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Advertise on the Tentacle

August 4, 2010

Our Rights The Few v. The Many

Tom McLaughlin

Do I have the right to build a pig farm in my back yard in the Fountaindale subdivision in Middletown? Why not? Living here in Borneo, I could hire someone else to raise the pigs, have large trucks to move them to slaughter and others to rake and muck the soil for the next batch.


A very profitable venture from where I sit here on the banks of the Sarawak River.


And, it would be good for the community. I would hire five or six men to care for the pigs. Truck drivers would be employed to carry them to market. Other people would canvas restaurants for waste food thus reducing the amount of garbage that would go into the landfill. I would allow my good neighbors on Onyx Court to remove the hog poop to use on their flower and vegetable gardens. Just imagine the beauty and the tomatoes! Frederick Fair winners all.


I will, of course, pay my taxes and fully expect them to increase. It is my pleasure to know my taxes will go to building hospitals, schools, roads, and water and sewer lines. I feel proud to know I am helping out Frederick County. Besides, all my taxes are offset by farm credits from the Department of Agriculture. I may even need a huge combine to reduce my taxes further.


There may be a few people who would object to my proposal; but they are against capitalism, ignore my right to use my land as I please and are blind to the benefits for the community. I will take these objections one at a time.


There is nothing more sweet than the smell of swine especially on a moon-lit August night. Many air conditioners will bring the delightful wafts into the houses thus reducing the need of polluting aerosol sprays. Of course, I am here in Sarawak, so what do I care?


Rumbling trucks moving through the neighborhood will lull the children to sleep as background white noise. Parents can tell the little kids the cute piggies are going away to a big farm where they will spend the rest of their lives as the bacon defrosts in the sink. As I glance over the swaying palm trees, I have visions of these little tykes tightly asleep.


There can never be enough pig farms, I say to those who complain there are already enough of them. Look at the benefits to society as whole as every neighborhood should have one and we all eat pork! Well, not all of us.


I realize there will be a misguided few who oppose my grand vision. To make sure my benevolent and loving concern for society is placed into action, I will support the owner of the abattoir as a candidate for Frederick County Board of Commissioners. I know he will have the support of the trucking industry, swine pen workers and white meat consumers for the campaign. And I will make sure the pork goes into the right pockets.


This is the United States of America, home of the free and the brave; and if the farmers can turn their land into housing developments, I have the right to turn my land into a pig farm!


[While Mr. McLaughlin lives and writes from Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, he keeps up with events in Frederick County via the Internet and emails from friends.]


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