Remember the Old Phrase “Buying a Pig in a Poke”?

April 17, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

Michigan pigThat’s when something is presented in a way that conceals its true nature—which is the case right now in Michigan. Action Alert!

In 2010, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued an Invasive Species Order (ISO), ostensibly to “help stop the spread of feral swine and the disease risk they pose to humans, domestic pigs, and wildlife as well as their potential for extensive agricultural and ecosystem damage.” So far, it sounds OK. But the swine in question are identified by such ubiquitous characteristics (mainly hair color) that most any open-range pigs, especially heritage or “old world” breeds—often being raised on small family farms—will now be defined as illegal “invasive species” and thus unjustly threatened with eradication. The order went into effect April 1, 2012.
Possession of these animals carries up to a two-year jail sentence and $20,000 in fines. Moreover, the ISO allows the DNR to seize and destroy heritage breeds of pigs raised by Michigan farmers on the spot—and without compensation. So far, the Michigan DNR has conducted two armed raids on pig farmers in that state, one in Kalkaska County at Fife Lake and another in Cheboygan County. The raids involved six vehicles and ten armed men.
Because the ISO deems farmers who raise these pigs to be felons, DNR officials were ready to make arrests on the scene and prosecute them. Mike Adams reports that one farmer, upon being served with a search warrant, heart-wrenchingly shot all his own pigs (including pregnant sows and dozens of piglets) to avoid being arrested as a felon. His livelihood has now been destroyed, but the DNR was satisfied and made no arrests.
This ISO is a blatant attempt to take away property rights, freedom of food choice, and market share through the force of law. What’s really behind it?
These are the very pigs that farmers and ranchers in Michigan have been raising for decades; there are indications that this ISO may have been nudged into position by the conventional pork industry as a tactic to wipe out competition from the local, specialty ranchers and farmers who don’t work for the Michigan Pork Growers’ Association. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund sees it as an attack on the local food movement and a brazen power grab that threatens the livelihood of small farmers across the state. A video created by a family farmer clearly explains the issue.
This is, however, part of a much bigger problem. Right now you get paid less for beef cows if they are the “wrong” color. Generally feeder cattle that are uniform in color, regardless of what color, will sell for a higher price than those that are less uniform in color. (More information about the economics of cattle color can be found here.) But heritage-breed cows, a vital pool of genetic diversity, are almost always “the wrong color.” If cows are bred for one color, you lose a lot more than other colors. You lose a great deal of genetic diversity which could prove to be very important for the future.
A standardized color is only obtained with an engineered animal. If you control for color, you lose genetic diversity and are left only with “engineered” animals. It is, of course, much easier for Big Farma to create monopolies from engineered animals.
You can see the parallels with seeds, crops, and vegetables. Just as we need seed banks, we need gene banks so that the heritage pig genes aren’t lost. If they outlaw pigs that are of a nonstandard color, why not outlaw all nonstandard animals to further the interests of agribusiness? The UN warned of this possibility in 2006: around 20% of domestic animal breeds are at risk of extinction, with a breed lost each month, due to a globalization of livestock markets that favors high-output breeds over a multiple-gene pool. Having that pool could be vital for future food security.
So this isn’t just about Michigan pigs. This is about stopping agribusiness from enlisting the powers of government to control gene pools before it is too late.
If you are a resident of Michigan, please contact Gov. Rick Snyder and your Michigan legislators and tell them you want the DNR to repeal its Invasive Species Order and support the heritage breeds of pigs being raised by small farmers. Please take action immediately!

Take Action!

39 responses to “Remember the Old Phrase “Buying a Pig in a Poke”?”

  1. Our government is rapidly becoming a dictatorship. My foreign patients tell me that in Europe there would be massive revolts in the streets to this type of an onerous governmental show of force. We sheep do very little. Those with the money to lobby and get what they want all band together. We, the massive majority, do not seem to be able to put together enough money to have an equal force in opposition. It is time for that to change.

  2. Rett says:

    God forbids the eating of swine flesh. We reap what we sow. People who stop eating swine and shell fish or fish with skin experience many health changes to the good. God created some creatures to clean the earth and as food for sea life and wildlife.

  3. Robin Lee Horne says:

    This sounds WAY too close to what the USAID did to the Haitian “Creole” pig in Haiti back in the 1980’s. After an outbreak of “swine flu” in the Dominican Republic, they talked the Haitian government into the wholesale extermination of the indigenous pig population (that many Haitians used for food and/or trade) and replaced them with the far inferior American pigs that could not handle the Haitian climate and were much more expensive to care for. The American pigs died out, leaving the Haitians with nothing.

  4. Steve says:

    Very poorly written. The information about the color of cows is incorrect. You need to get the facts correct.

  5. Susan Donnelly says:

    This ISO action is criminal. It must be stopped!

  6. susan anthony potter says:

    This is very scary! How sad for the farmers. We as consumers must use our paychecks to protest. We must avoid purchasing from offenders – even if that means we become vegetarians, grow our own gardens and most importantly – educate others who do not know about the atrocities that are being forced upon by special interest groups!

  7. Carol Gabor says:

    I was so distressed to hear about this law in Michigan, and the farmer killing his pigs, including piglets. I truely belive the armed men should pay this farmer what the pigs would have been worth, plus thousands more for invading his property and privacy. GOVERNMENT has literally gone too far, our country is in such bad shape, in all states, starting with the DIP Sticks in Wash., they are completely out of touch, and it sure sounds like Michigan is even WORST….Pathetic…

  8. Farmers are more free than most because their ability to grow their own food makes them less dependent than most of us. In 1776 about 90% of Americans lived on farms. In 1900 about 40% did . In 1920, 7 years after the Federal Reserve was established, a substantial number of farmers and 5000 banks were put out of business. Recently I have heard that less than 2% of us live on farms. When none of us own farms we will be completely dependent for our food on those who own the farmland as in ancient times.
    Perhaps what we have here is a final assault on our freedom, not an attempt to control pig DNA..

  9. this is an obama-nation pun intended what can we expect except blood curdeling tyranny run rampant i realize he is just a manchurian candadate a puppet of the real power behind the scenes- but i will still hold him accountable since he is the president. also i’m willing to bet that he is an evil man, who else would sell out his fellow man and beast as is the case here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Vincent Cackowski says:

    I suggest you publish the names of the DNR reps who passed this rule and the connections to agribusiness. How often do they have lunch together? Are they living beyond their means? They need to go under serious scrutiny to the point of being driven from office.

  11. Linda says:

    Phone calls and emails are very important! I also feel petitions are valuable, as, even if they don’t lead to direct action, they are instrumental in raising awareness among the general public on assaults on our rights and freedoms. Other than Natural News and a precious few internet sources, and local Michigan press, this is not getting the press, or attention it should. If Michigan is successful in continuing this policy, there’s little doubt other states will adopt similar attacks on family farms. For these reasons I’ve started a petition, and would greatly appreciate it if you would sign, and share with your social networks. Thank you!
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/981/405/422/stop-michigan-dnr-from-slaughtering-heritage-pig-breeds/

  12. Jon Olsen says:

    Please re-send with a more relevant headline. What you have as a headline does not do justice to the threat described. You need something that seizes people’s attention. “Pig in a poke” does not do that (however cute it makes as a headline)!

  13. Volindah J. Costabell says:

    I find it offensive that I cannot raise an animal for my use – whatever that is. How dare the government tell me what I can and cannot do? This is outrageous.

  14. Volindah J. Costabell says:

    This information needs to be on the six o’clock news. Otherwise, the general public will never know and act on it.

  15. R Andrew Ohge says:

    I think a very important second response to the Corporately Sponsored DNR Pig Slaughter in Michigan would be to BOYCOTT ALL PORK until this is ended. It’s off my menu until further action is done to end this atrocity.

  16. david dittler says:

    unbelivable!! whats next,the agribusiness,usda,dow,monsato,fda etc and other goverment lackeys,are they now going to tell us what to eat,when to eat,what to drive etc,this has got to stop!,where has our freedom of choice gone? its all about money.next they will be arresting us for growing our own vegetables!!

  17. Theresa Barbour says:

    What can I do to stop all the Gov’t. interference. We are already becoming preppers. We are seriously worried about the direction of our country. Sadly we feel helpless to change it. If there is anything I as an individual can do beyond writing letters to my representatives and also talking to my local media about this issue, please let me know and I will donate my time to making my country safer for the future.
    Sincerely,
    Theresa J Barbour

  18. Mike says:

    Who’s checking the facts there? There is no Mi Pork Grower’s Assoc. There is a Mi Pork Producers Assoc. (mipork.org) So assuming this is correct…..
    Why bother contacting the governor about this issue? The edict didn’t come from him, it came from the greedy cowards afraid of that American institution called competition. They need all the money made through pork production and they’ve got lawyers and the DNR to back them up. So inform the governor of this issue but lend your ear to another bag of hot air? Talking is great when its appropriate but when someone takes action against you what are you going to do, talk to them about it? I don’t think so. You take action. Talk gets you no where with crooks like the MPPA and their lackeys the Mi DNR. Below is a short list of things that can be done.
    Leave a message for the MPPA at http://www.mipork.org/WhoWeAre/824/ContactUs.aspx#.T44jd-19nzI
    Give them an ear full.
    Leave a message for the Mi DNR at DNR-Wildlife@michigan.gov
    How about a good old fashioned boycott of MPPA products? Sounds like a good time to me and I’ve already got the ball rolling.
    Pres Ed Reed owns Roma (*handcrafted-cafo-grown-feces-hormane and antibiotic-laden) sausage.
    *for clarity these are my words, not Mr Reed’s or Roma’s.
    VP Fred Walcott owns Valley View Pork,
    10484 North Maple Island Avenue, Walkerville, MI 49459
    {231 873 0595}.
    The USDA directly attributed $598,014 in subsidy payments to Valley View Pork in Program Years 2003-2005 and the Walcotts need more, much more money. Don’t believe me, ask the Oceana county USDA.
    Keith Blonde owns a cafo. called Precision Pork in Litchfield. I thanked him for the precise pork ribs he raised on perfect soy protein. So delicious, I nearly barfed. You can write him at
    8051 Herring Road
    Litchfield, MI 49252
    Someone else can look up a few more and post if you feel so inclined. As for me, I’m boycotting pork altogether unless it comes from someone that can and more importantly will shake my hand. Eat local – BOYCOTT pork, the MPPA and all the other greedy coward producers.

    • Debe from Michigan says:

      Thank you so very much for this post. I have been following this and you just gave some great information that I will post, share and follow up on. Thank you

  19. Holly Zessin says:

    I hope Michigan changes the way feral pigs are identified and no other state chooses to follow their lead. Your article is an oversimplification of problems. The answers are more complicated as well. Thank you for making us stop and think not everything is black or white-right or wrong.

  20. actions like this are what is going to cause a rEVOLution…stop the maddness!!

  21. gaylela says:

    No, let the small farmers in Michigan rot along with the animal cruelty industry. If we continue to pollute the earth and poison all living creatures so that we can stuff putrid flesh into our fat-burger mouths, then there’s really nothing left to care about, is there, until we begin to suffer the consequences. So sorry for the poor farmer who shot his pregnant sows and piglets to death through his tears. Who’s going to bring home the bacon,now?

    • Padre of Lakeland says:

      Really? 10,000 years as omnivores and because you’re upset with the depredations of agribusinesses so hang the small farmers too? What liberal northeastern college did you graduate from? Have you ever missed a meal in your life?
      Personally, I think people like you who believe in “one size fits all” solutions are the problem.

  22. Don Duca says:

    The irony is that the bureaucrats have the gall to address the heritage or “old world” breeds as invasive. It is the engineered big agri breeds that are the invasive ones. Orwellian newspeak is the language of the day.

  23. Russ Lemon says:

    I remember, not so long ago, and only an ocean away, when some fool wanted all humans to be the same color. Celebrate diversity in all things and keep our options open.

  24. Tommy says:

    In this day and age, it’s giant agri-businesses that BUY the necessary politicians to enforce their will on the general population. The raw milk farmers are also being jailed even though their products have’nt been found to be harmful either. It’s all about a over the top government gone wild in a mad power trip. When does it end?

  25. Bill Vandelinder says:

    What can we say. The people of Michigan wanted Republicans in charge. Republicans are owned by big business. Big business will destroy any threat to its profitability.
    It would be easier just to take over the farms using Imminent Domain and turn the property over to Walmart because the state will get more tax revenues. After all, your Republican controlled Supreme Court has already decided by a 5-4 vote along party lines that it is constitutional.
    I really don’t expect this to get posted because most Americans now fear the truth and the Republican party made sure to capture the media the last time they were in total control. Remember the only thing Republicans hate more than Democrats is the truth. Joseph Goebles would be so proud.
    But don’t ever forget, the Republicans are on the side of us little people and if you say or even think anything else you’re a commie traitor!!! Just ask Rush Limbaugh.
    As for the people of Michigan, this is what you wanted so you can choke on it along with bigger deficits, higher taxes on the middle class, larger government, disappearing rights of the individual and $4.00 per gallon gas prices. All things we can thank the Republican Party for.

    • billy clanton says:

      come now… lets not be too hard on the republican freakbags! we aren’t perfect either! can we honestly blame one side, or the other, when both have contributed to the mess we’re in? if so, why not simply start another civil war and see who needs who?

    • Ariel says:

      I did NOT vote for those repubs! They are killing us all! I’m doing my best to fight them!

    • Mike88 says:

      Wrong Bill Landerlinder, this is not a Republican-Democratic issue,this is a Big Government-Big Agribusiness issue. our Family Farmers who have for many years been tasked with raising the best crops, and the best livestock in the world are being forced by Big Government with their laws enticed by bribes by Big Agribusiness who bribe politicians on both sides of the political isle to pass these laws is the problem.
      Big Agribusiness wants to eliminate their competition of the Family Farmer by outlawing what they can grow and declaring a Family Farmer a Felon if they do not Comply.with these outlandish or unConstitutional laws. Just like the farmers and co-ops who sell Raw Milk to their customers who want to purchase Raw unpasteurized milk it is and should be their choice to drink Raw Milk and the FDA in conjunction with the American Dairy Asociation does not want competition from Individual Private Farmers or co-ops, so they just like the Michigan Hog Association does not want competitoin either. It is all about Control of what we eat, drink, or otherwise consume, and the higher prices we as consumers will have to pay for these products, especially if Big Government and Big Agribusiness get their way. We do need to fight this effort by Big Government to control everything we consume, after all it is our bodies and it should be our choice of what we put into our bodies..

  26. Priscilla says: If the police just break into someone’s home and start killing their black cats and dark brown dogs, or threaten felony charges to force pet owners to kill their pets, and destroy all the tools and equipment their livelihood depends upon, such an atrocity would surely be punishable under Michigan law. The same law should apply to trespassers who come in and start shooting healthy farm animals, or forcing a farmer to kill his own animals that he nurtures and cares for. Where are the lawyers, the courts, the judges, and the District Attorneys who should be prosecuting these armed trespassers and murderers? Doesn’t the State of Michigan have a legal system?

    • dodie humphrey says:

      I can’t believe this is happening along with all the other crazy things thats happening in the United States Politically. I’m afraid we’re going to wait too long to do sumething about all this craziness. Wheres the commom sense anymore, it looks like tyrany in power, it’s a very sad thing, and lt looks like no one can stop it.

    • Lou says:

      Government is FORCE; government is the only entity allowed to FORCE anyone to act against their wishes. The theory is government will act for the good of society.
      We are seeing daily that government is acting AGAINST society by FORCING UN Agenda 21 down our throats. UN Agenda 21 aims to eventually OUTLAW the eating of meat. Controlling the livestock gene pool and introducing inferior disease promoting livestock genes is all part of the plan IMO.
      “Vaccination” is currently doing the same thing to the human gene pool.
      It is long past time we defang “government”. “Government” at all levels is NOT acting for our good.

    • Jamie says:

      wake up Pricilla, it IS the legal system that does these atrocities. Americans are fast asleep and snoozing comfy cozy.
      They get away with this because Americans are brainwashed sheep who still believe their government is basically on their side. Go back to sleep and write some more letters to your congressmen. I’m sure they will listen. Maybe ask them to turn up their hearing aids. Brain dead America can’t comprehend the simplest, most obvious things. We are occupied by enemies. The country has been taken already. But you think because the flag is still flying, we still have a constitution. It’s GONE. But like I said, go back to sleep and convince yourself otherwise.

  27. carol reom says:

    Do the “scientist really know what they are doing? This sort of thing makes you wonder what they have in their heads besides rocks. By having only one set of genes you are inbreeding and making the strain weaker and weaker. Is that their aim so that if a virus comes along it can wipe out the whole strain of pigs at once. There is strength in variety. Sounds like the farmer should get reimbursed for all his pig and the gangsters that threatened him put in jail. We seem to have too many people trying to be dictators and they are getting bolder and bolder.

    • Mike says:

      This isn’t an agenda of science. The agenda is to wipe out the competition of small farmers with healthier and better products for the citizens of Michigan. Its the MPPA with the Mi DNR doing the dirty work. No worthy scientist would rubber stamp this action. It is wholly ludicrous.

  28. Ruth Feldman says:

    In order to make more and more money, agribusinesses have to destroy competition. If this isn’t stopped, Monsanto and others will control most of America’s food supply. The fight against raw milk was one of the first assaults by big industry. I don’t know exactly when it started, but I was having difficulty getting it in the 80’s. It has gotten really bad since then. Some people blame the president for every problem, but I don’t blame the presidents from Reagan on. These problems started somewhere else in the system. Americans need to stop treating everything as a special interest single problem. Put it all together; there is an assault on our nation. Groups are endeavoring to take away our rights and turn us into a third world country. You might think I am nuts for writing that, but put it together. What is a country with no public education, all the wealth in the hands of a few, huge poverty group, shrunken/ineffective middle class, millions with no health care, women unable to control their reproduction, few industries, no dependable old age pension, no unions or labor laws, no minimum wage law, polluted water, freedoms removed? Americans are voting for this, in the name of patriotism and religion!

  29. Daniel says:

    We have to start doing better ourselves instead of blaming each other. Everything starts somewhere and as long as we are truthful we can find out where the actual blame should be at.

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