Last week, 30-50 feral hogs barreled into our collective consciousness. The top-tier meme started with a Jason Isbell tweet, which he posted in response to the tragic mass shootings from the weekend prior: “If you’re on here arguing the definition of ‘assault weapon’ today you are part of the problem.” Hogs came into play when Twitter user @WillieMcNabb earnestly replied, “Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?” From that moment, the phrase “feral hogs” was inescapable, buoyed by mockery and sheer amusement at the words. The hogs hit hard and we are feeling their impact to this day.
Now, feral hog man Willie McNabb is speaking out with his first official statement since the meme’s inception. In addition to information about feral hog encounters and Arkansas’ hog population, McNabb’s message talks about Jason Isbell and Pearl Jam. “And finally, regarding Jason Isbell, I love music and always have. My favorite band is Pearl Jam,” he writes. “They have always challenged my beliefs and opened me up to different perspectives, different ideologies, and a broader worldview.”
“I find the same type of inspiration from Jason’s music. That’s why I asked him the question: because he grew up in the South and might be able to understand my perspective. At the heart of my question is a legitimate problem, and I firmly believe we don’t learn anything living in a vacuum. We must push ourselves as a people and a society to be more tolerant of our fellow humans, even the ones we disagree with.”
Read the full statement here.
A version of this article originally appeared on Stereogum.