An Open Letter to Pigs (And Other Picky Eaters)

We're in the belly of a pork shortage. All right, maybe not the belly. Perhaps the tail end, optimistically speaking. Nevertheless, from crisis comes opportunity, and now's the time to act.
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Dear Pigs,

By the way, may I call you that? Pigs? It's meant with the utmost respect, and after all, it is your name. Believe me, Pigs, I've never used your name in vain when referring to perverts or sleazeballs. I don't know who started that. Uncool. Nor have I ever said, "Go clean up, you filthy pig!" to either of my kids or my husband. Even that time when they were so foul I wouldn't let them in the house before hosing off in the backyard first. I've read that elephants and rhinos are much dirtier than pigs, but the dirtiest of all, obviously, is the dung beetle. Just so you know, whenever possible I do correct people by saying, "Go clean up, you filthy dung beetle!"

OK, that's not why I'm writing you. I need to talk to you about the state of pigs. I've read the news and it's not good. If you don't know what I'm talking about, pick up a paper. We're in the belly of a pork shortage. All right, maybe not the belly. Perhaps the tail end, optimistically speaking. Nevertheless, from crisis comes opportunity, and now's the time to act. Hardly anyone's bringing home the bacon these days. You're becoming a rare breed. And not in a way that gives you bragging rights in the barn. Farmers can't afford to raise you anymore. You're too rich for the roost. They're downsizing pigs, buddy. They're blowin' down your house, man!

Thankfully for you, nobody knows better than I do about raising expensive livestock. And I'm here to help you.

Let's isolate the problem. You only eat two things: Corn and soy. And they're too darn expensive. Let's examine the facts. Pigs are natural scavengers. Meaning you'll eat any ol' crap. In fact, I've heard pigs will even eat crap. (Just saying.) So what's with the diva demands? Hanging with Nicki Minaj much? Well, lucky for you no one knows about finicky, stubborn, picky-eater-livestock better than me. I mean, who can subsist on just mac and cheese? Everyday?!? I don't think so. Nope. Not when there's Jamie Oliver's crispy-skinned chicken thighs with heirloom tomatoes and fresh oregano to be had. And Ina Garten's beef stew, with aromas so tantalizing they make you weak in the knees. No. Not anymore kiddies. I will not be shamed by other mothers' stories of how their kids eat avocados... in their salads!! No more mac and cheese! I can't! I won't!

Whoa...what just happened? Where was I? Sorry, pigs.

Let's set up a plan. First thing, mix it up. Try new stuff. If you're apprehensive about this, experiment with the "just one bite" rule. This encourages the exploration of new flavors. You'll never know you like something unless you try it. OK, if that one bite makes you wanna puke, pinch your nose and shut your eyes and try again with a massive gulp of milk. If that doesn't do it ,either, don't be discouraged. There's always the "try it three times" rule. Go back to this food on three different occasions. You may gag the first time you eat Brussels sprouts, but by the third meal, if you're not pelting them across the barn at the cows, you just might tolerate them. If all else fails, proceed to the "deep fry it" or "bury it with melted cheese" rule. Both work like a charm.

What I'm proposing, at times, will be difficult. Stay strong. And don't, like some of your kind, turn to the bottle. Pigs can become alcoholics. Did you know that? I don't mean to bring you down. Seek out smart pigs and form a support group. I heard that one pig farmer was so desperate to keep his pigs alive he fed them candy. And they ate it! (Okay, I never told you about the "one M&M for every Brussels sprout" rule. Guilty as charged.) Anyway, those are the kinds of pigs you need to hang with. The resilient ones. Remember, survival of the fittest. We want you around. Don't be pig-headed.


Roast Pork Loin (with Garlic & Rosemary) Lover

Eva Lesko Natiello is the author of The Memory Box, a psychological thriller about a woman who Googles herself and discovers the shocking details of a past she doesn't remember.

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