The license a story teller uses to include or exclude material can have a huge bearing on the story’s impact. ABC Nightline was out yesterday and did an 18 minute interview but used less than 1 minute of it. And while I’m not asking to hog the time here (no pun intended) I think what they excluded in the editing made our segment much less powerful than it could otherwise have been.
While I may not verbalize it verbatim, I can come pretty close because this just happened yesterday and it was only 6 questions and 18 minutes of words. I’d like to share two especially salient ones–the two points I was really disappointed that they edited. Here they are:
1. Scientists will say that the conditions our pigs enjoy created hog cholera in the 1930s, or encourage trichinosis and other diseases when compared to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Nothing could be further from the truth. The principles of rotation, host-free rest periods, density, and hygienic husbandry practices are the same indoors and outdoors. Hog cholera developed when overcrowded hogs in 24/7/365 mudholes created conditions for pathogens to proliferate easily. At Polyface, this paddock you see the pigs enjoying today has been pig-free for 5 months. The salad bar grass is succulent and palatable, and they will only be here for a few days before moving onto another long-rested paddock. And these 30 pigs have half an acre to enjoy.
Anytime you confine animals and plants in crowded conditions without providing ample host-free rest periods, pathogens need not put any energy into surviving or finding a host. As a result, pathogens can focus all their energy on virulent mutating, reproduction, and more lethal activities. Pathogens thrive in industrial, factory settings, whether those are indoor or outdoor.
2. The final questions was this: “So Joel, you have a national platform tonight to talk to the American people–what do you want to say to them?”
My answer: You can stop this pathogen proliferation right now by refusing to buy industrial food. If you are concerned about swine flue, mad cow, bird flue, campylobacter, E. coli, salmonella, lysteria, nutrition, health, and the landscape we’re leaving for our grandchildren, you can opt out of industrial food right now today. That doesn’t take a government regulation, a new agency, a new vaccine, a study by Centers for Disease Control, a bail-out or a new national policy. All it takes is for you to refuse to buy industrial food. And all around this great nation thousands of farmers like me are ready and able to supply you with nutrient dense, heritage-honoring, pasture-based food to you and your neighbors. Enjoy it.