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Six Month Reflection on Saving the Guinea Hogs

by Cathy R. Payne

September 15, 2019

Saving the Guinea Hogs – winner for Non-fiction Animal Book

It’s been six months since the March 15th E-book release of Saving the Guinea Hogs. What a wild ride that has been! The softcover was available about mid-April and the hardcover by mid-May. I thought I would share with you how the book has changed my life and that of many others.

It’s been very exciting to have a tool that I can take with me to help tell the story of heritage breeds and their role in biodiversity for the food system. It has been priceless to get a foot in the door and bring this information to more people. The first response I typically get is, “I didn’t know about those,” or “I hadn’t heard about rare livestock breeds.” With the book as an introduction, I have had many speaking opportunities at book events, in interviews, and on podcasts. My updated media page is here and includes eleven new listings since March 15th. I have appointments over the next few weeks for additional magazine interviews, a newsletter interview, and four additional podcast interviews. I’m continuing to add content to my website in the picture gallery, through news letters, and more.

So far 1,570 copies of Saving the Guinea Hogs have reached the hands of readers and most of these were in the form of free books. Between the books, the podcasts, the lectures, and the articles, more and more people are learning about Guinea Hogs and other heritage livestock breeds.

The breeders who started the American Guinea Hog Association in 2006 became breeders because they had read about the Guinea Hogs and other breeds in a magazine, newspaper, or website. In the 1990s, breeders read newspaper and magazine articles or attended events sponsored by The American Minor Breeds Conservancy. Written and spoken words move people to action. If you have not yet read the book you can get a peek at Chapter One by clicking here.

And speaking of action, several of my readers have been inspired to help me learn and take on the research of what is missing in Saving the Guinea Hogs. Specifically, Matthew Caley, Andrew Donley, Matt Hunker, and Michael Piatt have all searched for some difficult-to-find material through property records, obituaries, facebook, phone calls, emails, archival material, and zoo records. Michael managed to talk with Randy Setty and then locate the person who sold him his hogs. I talked with Matt DeLaVega for an hour this week! The parents of Randy’s hogs came from a breeder I wrote about in-depth in the first book. I have so much information to comb through now that a sequel to accompany Saving the Guinea Hogs is now in the works.

So thank you, readers, for caring about this topic, for reading the book, for listening to the podcasts, for sharing your research findings with me, for sharing with your friends, for agreeing to be a breeder feature, for sharing photographs, and for leaving online book reviews. You are an important part of my team! Just imagine where we will be by March 15, 2020!

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