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25 JULY 2017

So follow me follow,

Down to the hollow,

And there we will wallow,

In glorious mud.

This big girl has just had her breakfast and is now attending to her beauty treatment. Just because she is due to farrow in about a week’s time, does not mean she allows herself any slipping of standards. When she emerges from her bath she looks like a primeval beast auditioning for a part in Game of Thrones. Her two sisters are in the paddocks beside her and have between them we now think 18 piglets. It’s difficult to tell because the piglets are small enough to melt through the stock fencing that is supposed to separate them. Besides which the grass in their paddocks is extremely long and until they emerge near the lane you can only hear them but not see them. 

There was an item on the news last week which caught my attention. Apparently the relentless increase of longevity in the UK seems to have stalled. My immediate reaction to this was ‘thank god for that.’ On the Today program however some hapless spokesperson was berated by the interviewer as if civilization itself was threatened by the news. It reminded me of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano bringing aviation to a halt, and a BBC journalist demanding of the geology professor ‘What’s to be done?’ The professor, for an instant non-plussed by the crassness of the question, then replied ‘It’s a volcano.’

The underlying premise of both journalists was that nature is something to be brought under control, dominated, brought to heel. This is not a view I subscribe to. I’m all for medical interventions if a quality of life can be maintained, but just as no pleasure in life is worth giving up for an extra two years in a nursing home, so if all greater longevity means is more suffering, what is the point? Can any agricultural production method be justified that permanently denies the livestock the right to exhibit natural behaviour. See above picture. (And don’t even think of telling me that we are morally obliged to produce more and more food to produce an infinitely large population.)

See you soon