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Radio & Pigs on TV

My Debut on the Mass Media

The big news of the week has been my radio appearance. After the departure of Russell Brand from Radio 2, I thought there was the perfect opportunity for me. They didn’t agree but I did speak on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester for all of a minute.

They have a great gardening show on a Saturday morning run by Mike George and Reg Moule. Now it’s nothing to these chaps, talking on the radio, but to me it was really scary. As you may know, forum member and poultry breeder Grannie Annie was on BBC Newsnight before Christmas and goodness knows how she felt!

Anyway I spent Friday night lying awake in bed muttering ‘must mention the book’ and ‘must mention the web site’ and ‘address the presenter by name’ I’ve had my media training! So the phone goes and a lady checks who I am and says ‘putting you on the show now!’

Now, I said I’d spent half the night worrying, well by the time she said that I couldn’t remember my name let alone that of the guys who present the show. They’d mentioned the book so no need for me to do that and I never did get the web site in. I think I spoke about 20 words and was on for a minute.

Chat Forums

The chat forums are running well now. Some members were not happy at the change, but it had to be done. One wanted them to be wider to fit his 22″ monitor, another narrower to fit her old monitor but it goes to show you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

It’s so powerful that I’m not to grips with all the bells and whistles yet but as I keep telling them, you can’t break them by pressing the wrong button. In the admin panel I can however, so much more scary for me and administrator Aunt Sally.

Between the forum upgrade, my hectic life as a media superstar and keeping customers happy, because they pay the bills, I’ve finished the third book. Now I can take a bit of time for myself and get on with allotment.

Back to the Plot

We’ve acquired a load of paving slabs from next door but one so I can put some hard paths between the deep beds. I’ll just lay them on the ground so if we ever move on the new tenant can take them up easily if they want.

I think it’s very important to remember you don’t own an allotment, you rent it and one day someone else will be standing where you are. In fact, that’s something some thing we should keep in mind about everything. One day we won’t be here and our children, or their children will stand in our place. Let’s leave the planet better than we found it.

Animal Cruelty

Talking of the planet, I don’t know if you watched the Jamie Oliver program about pigs and pork. It’s an absolute disgrace that British farmers have to keep their pigs in relatively humane conditions but EU farmers don’t and can freely import their cruelly produced cheap pork into the UK, driving our farmers out of business.

I don’t mind admitting to shouting at the telly during this one. I always thought Danish bacon was good. Even though I was in marketing for years, I get fooled. They were too ashamed to show how a significant proportion of their pigs are treated.

I’m not a soppy person, well except about my cats, but this brought tears to my eyes. Castrating piglets without anaesthetic, keeping sows in stalls where they cannot move – it’s sick and abominable.

I’m wary of flash in the pan campaigns. They make a splash one day, forgotten the next. But I would ask you to take a look at Compassion in World Warming. They’ve laboured away for forty years to improve animal welfare standards. It was started by a farmer and they’re not extremists or ignorant of the economics of farming. They aim for realistic goals that are achievable and actually do make a difference.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
3 comments on “Radio & Pigs on TV
  1. Roz says:

    Hi there John, as usual wonderful work. Just to say, yes I did see the Jamie Oliver programme, and like you it brought tears to my eyes. I had already had a horrible week after having to have one of my cats put to sleep last week, she was only 10, and as I lost her litter brother last Aug aswell, I was and am still devastated. I have lived on a farm for a large proportion of my life, although now I live in a city, so to a degree have had to accept the fact that the farm animals will be meeting an untimely death, but also adore my cats, and infact love all animals.

    The castrating made me feel sick, how people can say it is OK I do not know, I fully agreed with Joanna Lumley when she said it is barbaric. The killing of the pig, was, for me, horrific. Stunned, yes, but when Jamie said the kicking etc was nerves, my question was, and how do you know?

    Watching that animals heart continue to pump blood out until there was no more, certainly did not convince me that the killing was humane.

    Sorry to be so graphic, but I get fed up of hearing the same old excuses wheeled out every time the subject of animal welfare raises it’s head. Usually from someone attached to one of the supermarkets. I couldn’t agree more John, the way animals are treated on the conveyor belt to the plastic tray, is absolutely abhorent.


  2. John says:

    Hi Roz
    I’m sorry to hear of your loss, I know all too well how you feel.
    I wasn’t fully convinced that pig wasn’t becoming aware towards the end either, but at least it was quick.
    Better legal welfare standards applied across the EU will ensure our farmers can compete and no farmer has to husband animals in a way they know is wrong.
    As for the apologists from the supermarkets.. well I suppose there is a very special place reserved for them when they die.
    Hugh’s fight with Tesco demonstrated a triumph of corporate clone spouting the party line without addressing the question. I just wanted to stick her into a battery cage for the rest of her life.

  3. Roz says:

    Hi John, thank you, it’s a devastating experience isn’t it. I miss them terribly, as I’m sure you do.

    I couldn’t possibly add to your comments as they are so beautifully put, suffice to say that it’s often crossed my mind that if animals were at the top of the pecking order, then God help human beings! Although most animals would never behave as badly as some humans, it would be nice in some instances to see the tables turned.

    Keep up the excellent work both of you, this site is a fascinating place to drop in thanks to all your efforts.


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