Onay Icrochipsmay Inyay Igspay (or No Microchips in Pigs)

It’s hard enough as is for farmers to survive tracking red clay into an old farmhouse. Just think about the carnage that will come when farmers leave red Martian mud on the floors of a newly-built geodesic dome. Thus, by developing a spacecraft, Elon Musk was already putting future farmers in peril.

But Musk couldn’t stop there. Secretly, he’s been putting microchips in pig brains (no joke). Maybe I could understand microchips in the brains of guinea fowl–those poor birds need all the extra intelligence they can get–but pigs, no. Make pigs any smarter, and we’re one step from becoming our own bacon. George Orwell already covered what happens when pigs revolt: we get a communist, porcine state. 

So, I’m not sure why Musk chose to enhance pigs when other farm animals need more brain power. Certainly, it doesn’t take long to realize some farm animals are a little slow. To be fair to farm animals, I suspect the feeling is mutual. My cows have a way of staring at me that makes me feel self-conscious, as if they’re calling me a moron. Likely, it’s just paranoia. I doubt my cows would ever do that, even when they lined up along the fence to watch me accidentally back the tractor through a barn wall. 

my staring cows make me paranoid

Of course, intelligence in farm animals depends partly on socioeconomic conditions. Animals raised on upper-class organic farms have more advantages. That said, genius can arise from lowly uncertified organic farmsteads and even conventional farms where animals eat generic hay. I’ve witnessed it firsthand. Anybody who has seen my neighbor’s farm, which is littered with dilapidated farm equipment, knows his cows are technologically disadvantaged. And yet, an artistic savant arose from the rust. 

The bull, a massive Hereford, was an expert in abstract art and even dabbled in sculpting. With a few strokes of his head, he could contort a gate or corral panel into something utterly unrecognizable. Many art critics declared his abstractions the work of genius. Buyers at the sale barn disagreed, declaring his work of the devil, just another example of an artist going undervalued in his own lifetime. 

Anyway, I’m all for publicly-funded animal education. In fact, I wish someone would teach my cows not to devour every bit of plastic or metal they find when they have a whole pasture full of grass. Plus, I’d like it if they quit escaping and eating my neighbor’s expensive Japanese maple. But inserting microchips in pig brains seems a step too far. If Musk keeps at it, we’ll all be speaking Pig Latin soon, so onay icrochipmay inyay igspay!

21 thoughts on “Onay Icrochipsmay Inyay Igspay (or No Microchips in Pigs)

      1. There once was a blogger named Mellow
        whose squirrels were well fed, not narrow.
        Behind his curmudgeonly schtick,
        Mel loved an alliterative limerick
        and appreciated puns like a fine, fine fellow.

  1. Chickens, now there I could see enhancement. Our chickens are more stupid than I could have ever imagined. You show me another animal that will regularly shit in its own feed dish and I’ll show you another candidate for chips.

    1. They’re the one farm animal that puts themselves up at night, and yet after thousands of times going in and out of the coop door, sometimes mine forget how to get to the door and pace the side of the coop like maniacs.

  2. Yeah. Ever been stared at by goats as they calculate the precise method for reassembling their quantum particles to pass through to the other side of that fence you’re bodging around them?

  3. I’ve always heard domestic turkeys are pretty stupid, maybe enhance them. Or sheep – my friend used to raise them, and she said they were lacking in the brain department. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist and/or Luddite, I can’t overcome an innate mistrust of any form of AI, imbedded in farm animals or not.

    1. Yeah, based on my experiences with turkey and sheep, I’d have to second that assessment. I think ever science fiction movie ever created has concluded that AI isn’t going to end well for humans. There’s a good probability we’re only hastening our destruction.

  4. In my experience, sheep take the cake when it comes to unintelligent barnyard animals. Pigs are already highly intelligent and I tend to agree with you that they need no assistance in that department. Thanks for the amusing read!

  5. Great post….my cows also will eat anything. Today I caught one leaning through a fence eating a tie-down strap off of some farm equipment. I pulled about 3 feet of the slimed strap out of her mouth and shooed her away….of course she came right back. Anyway, keep posting, you make us laugh out here on the Holler.

    1. For some reason this comment got flagged as spam, ugh. I’ve had that same experience of pulling have consumed and slimed straps out. Sometimes plastic bags will float into the pasture from the road and I’ve seen cows scarf them up, as if desert. Thanks!

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