Old Geezer: Hog Rings and Natural Pork

Looking through the local newspaper grocery ads I thought maybe some things that are advertised might be over using the word “natural:” that seems to be everywhere. On one page there was a special on “All Natural Pork.” The ad next to it was for chicken parts but didn’t say if they were natural or not. I kind of wonder how those of us who are now long in the tooth made it this far with our living so many years without the “organic and natural” applications to just about everything we eat or use. I suppose we saved a lot of money over the years by not paying a premium for specially grown food stuffs. I know that for health reasons many people decided to be come vegetarians and I think that has been shortened to “Vegans”, I guess that does have a nice ring to it. I could never figure out why they made some of their vegetables into things that looked like meat!

Walt Trandum

I saw an ad the other day for “Organic Underwear” and a lumberyard selling “Natural lumber”. There are many ads on television selling women’s Natural Make Up for making them look youthful with special organic compounds that help them erase wrinkles and lose weight at the same time. Nobody mentions all the other unnatural items they have to sell.


The same day I started this story there was a big splash on television about someone claiming that the use of the word “natural” was being abused by companies and others in just about every segment of our business world.
I have always had some thoughts about various subjects and items that I considered them to be natural. Now I wonder how we are going to classify everything that doesn’t have that word in their name or description as “unnatural.”


The other part of this article was sparked by my going to the local hardware stores seeking to buy some “hog rings.” The first problem was trying to explain just what they were and their use. Several trips up and down the aisles and finally someone showed up who at least knew what they are. However nobody stocks them in this area.


In my ancient tool collection I have a couple of special sets of hog ring pliers that I probably got out of my dad’s old tool box. Over the years I have used them in fabricating various projects. Evidently I used all the rings up and I suppose I will have to buy a supply that will last a couple more life times. Way back when I was a kid I worked one summer in Alaska at a salmon cannery. In those days they were using traps to catch their fish and those were made up of wire screen that was joined together with hog rings.


I looked “Hog rings” up on the Internet and sure enough you can buy them in many places. They are metal clips that are used to hold things together. Automobile seat covers are pulled taut and fastened with hog rings. They are also useful for metal fencing and fastening other items. The other thing that I found was where they got their name and it was from their long use on pig snouts. I guess one way to get a pig to go the way you want them to is to pull them along with a ring in their nose. Those rings are probably not very popular in the pig world. I am sure they now have some that are made from some organic natural material that are easier on those poor animals.


For those who think piercing noses on animals is not nice should look around at some of the wild things people do to their own ears and even their noses and tongues. Women have been piercing their ears forever and earrings can be very attractive. However some women and even men over do it with multiple earrings and other doodads and bad looking rings in their noses. I look at most of those people with my own idea that maybe those ornaments are their assurance they won’t be getting a job. I feel the same way for facial and neck tattoos.


Maybe my concerns are just because those last things I have been mentioning are just “not natural.”