I’d kiss a pig before the I’d kiss the winner

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Over the last few years, I’ve seen a lot of these types of stories, ones where someone (often a school principal) will kiss a pig if a certain amount of money is raised for charity. In this story, whoever raises the most money gets to kiss the pig and “bring… Wilbur home.” The money raised pays for youth programs and the maintenance of the Loudoun County fairgrounds’ livestock and show buildings.

Ugh.

In the usual case, kissing the pig is portrayed as this crazy, disgusting thing… a “sacrifice” a person will make as an incentive to raise money. While it amuses a lot of people, it does nothing to battle the stereotype of pigs as dirty, disgusting animals. But, really, unless a pig’s been out for a roll in the mud on a summer day, kissing a pig on the nose is no more disgusting than kissing your dog on the nose.

Maybe I’m making too much out of it. Maybe it’s just a harmless way to raise money. But, in the article linked above, there’s little question: the pig that’s “won” will either be killed for food. “Wilbur” will be eaten.

And I wonder what “youth programs” will be supported by money raised at a fair with bull riding, dairy shows, goat shows, and a livestock auction (“offering Beef, Lamb, Goat, Pork, Chicken, Duck, Rabbit, and much more!”). I might be making some false assumptions here, but I can’t find any further information on the “youth programs,” so I’m left to guess. It’s also unclear how much of the money raised will go to the fairgrounds, which promote more of this type of event.

I said what now?

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Periodically, I look back at old blog entries just to see how far I’ve come. Every so often, I run into an entry that makes the current-me cringe… like this one from five years ago. An excerpt:

I don’t know whether I’ll ever make the jump towards veganism, but even now, I’m trying to be as “cruelty-free” as possible (buying strictly organic milk, sour cream, etc.) as well as cutting back on cheese (due mainly to the saturated fat content).

Fortunately, two years later, I was already talking about replacements for honey even though I hadn’t gone vegan yet. That redeems me a bit, right, vegan five-oh?