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Reader Opinion: Survival

When I was a little kid, I spent some time at my uncle's farm. One of the things I enjoyed watching was my cousins feeding the farm animals. Of the things I enjoyed the most, it was when the hogs got fed. No other farmyard animal got so excited that they literally trampled each other to get to the troughs to eat. They couldn't gobble the food down fast enough and although there was more than enough to go around, the biggest and strongest got far more than their share, simply because they wouldn't let the others in. One day while watching I saw a small piglet that had no hope of ever getting anything to eat, simply watching the frenzy from the back of the pack. Then one day my uncle killed him saying, "He will never amount to anything so why prolong the suffering." That tiny pig, whose only disability was in not being able to fend off the bigger ones, was condemned to die for his weakness. No one was going to see that he got fed separately. He, to them, was a born loser.

When it comes to farm animals and the farmer making a living I understand the dynamics of having a robust herd. That the profit margins don't allow for sentiment. My problem comes when this spills over into society and human lives. We are not commodities like farm animals but yet there are times we act like it. The split between the haves and have nots in this country widens everyday and the haves don't really care about it. It's not just money they have, it's the power to keep the runts, where in their eyes they belong, away from the feeding trough.

Mike Holst

Crosslake

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