Posts Tagged ‘Human Evolution GMO’

The Wild and Free Pigs of the Okefenokee Swamp

I love how wisdom hides in faery tales and folklore. While listening to “The Fellowship of the Ring” (Book 1 of LOTR), I sensed stunning parallels to our own times. The oral tradition sparks long dormant parts of our brains, especially when we hear stories drawing upon wisdom from ancient times. Whenever I encounter “old wives’ tales,” I often find sound nutritional or practical advice, and when I read folklore, it usually leaps off the page at me. Here’s a tale that jumped off the screen today:

The Wild and Free Pigs of the Okefenokee Swamp
based on a telling by George Gordon

Some years ago, about 1900, an old trapper from North Dakota hitched up some horses to his Studebaker wagon, packed a few possessions — especially his traps — and drove south.

Several weeks later he stopped in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

It was a Saturday morning — a lazy day — when he walked into the general store. Sitting around the pot-bellied stove were seven or eight of the town’s local citizens.

The traveler spoke. “Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?”

Some of the old timers looked at him like he was crazy.

“You must be a stranger in these parts,” they said.

“I am. I’m from North Dakota,” said the stranger.

“In the Okefenokee Swamp are thousands of wild hogs.” one old man explained.

“A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!”

He lifted up his leg. “I lost half my leg here, to the pigs of the swamp.”

Another old fellow said, “Look at the cuts on me; look at my arm bit off!”

“Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, eating snakes and rooting out roots and fending for themselves for over a hundred years. They’re wild and they’re dangerous. You can’t trap them. No man dare go into the swamp by himself.”

Every man nodded his head in agreement.

The old trapper said, “Thank you so much for the warning. Now could you direct me to the swamp?”

They said, “Well, yeah, it’s due south — straight down the road.”

But they begged the stranger not to go, because they knew he’d meet a terrible fate.

He said, “Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load it in the wagon.” And they did.

Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road. The townsfolk thought they’d never see him again.

Two weeks later the man came back. He pulled up to the general store, got down off the wagon, walked in and bought ten more sacks of corn.

After loading it up he went back down the road toward the swamp.

Two weeks later he returned and again bought ten sacks of corn.

This went on for a month. And then two months, and three.

Every week or two the old trapper would come into town on a Saturday morning, load up ten sacks of corn, and drive off south into the swamp.

The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation. People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.

One morning the man came into town as usual. Everyone thought he wanted more corn.

He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men were gathered around the stove. He took off his gloves.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “I need to hire about ten or fifteen wagons. I need twenty or thirty men.”

“I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up, and they’re all hungry. I’ve got to get them to market right away.”

“You’ve WHAT in the swamp?” asked the storekeeper, incredulously.

“I have six thousand hogs penned up. They haven’t eaten for two or three days, and they’ll starve if I don’t get back there to feed and take care of them.”

One of the old-timers said, “You mean you’ve captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?”

“That’s right.”

“How did you do that? What did you do?” the men urged, breathlessly.

One of them exclaimed, “But I lost my arm!”

“I lost my brother!” cried another.

“I lost my leg to those wild boars!” chimed a third.

The trapper said, “Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right.”

“They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn’t come out. I dared not get off the wagon.”

“So I spread corn along behind the wagon. Every day I’d spread a sack of corn.”

“The old pigs would have nothing to do with it.”

“But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes. So the very young began to eat the corn first.”

“I did this every day. Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn.”

“After all, they were all free; they were not penned up. They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time.”

“The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time. So I selected a clearing, and I started putting the corn in the clearing.”

“At first they wouldn’t come to the clearing. It was too far. It was too open. It was a nuisance to them.”

“But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes. And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day.”

“And so the pigs learned to come to the clearing every day to get their free corn.”

“They could still subsidize their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted. After all, they were all free. They could run in any direction at any time. There were no bounds upon them.”

“The next step was to get them used to fence posts.”

“So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing. I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn’t get suspicious or upset.”

“After all, they were just sticks sticking up out of the ground, like the trees and the brush. The corn was there every day. It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn, and walk back out.”

“This went on for a week or two. Shortly they became very used to walking into the clearing, getting the free corn, and walking back out through the fence posts.”

“The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom. I also left a few openings, so that the older, fatter pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail.”

“After all, it was no real threat to their freedom or independence. They could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time.”

“Now I decided that I wouldn’t feed them every day. I began to feed them every other day.”

“On the days I didn’t feed them the pigs still gathered in the clearing. They squealed, and they grunted, and they begged and pleaded with me to feed them.”

“But I only fed them every other day. And I put a second rail around the posts.”

“Now the pigs became more and more desperate for food. Because now they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots and finding their own food. They now needed me. They needed my corn every other day.”

“So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate. And I put up a third rail around the fence.”

“But it was still no great threat to their freedom, because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will.”

“Finally I put up the fourth rail.”

“Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well.”

“Yesterday I closed the last gate. And today I need you to help me take these pigs to market.”

Link to original article here (as sent by Rachel Thomas to NHCCS).

[Laura again here…

Sooo, one obvious lesson: “Don’t eat the GMO corn!” ;), but seriously …

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then you will find out that money cannot be eaten”
– Cree Indian Prophecy]

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds

Thanks to Ann Kreilkamp at Exopermaculture for bringing this gem of a video to my attention. Wow, two of my favorite people on the planet — Bill Moyers and Vandana Shiva — talking about GMO’s, making Peace with the Earth, and the interconnectedness of all things.

From Ann’s notes:

Moyers asks her what keeps her going.

Vandana Shiva: There’s a very simple lesson that Krishna gives in the Gita: You do not measure the fruit of your action. You measure your obligation for action. You have to find out what is the right thing to do. That is your duty. Whether you win or lose is not the issue.

Small farmers are still producing 80% of the world’s food. We forget the scale of what smallness means multiplied many times, because we’ve gotten used to the dinosaur mentality. We only see the big. We forget that dinosaurs went extinct.

Moyers: some people have said that globalization, the movement of people, ideas, money, across national boundaries as if they didn’t exist is also a demonstration of interconnectedness.

Shiva: First of all, this is not interconnectedness. It’s an extremely artificial corporate rule on a global scale. All that’s floating around is commodities! Still the billiard board (Newtonian) model! The world of interconnectedness would recognize that the rivers of China need to flow free. . . That people at work need to exercise. . .

This corporatization of the globe into commodities — that “flow” is not a flow of interconnectedness, but is leading to disconnection. I watch every day, the displacement, the divisions, and the violence that results.

That’s “interconnectedness” through greed, and an exclusion of people, the denial of their humanity. We are seeing a drop of our sense of humanity, and a collapse of our recognition that we are one species.

And much, much more from Vandana Shiva, who I’m tempted to say, speaks for the Earth Mother herself. She certainly looks like a goddess!

For more, go to billmoyers.com.

Help Save One of America’s Non-GMO Seed Houses

Another quick update, but one very close to my own heart:

D. Landreth Seeds, America’s oldest seed company, which carries 900+ varieties of heirloom and non-GMO seeds, needs to raise $1 million this month in order to stay in business. A paperwork snafu (detailed on their Facebook page) has resulted in them having less than 30 days to pay back lenders unwilling to give them an extension on their loans. In a world of Frankenfoods and a country with a former Monsanto lawyer appointed Food Czar of the FDA, we need to support all the non-GMO seed companies we can!

Biological diversity remains one of the keys to survival on this planet. Just this week, the news announced that Monsanto’s pesticide-corn crops have been destroyed by the bug they were designed to resist. Mother Nature wins again: bugs adapt faster than the fertility-destroying, health-wrecking GM corn with its own built-in pesticide. Monsanto would love to take over the entire world food supply, and anyone who’s watched Food Inc. knows about the thuggery and aggressive “legal” practices of this corrupt company. While other countries burn down GM crops, the US continues to allow, even encourage, Monsanto to rule the roost. Not only does this present health dangers to those who consume foods that turn on the obesity gene and mess with the endocrine system, but having only one (likely flawed) version of each food makes food famines a widespread and real possibility. When entire crops become decimated, biological diversity offers other strains in place of the vulnerable versions. Heirloom seeds protect this variety, and in turn protect us.

Not to mention taste! Anyone who’s eaten an heirloom tomato knows that the fresh, sweet, tangy burst of flavor puts supermarket tomato clones to shame. There’s just no comparison! Whether you shop organic, grow your own foods, or even just want to support the future of the human race, please take a moment to buy some seeds from Landreth Seed Co. You just never know when those seeds might save your life! Without support, this company WILL go out of business, taking with it a large piece of our own health and freedom. Here’s a link for more information and where to find your seeds. (I have no relation to Landreth Seed Co, by the way. This is just a crucial issue in a crucial time.) Many thanks!