Creole Pig, the bank account of the Haitian Peasant

There are many things that can be said that play on the Haitian peasant and the Creole pig, but there is true tragedy behind every punch line. In one of the government's single most devastating moves, done in the 1980's to placate the American's fear of a swine flu outbreak in the Dominican Republic contaminating their Pork industry, a nationwide slaughter of Creole pigs, noted to translate to 30% of the income of peasants, was undertaken.

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Another serious misstep was the government's method of damage control. Seeing the devastation wrought on the livelihood of the peasant farmer, they attempted to replace what had been taken with American pigs from Iowa farmers. This too proved a failure, as the new breeds could not adapt to the inevitably harsher methods of farming, including but not limited to table scraps for food and no formal shelter.

The Creole pig, or the Haitian Golden Pig, was often likened to the Haitian people and their slave ancestors. Its fortitude and ability to endure, its strength and freedom made it able to survive and thrive in the harsh elements it had to live with. They were, therefore, invaluable to most of the population, who still called the rural residencies their home.

Their eradication cost the country, over the 13 months it took to exterminate the pigs, $23 million. It's further estimated that the monetary loss to the Haitian peasant was an astronomical $600 million; its reach even affected areas such as education. Pigs had often been used to pay tuition, with one pig paying for two children, and there was a considerable drop in enrollments the year following the eradication.

In a bid to right this situation, the Lambi Fund provided pigs, better suited to the conditions, to peasants, and soon saw the successful continuation of their efforts; one result being the production of 300 piglets from 36 pigs given in just one project.

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