Paul Willis

At Niman Ranch, “We’re Doing Something Special” Raising Pigs Humanely

By Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank

On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” Paul Willis, founder of Niman Ranch Pork Company, and Elle Gadient, intern at Niman Ranch, talk about their love for humanely treated, free-range pigs and the farmers that raise them. “When we talked about free-range pigs the first time, it sounded odd to even say that,” says Willis. Before industrial practices became popular, says Willis, “pasture pigs were the norm; there were many hog operations, almost all pasture type, in those days. There were no confinement buildings.” “I had been raising outdoor pigs, and selling them at the commodity market. We were being squeezed out. The price was getting worse when I met Bill Niman. He’s the first person to ever ask me what I wanted for my pigs,” says Willis. In 1995, Willis and Niman partnered to expand sustainable and humane hog farming methods across the Midwest, now including more than 720 family farmers....

radical cities

How Radical Municipalism can Go Beyond the Local

By Aaron Vansintjan, Mason Herson-Ford, Uneven Earth

Climate change, global finance, the neoliberal state: today’s crises require action on a big scale. And yet fighting for local democracy is – perhaps counter-intuitively – the best chance we’ve got. Throughout this series, we’ve argued that the best way to address today’s ecological, social, and political crises is to get people together where they live and work to provide resources that people need – eventually building up an alternative political and economic system that can replace the present, failing system. We need to build a democratic, just, and ecological world in the shell of the old. In the previous installment, we argued that organising on the level of the neighborhood, town, and city is the most strategic approach to this today. The rise of loneliness worldwide, the centrality of real estate speculation for global economic growth, and the breakdown of many large-scale factories that helped to bring workers together mean that we...