Archive for December 5th, 2009

The Pen is Mightier than the Swine

December 5, 2009

Two Cents Worth in the Nickel City

The Pen is Mightier than the Swine

It seems that with every Spring a different mutation of the flu virus rears its ugly head and then the pharmaceutical industry races against time to come up with a drug to vaccinate the masses.   First, it was thought that the “swine” flu was caused by some inerrant association with pigs, but not the pigs themselves.  Then the WHO (World Health Organization, not the rock band) decides that the term, “swine flu” is detrimental to pig farmers and changes the “official” name to H1N1, (no relation to R2D2) because the flu is not being spread by pigs and eating pork is okay.  NOW  pigs in Alberta are being infected by the flu formerly known as swine by HUMANS.  Do we need to change the name again?  Is it safe to say that eating humans is not a good idea?

Contrary to popular belief, pigs are rather clean animals and fairly intelligent.  Pigs take to the mud because they have no sweat glands and this enables them to stay cool.  It also helps to rid them of insects and parasites.  Pigs protect their young, tend to congregate, and are choosy about where they leave their feces.  While most domesticated animals will just go when the mood strikes them, pigs choose a designated area all on their own.  On the list of creatures with the most intelligence on Earth;  pigs rank 4th  behind dolphins/whales, 3rd, primates (monkeys, apes, etc.) 2nd, and human beings, 1st.  So pigs are smarter than cats, dogs, and horses, but do not make good pets because they get bored easily.  Harry Truman, 33rd president of the U.S. was once quoted as saying, “No man should be president who doesn’t understand hogs ”  It seems pigs are often misunderstood.


WHO has estimated that 2 billion people could become infected with the swine flu.  That is a pandemic that would rival the Spanish flu of the 1920’s and the Hong Kong flu of the late 60’s.  With all the modern advances in medical research and preventative medicines, I thought we would see another wide spread flu like this again when pigs could fly, but hold on.  Now the WHO says that the swine flu has mutated with the bird flu.  We may have an entire animal farm flu before long.

As of this writing, the human/swine/bird  flu has been widely spread throughout Canada due largely from traveling back and forth to Mexico, where the flu is rampant.  They say that in order to prevent spreading the flu you should wash your hands (like your mother told you to do) after using the toilet and before eating.  It makes me wonder if we are being subjected to viruses simply because people are not educated about sanitary provisions in the work place?  Dirty handed workers handling pigs?  Oh!  The humanity!  How could this be?  We are first on the intelligence scale!  Cleanliness is next to godliness!

Now realistically, we cannot expect wash basins and soap for every hog lot in North America, but will somebody please give those Alberta pigs some disinfectant wipes?