Proving That Pigs Can Fly

Instruc­tions for a Sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly Cor­rect, Data-Dri­ven, Peer-Reviewed Study Con­clud­ing That Pigs Can Fly

1) You will need a spon­sor for your study. This will be fair­ly sim­ple if you request your fund­ing from orga­ni­za­tions (usu­al­ly gov­ern­men­tal or insur­ance agen­cies) which would oth­er­wise be held respon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing food and shel­ter for flight­less pigs. It is gen­er­al­ly assumed that ani­mals who can fly (i.e. birds) can pro­vide for them­selves and thus do not require such provisions.

2) You will need to select appro­pri­ate cri­te­ria for the selec­tion of your pigs. Avoid any cri­te­ria which use genet­ic or oth­er sci­en­tif­ic bases to define the term “pig.” Instead, use cri­te­ria such as the (fic­ti­tious) Junior Scholas­tic Preschool Def­i­n­i­tion, which defines pigs as “round-bod­ied mam­mals with cloven hooves, curly tails, and flat­tened snouts.” You can then fur­ther broad­en the cri­te­ria by reduc­ing it to sim­ply “mam­mals with cloven hooves,” and rename it “The Revised Scholas­tic Def­i­n­i­tion of Pigs.” In this man­ner, you will be able to stock your study group heav­i­ly with ani­mals such as deer and antelope.

3) You will also need to cor­rect­ly define “flight.” After care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, you might select a def­i­n­i­tion that spec­i­fies that the ani­mal must have all four feet off of the ground and be air­borne for a dis­tance of .7 meters.

4) You are now ready to begin recruit­ing your loose­ly-defined “pigs” for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the study. Elim­i­nate as “unmo­ti­vat­ed” all ani­mals who have been observed wal­low­ing in mud, as this is a sign of laziness.

5) Will­ing­ness to accept the con­cept of pig flight is essen­tial. Elim­i­nate all appli­cants whose lim­it­ed per­cep­tions exclude this possibility.

6) Begin your train­ing process with a psy­cho­log­i­cal inter­ven­tion designed to remove all thought process­es which would neg­a­tive­ly affect pig flight out­comes. Any appli­cant who refus­es this inter­ven­tion will be con­sid­ered a dropout of the pro­gram, and will not be includ­ed in your final statistics.

7) Sub­ject all par­tic­i­pants to rig­or­ous­ly enforced jump­ing exer­cis­es, per­formed on a dai­ly basis. Any “pig” who fails to show up for all exer­cis­es will be dropped from the pro­gram and, again, will not appear in the final statistics.

8) For the final test, group all “pigs” on a small par­cel of land sur­round­ed by a .7 meter-wide ditch with water at the bot­tom of it. Ignite some loud explo­sives to scare the day­lights out of all the ani­mals, and record which ani­mals clear the ditch in their mad dash to escape. The deer and ante­lope, who, by this time, make up the largest com­po­nent of your study group, should clear the ditch eas­i­ly, thus pro­vid­ing you with impres­sive suc­cess sta­tis­tics for your study.

9) Any ani­mal who refus­es to jump across the ditch will be con­sid­ered a dropout and will be elim­i­nat­ed from the study results. Any ani­mal who attempts the jump, but lands in the water, will be imme­di­ate­ly dis­qual­i­fied for “wal­low­ing.” Ani­mals who com­plain of exhaus­tion or pain from the jump­ing will be ignored.

10) Have the entire study peer-reviewed by one of your asso­ciates who is in the same busi­ness and also stands to gain from your success.

You can now present your impres­sive sta­tis­tics to your finan­cial back­ers, who will laud you open­ly and will see to it that your stud­ies are pub­lished in the most pres­ti­gious med­ical jour­nals. You are also in an excel­lent posi­tion to earn large amounts of mon­ey sell­ing your flight-train­ing reg­i­men for pigs. Pigs every­where will be informed that if they refuse to par­tic­i­pate in your pro­gram, they will be dis­qual­i­fied from all sus­te­nance ben­e­fits which they may be cur­rent­ly receiv­ing. Pigs who DO par­tic­i­pate in your pro­gram, and suc­cess­ful­ly man­age to com­plete the .7 meter jump, will be imme­di­ate­ly informed that they are now capa­ble of flight and will no longer be con­sid­ered eli­gi­ble for food and shel­ter from any gov­ern­ment or insur­ance agency.

If some pigs orga­nize protest groups, you can dis­miss them as “mis­guid­ed” and “resis­tant to the mind-body-spir­it” approach to self-improve­ment. You can then apply for anoth­er study grant in which you inter­view these pro­test­ers and con­clude that their “attri­bu­tions and per­cep­tions” are lim­it­ing their true flight potential.

Good luck, and may your endeav­ors be profitable!

If this study sounds ridicu­lous to you, then you have obvi­ous­ly not exam­ined the large num­ber of sim­i­lar­ly out­ra­geous stud­ies which have been imposed on suf­fer­ers of Myal­gic Encephalomyelitis, Chron­ic Fatigue Syn­drome, Fibromyal­gia, and Gulf War Syndrome.

It is high time that peo­ple and gov­ern­ments accept­ed the fol­low­ing realities:

1) Pigs can­not fly, no mat­ter how hard they ded­i­cate them­selves to the effort.

2) Suf­fer­ers of the above-men­tioned dis­eases are not going to recov­er until sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial resources are invest­ed in bio­log­i­cal research to deter­mine the cause, eti­ol­o­gy, and effec­tive med­ical treat­ments for these seri­ous phys­i­cal illnesses.

A let­ter to The Times by Elsie Owings, ME/CFS suf­fer­er and past pres­i­dent of the West Michi­gan CFIDS Sup­port Group. 

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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