9 The work of pig management
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9 The work of pig management book
How much effort does pig-herding demand? The evidence suggests that on average it is not a great deal. The time and work put into pig-keeping, and hence energy expended, further belie the notion of exploitation. A review of the production cost and consumption beneﬁt of pig-keeping affords an opportunity to appraise the extent of exploitation, particularly of women’s labour. Furthermore, such an analysis points up graphically the marked difference with capitalist economic assumptions. The uniqueness of Wola arrangements relates to their culture’s transactional focus. Again, energy affords, as with hunting previously, a readily manipulated unit to estimate labour costs and returns, and its use ensures consistency of comparison. This is not to deny that other measures could be used to assess pig-herding arrangements (particularly their exploitative dimensions, which are liable to subjective value judgements); nor is it to suggest that the Wola explicitly so evaluate their activities. But it shows unequivocally that Western economic and energetic rationality do not relate well to Wola pig production.