A drift of rescued piglets (yes, that is what a group of pigs is called) is at the center of a controversy between animal rights advocates and the Wiltshire fire department. After fire fighters pulled 18 piglets and two sows from a fire, the farmer, Rachel Rivers, wanted to thank them so the farm butchered the pigs, made them into sausage, and served them to their rescuers.
There was clearly a failure to communicate. For the farmer, these pigs were destined for food and were not pets. For animal rights activists, this was not a case of “jumping from the frying pan into the fire” but jumping from the fire into the frying pan. PETA spokesman Mimi Bekhechi denounced the actions of the farm and said that the piglets were “no better off” for escaping the fire.
The fire department at first posted pictures and praised the “fantastic sausages.” However, it later deleted the pictures of the sausage and said:
The pigs were slaughtered six months after the fire. Farm owner Canon Gerald Osbourne said “An inevitable part of farming is the death of an animal which gives us the food to eat.”
The controversy reminds me of my youth when my Sicilian grandfather raised a colony of rabbits. We loved to play with them as kids until one day they were gone. We asked Grandpa where the rabbits were and he smiled and said that he had a big surprise for up. With that he proudly pulled out puppets that he made from the rabbits. My cousins and I screamed and ran from the kitchen — leaving my bewildered grandfather at the table. He could not understand what kids would not like some puppets. He was completely clueless about our viewing the rabbits as pets because that is not why he raised them.
PETA has offered to send the fire fighters a selection of vegan sausages.