate them by sharing where they will read it or hear it. Then how do you educate this type of person?

For years since being in the pig rescue, we have watched people try and get the breeders and the rescuers working together. It has never worked and here is why.

A breeder may love the pig but the most important thing that pig does for her is to bring in dollars. Seldom if ever will they take a pig back and if they do, they don’t let go of the dollars. So their motivation is the dollars involved in breeding. So will say they aren’t in it for the money but to help others enjoy the pig. But people want itty bitty piggies and so the breeder will line breed (in a rescuers term that is inbreeding) to help get them small. They won’t even be truthful about size. One breeder even went as far as to send me to a link to a study done in the University of Gottingen, Germany to prove you could breed them down. Paper done by the writers and those doing the long term study had published their whole paper about it and how to do it. Well the breeder must not have read the whole thing but I did over a few wks. I’m a very slow reader when it comes to technical stuff. I found that maybe she had not read the whole thing. On page 95 it reads and I quote “But it is most unlikely that there is a linear selection response over generations because of an expected reduction of the variance and possible changes in genetic parameters too. In addition with a further reduction of live weight there is also the risk of reducing other fitness traits.”

So it had warned of having health problems and most of us already know this because we as rescues see it almost on a daily basis. Take poor Sophie who lived and died a horrible death because of what the breeder had told the man to do. Talk about stupidity. I wanted to lash out at both the man and his wife and the breeder.

So as a rescuer, as some of you are, I look at this situation and others and think “Stupidity”. Can we work with the breeders that breed and sell and lie for the all mighty dollar? We don’t rescue for the money. We love the pig and we want that pig to live a happy, healthy life in and with a person or family that will love it. We drive for miles to make this happen. We spend our dollars to save the pig and ask for nothing in return. True love. Every rescuer knows it. So we can not work with breeders and be proud that as we work so hard to save one, they are bring yet more into the picture that down the road we’ll have to more then likely rescue and re-home. And it goes on and on. What can we do to make a difference?

How do we fight stupidity and how do we make a difference as a rescuer? We educate. We don’t get involved with breeders but we educate the new pig owner or the person wanting to spend money so that they can have a pig. Education is the key but it will only work when we pull together and begin to educate by speaking up and telling the truth vs. the lies. We rant to ourselves over the stupidity but we educate when sharing and talking to people on social media’s and email groups and one on one. We’re not afraid to say when we are wrong and then we make the changes necessary. We combat stupidity with TRUTH. We don’t hold hands with stupidity but none the less we recognize it and combat it. Do you really want the breeders’ organizations to use your name and hard work and your organization to prove that breeding is ok? No we don’t. We want to educate people and love the pig in the process. We can do this. We can make a difference in the lives of pet pigs. We do it together as rescue people who really love the pig.