Category Archives: whistle-pig

The Outline Outside My Mind

Theme : Have you ever wondered how great nature can be? Doesn’t matter your answer to that question because either way, this project will entice you to form a more perfect union with trees.

General storyline: I, along with a good friend of mine, will be walking through a forest and talking about the intricacies, the beauty, the majesty, the drama, the romance, the war, the famine, the peace, the pieces, and the nature of what we see. We will, of course, supplement all the factual information with statements that may not be facts to the general public, but they are to us.

Main characters: Those featured in this work will be, as of today, will be Raud, yours truly, and my main man Creek may sneak on camera.

Interviews: I have interviewed Creek, the caretaker of the particular forest I will be filming in, and Andy, the university’s urban forester. I am currently working with three other folks to get interviews. Some more viable than others, so we shall see who else will join in.

Arts Medium: I will be working with film. I do not think it will be on an old-timey crank-and-shoot, but the world has many surprises and that is always an option.

P.S.: I plan on reaching out to Leonardo DiCaprio, so, ya know…the film should be pretty cool.




Leo lovingly pointing at...

Leo lovingly pointing at…

Andy the Arborist

Before me stood a tall man, with a beard that puts my chin hairs to shame, and a smile larger than the trees he plants. He greeted me by saying, “You must be Solomon!”

Andy Dahl is the University of Iowa’s Arborist and he describes himself as an Urban Forester. He is a down to Earth (pun intended), charismatic man who is a champion for the plant ecology we see in Iowa City’s university districts. I asked him three questions:

1) What are the intricacies of forest systems?
2) How are the local animals handling the dwelling forests?
3) How do people interact with the forest overall?

No question had a straight forward answer, however, there were not straight forward questions. Andy is also not a straight forward guy. I expected to see a man who wanted to have a quick 30 minute conversation, but instead I found someone who wanted to spend more time than he had talking about his love of trees.

Andy has helped save countless trees as well as plant many more than the countless he has saved. He is an Urban Forester, he loves Neil DeGrassee Tyson, and he gives tours of the trees.

Here are some University of Iowa trees:

SE area of the Pentabest

SE area of the Pentabest

Solomon Deserves Rights!

“Shh…!” I said to my roommate as I walked in front of the TV and frantically grabbed my phone. He was confused until we saw this cute, cuddly, crazily-named, creature (this video clip is very low resolution and does NOT give this majestic marvel justice).

A whistle-pig that we have named Solomon (yes, that is my name too but there is no relation) and this animal is as cute and they are hairy. Solomon likes top hangout in the parking area behind our apartment and on the steps in featured in this picture. As much as I love seeing Solomon and as much as hearing Solomon’s whistle sounds brings me joy, I feel bad. I have been living in my apartment for a little more than a year, my roommate has been there a bit longer than two years; little Solomon has roots in this location going back possibly thousands of years.

Solomon hasn't noticed us

Whistle-pig land has been stolen, and many take it upon themselves to kill the creatures when they try and reclaim it. According to Indiana Department of Natural Resources, whistle-pigs “can be captured or killed year-round without a permit or hunting or trapping license from the DNR, and there are no limits to the number that can be taken.” This is harmful not only from a policy standpoint, but also from a justice standpoint. Maybe it is okay, because whistle-pigs have no rights. Why do we not grant rights to whistle-pigs, or any other animal?
Should we grant rights to animals? This piece on an adorable whistle-pig (that I personally love like a younger brother) is not the first mention of giving living non-human organisms rights. Americans for Medical Advancement (AFMA), Animal Justice Project, Animal Liberation Front (ALF), Anti-vivisection Coalition (AVC), Cruelty Free International (CFI), Eleventh Hour for Animals, For Life on Earth (FLOE), and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are just a few groups. Most of these groups tackle animal experimentation, but the problem of not giving amazing animals like Solomon some sort of protection is just that: a problem.