Not My Pig, Not My Farm

Not My Pig, Not My Farm

I’m a pretty big fan of the show Letterkenny. If you haven’t checked it out on Hulu yet, I suggest watching the pilot episode.

Fair warning: If the pilot episode doesn’t hook you, don’t move on. They’re all really variations on a theme so if it’s not your style in that first episode, none of the following ones will be.

Also fair warning: I enjoy the show immensely but there are times when it is very Canadian to me and I honestly don’t even understand what they’re saying because they have strong accents and are purposely using intense Canadian slang.

All that aside, I think the show is delightful and uses a lot of really fun phrases and vocabulary. One of my favorite phrases of the whole show on both a comedic and a life-lessons level is – yep, you guessed it from the title – “Not my pig, not my farm.”

When Letterkenny’s protagonist confronted about certain issues in their small town throughout the series that he’s told he needs to take care of in some way, he often says “Not my pig, not my farm” which is a much more playful and colorful way of saying “Not my problem.”

As a person who is learning (and re-learning) how to set up healthy boundaries on a lot of levels, the idea of not taking on an issue that people come to you for help with is something I want (need?) to learn. Seeing that you can say no to someone, even if they’re asking for help, is so helpful. And, hey, you can even say it in a fun way by saying “Not my pig, not my farm,” because then they’ll be like “I didn’t say anything about pigs, are you even listening?” and then you repeat yourself and they’re like “Are you ok?” and then you repeat yourself again and soon they think you have a problem and retract asking you for help because you’re obviously going through something so you’ve both not had to help out and you probably won’t get asked in the future. A win/win!

Another reason I really like the idea behind “Not my pig, not my farm” aside from basic boundaries is because I love the idea of not having an opinion about everything, especially in a world that is begging me to have opinions about every damn thing.

Go to the grocery? Rate it! Sitting in a waiting room? Share thoughts about the experience! Something random happen to someone famous? Respond with your thoughts so people think you’re clever!

Don’t get me wrong – I think sharing and having opinions is great. But boy oh boy we are inundated with opinions right now. And we’re expected to have them all the time about everything. And I honestly don’t know how much it serves us.

The most obvious place I’ve forced myself to quit opinion-ing on a regular basis is in my car. I found that I started criticizing people who have nothing to do with my own driving or who have no affect on my ride at all. And for what? So I could feel better about myself? These people can’t hear me. My opinion makes no difference in what they’re deciding to do. And as long as they don’t endanger me, what does it matter? Why even waste the energy having an opinion?

I’d rather spend the precious time I have on this earth doing literally anything else than uselessly judging people with whom I’m sure I have more in common with than difference from, even if I don’t yet know it.

I remember the first time I realized I didn’t need to have an opinion. Someone did something in a car far away from me. I started making judgments about the person and forming conclusions about their basic driving skills and, of course, their intellect. Then a little quiet voice can into my head and whispered, “Why? What’ the point of this?”. And I didn’t have an answer. It wasn’t serving anything. This person wasn’t bothering me. And rather than somehow, somewhere, somewhy (I want it to be a word so I’m keeping it) deciding I knew everything about this human, I figured I’d just leave it be. Things happen. This human made decisions. That’s all there is to it. Doesn’t need to be something I get all worried about.

Small decisions like that help me to create healthier boundaries, too. When and if people do come to me with ideas or with their problems in search of either help or opinions, I can decide if it’s something that genuinely needs my attention. And because I’ve been practicing discerning what things do or do not warrant my attention, I can hopefully do so even more effectively. But if I’ve been spending all my time judging and forming opinions about everything, I’ll think that I need to continue to care about every little thing that’s happening and continue to spread my energy and focus too thin.

I’d rather focus on my own pigs in my own farm.

And, hey, I get it. Other people’s pigs and other farms an affect mine. I’m not advocating that we all turn into little islands and pretend that we don’t live in a social construct of an ever growing community that can and should be respected and recognized. But that doesn’t mean every single person needs to get involved with – physically or even energetically – in every other person’s actions.

Plus, the times that you do actively get involved, you’ll have more energy to do so. And the times that you do have opinions, they’ll be listened to with a little more weight since you’re not constantly forming and forcing opinions upon people all the time.

That’s my opinion about opinions. I’d ask you for yours, but honestly I’ll respect you just as much if you choose not to have one (for obvious reasons).

Keep pig farming, folks. But also, consider going vegetarian.

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Subway worker makes new customers think old gloves are clean

Eric Raskins is a 22-year-old disgruntled worker at a local Subway chain in New York city. Even at the mention of work, he scoffs saying, “My official title is ‘Sandwich Artist’. Sandwich is a noun. It should never be used as an adjective. Even the title is b*******.”

Raskins, a senior English major at NYU, becomes quite frustrated at the stringent policies of the sandwich chain. A self-proclaimed rebel, he consistently finds little ways to break the company’s rules. His most common rebellion is refusing to change little plastic gloves between sandwich creations.

Raskins admits that this is small act is not exactly inciting a revolution, but he claims he really needs the job to help pay off his student loans, so he doesn’t want to do anything too rash.

By keeping the same old gloves on for three or four sandwiches in a row, he relishes in the fact that each new customer thinks he has on a clean pair of gloves. When, in fact, the gloves have already been pretty well used by the time the third person gets in line.

During particularly rebellious moods, he even leaves the gloves on while ringing up and exchanging money with the customer. And then-without changing gloves, of course-begins sandwich artistry with the next customer in line.

For Raskins, he really loves the idea that there are many vegetarians who have little traces of meat on their sandwich thanks to the unchanged gloves.

Much like a restaurant that cooks their meat on the same surface as the vegetable options for non-meat eaters, Raskins doesn’t seem to care at all the repercussions of his actions. “Maybe they’ll end up liking meat if they just get over it and try it,” he says, adding “Tree-hugging hippies.”

When informed that oftentimes traces of meat, when ingested by those who choose not to put meat into their bodies, can have really dramatic repercussions like indigestion, stomach aches, headaches, cramps and bowel problems, Raskins simply smiles and says, “Well, maybe I am starting a revolution after all. In some poor shmuck’s small intestine.”

After bad food poisoning, vegan feels betrayed by vegetables

It was a Sunday evening when Elaine Johnson had what she thought was a healthy meal. Elaine, a vegan, admits she can be particular about her meals. This specific meal consisted of rice, peppers, avocado and tomato all sauteed together for a somewhat flavorful concoction. A little over an hour later, she started to feel queasy and sick. A few hours later, she was throwing back up the meal in the middle of the night.

Johnson, who admits to having a couple bad spouts of food poisoning before turning vegan, claims to now feel betrayed by vegetables. She explains, “The few times I’ve gotten food poisoning before, it had been from eggs or a bad piece of meat. And now, here I am nervous about eating vegetables? It’s nerve-wracking.”

Though Johnson understands that the rice could have been the source of her stomach problems, she is still upset with the vegetables for not warning her or fixing the rice in her stomach so it wouldn’t make her sick.

“I had a lot invested in my vegetables,” she explains. “I love them. I defend them when people say they’re not tasty or that they’re boring or that you can’t survive on eating just them or whatever. I trusted them. And now…well, I don’t know who or what to trust.”

The incident was a rare and isolated one for the vegetable community, who declined to comment when asked about the food poisoning. They just sat in their refrigerator door looking shiny, delectable and dangerous.

Slowly but surely, Johnson has been reintroducing certain vegetables into her diet in order to survive.

“I can only hope that maybe someday we can learn to trust each other again and I can start eating food again,” Johnson adds. “I’m a vegan, for God’s sake. Vegetables are all I have.”

Vegans presence at barbeque makes meat-eaters uncomfortable

Neighbors in a local Chicago community, looking to enjoy the fall weather with a traditional cookout, were uncomfortable with the unexpected presence of a vegan.

The cookout hosts immediately looked around for something for the vegan to eat. When they offered fish, she denied it saying vegans don’t eat fish. When they offered egg salad, she denied it saying vegans don’t eat eggs. When they finally offered her an apple, she happily accepted.

Her two previous denials, however, upset many other cookout guests. Afraid they’d be offending her by eating their meat, they began to hide their burgers from her. She insisted that the gesture was worthless, claiming, “I don’t care what you eat. I just don’t want to eat one!” This logic was lost on the guests, though, who felt judged by the vegan because she didn’t join in the carnivore-y.

The vegan claimed she just wanted to be part of the community, saying, “I didn’t mean to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I just wanted to say ‘hi’.” She say this is a very common problem for her at many social outlets. The people around her don’t understand why she won’t eat the same things they are, and assume she is judging them for their choices. “I often get, ‘I’m sorry-does this bother you?’ when someone’s eating meat near me,” she says. “As long as they’re not feeding it to me, it doesn’t bother me at all.”

Despite her easy-going nature, the vegan still stands out at a barbeque like a sore thumb, a common occurrence for vegans everywhere. While others enjoy their grilled animals and snack foods, vegans are often found munching on pieces of fruit in the corner and trying not to look uncomfortable.

Vegans propose using human gas as quick-fix, organic alternative energy source

As petroleum prices continue to rise and the debate about finding alternative energy is as hot as ever, a small portion of the population is offering up a different solution. Vegans, in an attempt to reuse a higher percentage of their own waste, are offering up their gas as a powerful fuel source.

For the record, vegans are vegetarians who choose not to eat any product from an animal. This choice includes foregoing milk, eggs, cheese and all other forms of dairy products. As a result, many of the foods they do choose to eat, such as lentils and beans, cause them to produce a higher-than-normal amount of human gas. Also as a result of their diet, the gas is rather potent.

Recently, at their secret vegan meetings where they discuss how to convert more people to veganism and go on and on about their self-righteous ways, vegan Jared Ludlow proposed catching their gas and using it to fuel cars of the future. Ludlow explains his reasoning for the idea, “Every day I pass gas, and it can easily clear an entire room. And it does so very quickly. Something about vegan gas causes a great deal of movement in humans, so what if we can isolate what that is and apply it to our machines? They’ll be able to travel for days off just one of my dinners. Imagine if more people got involved!” He added, “Plus, it’ll be a great way to reduce our waste onto this earth through the atmosphere. Plus, it’s organic-and you know how important it is to have organic options. Plus, it’ll give us another excuse to feel better about ourselves compared to everyone else.”

As for the actual implementation of the organic gas solution, not much as been done. Most scientists scoff at the idea or dismiss it as tomfoolery. Ludlow has not given up hope, “All scientists are run by oil companies. It’s a proven fact. If we can just get through to them, they’ll understand how great our solution is.” When asked how he planned on ‘getting through’ to the science and research community, Ludlow answered simply, “Hugs. Long and awkward hugs.