The Washington Post is ramping up its hate campaign against wild pigs. Labeling the highly intelligent, highly social animals as an “invasive species,” the newspaper describes them as “marauding” across the southern United States, “eviscerating crops, gobbling up sea turtles, and tramping archaeological sites in a rampage showing no signs of letting up.”
The newspaper invokes their Hispanic origins — “brought to North America from Europe by Spanish conquistadors” — and makes an issue of their high fertility rate: “They produce large litters.” Invoking harmful and negative stereotypes, the newspaper quotes an Arkansas Game & Fish Commissioner spokesman as saying that the animals leave a “trail of diseases and parasites.” And without citing any evidence that wild pigs have attacked humans, it warns, “Their razor sharp tusks combined with their lightning speed can cause serious injury.”
Describing feral hogs as a pest to be exterminated, WaPo writes approvingly of the use of camera-enabled traps, night hunts using infrared scopes, and “helicopter squads rifle-toting sportsmen.” It quotes a Texas wildlife official as suggesting that an AR-15-type firerarm may not pack enough punch to pierce the pig’s tough hide. “The best caliber rifles should be a .243 of greater to prevent wounding and loss of the animal.” Continue reading
By any objective standard, pigs are as cute and cuddly as dogs and cats. Soon, they’ll be saving lives. Shouldn’t we treat them better?
Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, announced yesterday that it has created a bioscience division to grow skin and organs for human transplants from pigs.
The Virginia-based company already sells pork byproducts to medical companies developing drugs for ailments such as indigestion, hypothyroidism and deep-vein thrombosis, reports the Virginian-Pilot.
The new unit is part of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing institute, funded by the Defense Department, which is developing ways to replace skin for wounded soldiers and preserve human organs. The company also is working with the Harvard Medical School and Columbia University to develop immunology therapy.
Bacon’s bottom line: It’s about time that pigs got their due. Pigs are highly social creatures and high on the scale of intelligence and sentience. And how do we treat them? We pack domestic pigs together in inhuman (or whatever the equivalent word is for pigs) conditions in factory farms. And we hunt wild pigs with inpunity — indeed in some places we seek to eradicate them entirely. Can you imagine the outcry if we hunted down wild cats? If we jammed dogs into tiny stalls and force fed them so we could eat them? Where the heck is PETA?
As Winston Churchill famously said, “”I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”
Surely we can treat pigs as equals in return!