Producer's Notes: Hog Wild

"Oh, we’ll get letters."

I knew going into this story that we might ruffle some feathers. But one of the things that made this story so intriguing to me is that it would bring up some questions about where people stand on what can be a pretty touchy subject.

So full disclosure - I generally side myself on the side of environmentalists, naturalists and true scientists. I think extremism one way or the other is generally not a good idea. I believe in the overwhelming scientific evidence that global climate change is happening and human behavior is the root cause. I'm pro-open space. I like clean air and water. I support the restoration of native ecosystems. I champion native plants and animals. I am against pollution, invasive species and uncontrolled urban sprawl. Some things we judge for ourselves one side or the other. Such as, I am for native song birds and against feral cats. But some other things don’t tie up into a pretty package. For example, I love natural ecosystems but I am not ready to support clear-cutting the cypress trees in The Presidio. I'm not a hunter. But I eat meat. I may feel some pangs of guilt when I see an animal shot but those feelings are rarely there when I purchase meat at the grocery store. I like my barbecue. That’s me. (If you eat meat too, check out our great Quest radio story on Low-Carbon Diets and get a preview of the letters we’ll receive regarding this story.)

QUEST Producer Chris Bauer rides into the hunt in the back of a pick-up truck.
QUEST Producer Chris Bauer rides into the hunt in the back of a pick-up truck.

So where do you stand? And what happens if your stances are on opposite sides of the fence? Perhaps you are for clean energy and also happen to care for the native bird populations? See our story "Fatal Attraction: Birds and Wind Turbines."

Sometimes these questions can prompt us to examine what is truly most important to us. This brings me to the invasive pigs. There are people who are adamantly opposed to all hunting or any animal control. I can understand and respect their opinions. But many of those same people also consider themselves pro-environment. So is the thought of shooting a pig so distasteful that you are willing to sacrifice the native flora and fauna? What happens to the indigenous fox, deer, ground squirrel or California quail? Are you willing to give up California's live oaks, wildflowers and other native species that may be directly impacted by this invasive species? You can’t always have it both ways. Anyway…something to chew on.

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Oh, and by the way... We'll get letters.