The wild pig story

Someone wrote me the following:

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day, while the class was in the lab, the Professor noticed one student who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.

“You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up – with a gate. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, come through the gate now to eat and then you slam the gate down on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America.

My response was as follows:

This is a favorite story of corporate America that has captured most Americans through television, teaching us year after year what we must buy in order to be cool Americans. We buy on credit. We mortgage our homes and cars. We shop, as the saying goes, until we drop. Then the corporate master teaches us how to get out of debt by going to a debt-consultant who takes more of our earnings to help us pay the corporate overlord.

Corporations do not build fences to catch people. They throw propaganda nets over the people called advertising. The bait in the nets are the TV shows the people watch, and as we watch we are gradually dumbed-down and captured by endless corporate ads that tell us how we must spend our earnings to be acceptable – the new car –the new TV set – the right clothes – on and endlessly on.

Now that we are in debt and need help, the corporations love to tell the pig story. The question they ask is: Why don’t you work to feed yourself and your family? Why aren’t you independent like you should be? Why do you want something free?

I have rarely seen a corporate executive who was hungry. As a corporate executive who tells the pig story he also comes begging to the government to save his company from bankruptcy, and, at the same time, like a true pig, awards himself and his fellow pigs millions in bonuses while over twenty-five percent of America’s children go to bed hungry.

Please tell the children and their parents the pig story.


32 responses to “The wild pig story

  1. Reminds me of your excellent posting:
    “The art of catching pigs”
    December 17, 2008 · 13 Comments.

    Thanks – We need a strong voice in the crowd. I’m Looking forward to your next book.

    • Thanks, Dana. I forgot I had written on this subject before. THank God I am at least consistent.


      • You are not only consistent, but carry the torch and guide the way, much appreciation.

        With as much insanity we are subjected to in our everyday life, it is nice to know someone else knows the wisdom of my Scottie dog.

        Stay well my friend, my camera is poised and I read with enthusiasm…

  2. “Can I have one?” The teenager hears the question and looks at her friend. Then she looks down at her snack. She sees quite a number of chips left. “Sure” she answers. Then she hands the bag for her friend to reach inside and take what she wants.

    “Can you spare some change?” The man hears the question and looks towards his fellow man. But he is frightened by soiled clothes, unwashed hair and body stench. “No” he says. Then, having heard himself lie, he desires to flee the scene and his conscience. The fleeing man is a betrayer and a hypocrite – a betrayer because the poor man trusted him, a hypocrite because the man fled but considered himself still to be good.

    A pig cannot make himself a man except by miracle. But merely through greed, not a miracle, a man can make himself a pig.

  3. Thanks for the great story. Funny I read this story today right after I read a post from psychblogger. This post concerned a recent psych study at Yale that demonstrated that children who watch TV ads for junk food consume much more junk food then children who don’t(can’t go back and check the % while I am writing email). Study goes on to demonstrate how same effect hold for adults. This study is interesting because prior studies on advertising did not seem to indicate this.
    Your fan,

  4. The children will hear it Gerry: at least my sons 12, 10 and 9.

    An elephant, that wise and noble beast, if tethered in youth will not wander when mature even if the rope which tethers is not secured.


  5. It is no wonder that men like Karl Marx had a following. The rich have been sticking to the common man since dirt was a babe in the woods. The method has become more sophisticated, but the grease on the rack has never been changed. America, love it or leave it, hah!

  6. The pig story is quite true and we must be ready fir I believe the three sides of the fence are already up and the gate is about to be shut. Thanks to our politicians and leaders of this once great land of America. What happens when other countries close the gate on our borrowing as they know we can never repay the debt. When that gate is closed and America is owned by people other than Americans. There will be an uprising. It reminds me of the movie, I beleive it was “network” where the lead actor says “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”. We are approaching that, when we see the taxpayers bailing out huge corporations only to find out that the top exec’s are getting millons in bonuses. God help us all. Thank you again Gerry for the much needed wake up call. I heard another term for the “silent majority” “a nation of sheep”.
    May all have a happy holiday season.

  7. There’s too much pork and not enough self-control in corporate America. When good families suffer, people need to stand and tell the world that enough is enough. On truly think we’re finally on the right track…


  8. But aren’t we forgetting that our pig cages do look sorta lovely compared to many third world countries. If one is to be encaged(in any moment in history were we not at least in some form?) then it might as well be this one right?

    I’m not surrendering the fight, just bringing the mind back to reality for the time being.

    • A lady I know recently married and moved to Indonesia with her new husband.I ran into her the other day while she was here visiting. I asked how she liked living in Indonesia. Her comment :It’s boring. I thought she said. Boring?, I asked. “no,POOR!” she corrected me. “It’s so poor, I cried when I saw the way they live there.” She then said the following:”Americans need to go to another country like Indonesia to realize just what they do have here.Even poverty here is above what poverty is there.” Case and point: We are enjoying immediate riches brought to you by credit cards and a materialistic system which dangles eye candy from every infomercial,commercial,and every other method of advertising imaginable. What if we just lose “power” as in electric? We are indeed herded into pig life and oink,oink,snort,snort but scarf down the slop.Obesity? Not a problem. The diet industry can “fix” it. Along with all the clogged arteries and statin drugs to fix the poor eating habits. Hey the pharmecuetical companies love that piggie behavior. Not to knock legitimate health problems,but does it occur to anyone that changing eating habits might change bad health? No, just take a magic pill and all your ills for the rest of your’ll take the pills and they’ll “fix” ya. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to take your own health into your own hands and avoid all those “ills” and “pills”? Gives me “chills” just to think about being a pig and especially a stupid pig. Oh well, think I’ll go eat some popcorn now.

  9. Dear Gerry,
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. And of course, the same to everyone who posts here. I am thankful for many things; my terrific son, my family and friends, and for excellent online communities like yours. I’m also looking forward to your next book, whether it will be The Lambs of Purgatory or your next hard-hitting book like the “Bloodthirsty” one. Have a great day, everybody.

  10. Well, at least those pigs actually got some corn. The true art of advertising is to make us believe that we are actually getting something for nothing or that the ultimate cost paid is well worth it. Just like the pigs, we become clueless to the reality of what is actually being sacrificed. Speaking of pigging out, here’s hoping everyone got enough to eat this Thanksgiving…

  11. Mr.Spence,

    This is from a quote from one of my favourite writers & I bet you knew this writer – Kurt Vonnegut

    A quote by Kurt Vonnegut

    1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

  12. The pig— the pig in your story– could not
    thrive, but for politicans, called members of
    Congress. The billion dollar bonuses,
    coming on the gravy drain of bail outs was
    all corporate wellfaire.
    It was sold on the premise the entire system
    our way of life in America would come crashing
    down if vast billions was not handed over to
    the corporate investment banking piggy.
    Dare any note the name of the politican who
    got the most PAC money from the corporate
    investment banking Piggy.
    His name B Obama.
    He touted the speech; hope and change.
    Why, I bet Gerry even voted for him.
    Is that so, Gerry ?
    And, $. 11 trillion in a crushing debt has
    been loaded on to the new slave class:
    American citizens.
    we are not animals, we art not robots.
    Tell us — Mr neighbor of Dick Cheney, in
    the Tetons, how do we deal with this revolting
    situation. ?
    What prey tell, what, those piggy investment banking orgs, were consuming more than
    corn, our Nation was devoured.
    You and Argus are soon going on
    to the big Ranch in the sky,
    but look what is the mess left for many generations to come.
    What is your advice Sir Gerry on
    those matters, what do you have as sage
    advice on that, please if you can lay it out..?

  13. “Democracy is buying a big house you can’t afford with money you don’t have to impress people you wish were dead. And, unlike communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties…..Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them something to hold onto–usually a mop or a leaf blower. It means that with proper timing and scrupulous bookkeepping, anyone can die owing the government a huge amount of money. And finally, democracy is the eagle on the back of a dollar bill, with 13 arrows in one claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its head–this signifies that when the white man came to this country, it was bad luck for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck for the wildlife, and lights out for the American eagle.

    Johnny Carson

  14. Are we not all pigs, it’s just the ones with millions are higher on the hog?

    • We are too Pigs!!!
      And sloppy keepers of the earth too. It doesn’t take moola to make a mess,but it sure enables more mess. Why do hogs get such a bad wrap? As in bacon,little piggies,pigging out. Miss Piggy did pretty well, though and Porky.

      FYI: Some in the scientific community say the reason we are being visited by aliens who hide in the shadows is due to our uncleanliness of our planet.
      “Extraterrestrials are critical of the people’s amoral behavior referring to the humans’ interference in nature’s processes.”

  15. We have met the hogs,
    Does Lee have to get a mortgage ?
    Call it, housing for the living.
    We see the largest concentrations of hogs in Congress, at the high tiers of the Political Party,
    these fat hogs need more and more corporate PAC money to stay elected.
    Now that housing for us the living,
    is one where the house is losing value.
    It is really one hell of a mess.
    Are we part of the problem ?
    Are we part of the solution.
    Somehow, we see piggie like
    behavior in our leaders, but we call it
    a Party system.
    The Party is over, fellow party pigs.
    Leave your party, and start a revolution.
    Be a real American !

  16. Thank you very much for sharing this story.

  17. The extremely intelligent and beautiful Judge Jeanine Pirro has pigs as
    her beloved pets in her backyard, right down to “dog houses” for them for inclement weather.

    Don’t think I’d call them “hogs” in her presence !!

    (Just one mans opinion…..)

  18. Glad to see we’re both still on the same page.
    If you get time, here’s a link to something I had to say on the subject:

  19. anti_fascist_freedom_fighter

    Gerry – great story, but didn’t you forget the “punchline”?: now that they’re in the pen, the pigs went from freedom to a condition of non-personhood, from independent free spirits to common chattel. Now the pigs only exist as personal property of the farmer, who can slaughter them at will or exploit them for his own benefit, to the exclusion of all others. And who is the farmer, in this story? Why the multinational corporations, of course.

    The piggies path from freedom to slavery was caused by the piggies thinking that the free and easy corn was better than foraging in the wild for the food mother nature provided. How does this apply to you and I? I’m not sure, I’m too far in the middle of the pen to know anymore. Gerry, perhaps you can hunt all the game you need to feed yourself up in Montana, but for the rest of us, the hope to rely on mother nature was killed with the Native Americans… Unless we work and shop in a collective, unless we take all our money out of the Bailout Banks and put it into credit unions, unless we make the effort to buy from local producers and boycott Walmart et al., all we got left is the corporate corn. Hey, it’s easy to reach and it sure tastes good. Oink Oink.

    I suppose we could vote for changes, but since Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific RR, corporations have been slowly acquiring all the rights of citizens, we now await the final nail in the coffin, the final evolutionary transfiguration of corporations into super-Frankenstein monsters. I am talking, of course, of the outright blatant piss-in-your face theft of all elections by corporations, whereby the very notion that we could at least imagine ourselves free citizens shall be erased. The end of the constitution as a document protecting the rights of men shall soon be rewritten to be a document which protects only the rights of corporations. Yes, the new constitution shall soon be announced by Samuel Alito in the two recent cases heard before the Supreme court: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Company. The weapon they shall use is disenfranchisement. Now every American will get a chance to feel what it was like to be a “freed black man” in the post-civil war South. “Sure, ya’ll can vote, boy… Just mark yo’ ballot and put in the nigra box ovah there!”

    Don’t they know they can already steal all the votes they want through electronic voting machines? See So why? Why was it necessary for the corporations to bring this lawsuit, to get the Neocon Supreme court to abdicate the right of each state to control their elections, and the right of each state to decide if corporations can or can’t rig elections with their outrageous financial power to outspend the common man? The first thing that comes to mind is that this is the ghost of the Hammer Tom Delay, who would still be King of Congress, if it weren’t for his criminal violations of these very kinds of laws. His removal from congress was the work of Ronnie Earl, a brave lawyer much like yourself, Mr. Spence, who kicked Delay the Dictator’s royal ass. You should hold a retreat for these kind of prosecutors, for the real prosecutors who uphold their pledge to defend the constitution and to defend the people. My father was one of those prosecutors. I miss him every day.

    Well, soon, “the people” will mean “the corporations”, and the prosecutors will be duty bound to defend the corporations against “we the mere hominids”. Or did I mean to say “we the pigs”?

    Oh well, just scoop some more corporate corn out on the ground for me, Mr. Overseer. Oink oink! God bless public-private America!

  20. If a person is sitting in an ER waiting room who has no health insurance (because he chose not to buy any) and a big CEO of a company walks through the ER and as a benefactor of that hospital has just delivered another check to the hospital’s foundation for $100,000……

    which one of those 2 people are the human wild pigs?

  21. The person sitting awaiting free medical treatment in the expensive-to-operate ER does have a job and takes frequent vacations in Hawaii. (More common than people realize)

    The $100,000 latest gift to the hospital by the benefactor is his own money, not in corp. name.

  22. I’m The Slime lyrics – Frank Zappa

    I am gross and perverted
    I’m obsessed ‘n deranged
    I have existed for years
    But very little has changed
    I’m the tool of the Government
    And industry too
    For I am destined to rule
    And regulate you
    I may be vile and pernicious
    But you can’t look away
    I make you think I’m delicious
    With the stuff that I say
    I’m the best you can get
    Have you guessed me yet?I’m the slime oozin’ out From your TV set
    You will obey me while I lead you
    And eat the garbage that I feed you
    Until the day that we don’t need you
    Don’t go for help . . . no one will heed you
    Your mind is totally controlled
    It has been stuffed into my mold
    And you will do as you are told
    Until the rights to you are sold
    That’s right, folks . . .
    Don’t touch that dial Well, I am the slime from your video
    Oozin’ along on your livin’ room floor
    I am the slime from your video
    Can’t stop the slime, people, lookit me go
    I am the slime from your video
    Oozin’ along on your livin’ room floor
    I am the slime from your video
    Can’t stop the slime, people, lookit me go

  23. Sex with wild pigs = Boargasms !

  24. Mr. Spence – I see it like this. Pigs like to eat corn. Corn doesn’t grow wild; so why wouldn’t pigs feed on something they like if it’s made available to them? I am a simple person. I grew up in the country with no indoor plumbing and nothing fancy. My father was hard-working, honest, and very intelligent though he had to quit school in the 7th grade to help out on his father’s farm (1930s). My mother is 78 years old, honest, hard-working, and still working in a seafood factory, picking meat from blue crabs, which she has done since she was a small child, like her mother did before her. No drama here, just the truth. I tell you this because it puts my world (upbringing) in context with my comments. We actually raised a pig or two when I was growing up. I some times see things in their simplest forms. Why do people use stories such as these to foster one point of view over another? Pigs are not the smartest creatures in the world but they really love corn and if it’s available they will certainly eat it. I see hungry pigs who desire to eat something they like. Because their environment is slowly manipulated they are caught by a man (farmer) who wants food (pork) to either consume himself or to sell to another. If the farmer sells the pork he is likely to be manipulated too, maybe not with a wooden fence but in similar fashion. How do we arrive at the conclusion stated in this story, that the pigs have forgotten how to forage? We only know that they have lost their freedom and are thus unable to go back into the woods to forage. I totally agree with you that this story is a “propaganda net” which entraps the reader with a false conclusion (like the wooden fence). I admire your work.

  25. While in Boulder City NV beginning a new life at 43 after a very ugly divorce proceeding, I was lucky to
    attend NEW LIFE CHURCH and hear the famous author Vernon Howard lecture. His book,
    Power of the Subconscious Mind has a story much like your Wild Pigs, except he uses Vultures or Eagles who have forgotten how to fly because they relied on free handouts. One escaped. Mr. Howard died and his flock moved on. It is rumored he was a drunk in the street when
    Dezi Arnez Jr. found him and enlightened him. Dezi bought him a church and had all his spoiled rich Kids -friends attend. I am sorry to say I did not fit in and was shunned in the town. That chapter is reserved for collaboration with my friend, Jesse.
    of Boulder City NV.

  26. Sometimes “Wild Pigs” can be a hoot and cause you to have “Boargasms”!

  27. Elmo probably explains admiring Wild Pigs best.

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