brief escape

this article has been positively haunting me ever since i first read it. i can’t get it out of my mind, and i’m hoping that writing about it might help. here’s an excerpt:

A 280-pound pig bound for a Bangor slaughterhouse saw a red light as an opportunity Monday when it jumped clear out of the wooden trailer it was riding in and attempted to make a break for it.

When its owner stopped for a traffic light at the corner of Oak and Main streets at about 11:30 a.m., the freedom-seeking sow leaped for her life and scampered down the road toward Lincoln Street.

The pink pig with brown spots fled on hoof as officers pursued her to Birch Street and through several yards before she stopped on Bayview Avenue to rest after about 30 minutes of freedom.

"She was tired so she laid down," said Ellsworth police Officer Daniel Owens, who chased the swine along with Officer Chad Wilmot. "That’s probably the most exercise she has had in her life."

Police officers and firefighters surrounded her, looped a rope around her pork shoulders and lassoed her neck with a dog snare. They attempted to drag her back to the trailer using a flexible plastic backboard but the feisty pig would have none of it; she protested by curling her pink lips and letting out piercing squeals that made bystanders wince.

"You just feel badly for the poor thing," said neighbor Barbara Williams, who watched from a safe distance near the street.

[snip]

With help from the pig’s owners, who live in Bar Harbor, police and firefighters were able to muscle the tenacious animal back onto the trailer, where it laid down on a pile of dirt and crab apples and closed its eyes.

Without saying much, the owners jumped into the cab of the pickup truck and set back on course for the slaughterhouse.

i snipped out most of the obnoxious humor in the original story. it blows my mind how someone can write a story about an animal trying to escape her horrible fate, and one of the main writerly goals is coming up with as many pork-oriented puns as possible. it’s like a contest to show how insensitive we can be.

anyhow, i cannot get the imagery out of my mind. this poor girl, trying desperately to get free, to run somewhere–anywhere–and being surrounded by people who won’t let her go. to finally be so tired out that she becomes resigned to her fate. i think the worst part of the story is when they put her back in the trailer and she just lies down and closes her eyes. it makes me want to cry.

i just don’t understand why other people aren’t affected by these kinds of stories. why do so many people laugh this off? i wish more people would give themselves permission to empathize with her, and with the countless other animals like her.

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One comment

  1. For all the cruelty and insensitivity in this world every minute of every day, much of which I believe is born out of astronomical monetary greed, we can only hope that by living by example and consistently keeping up the good fight, we will succeed in touching people one by one at just the right time in their lives. I believe we can not legislate morality. It must be taught and learned!
    Keep up your good fight!

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brief escape

this article has been positively haunting me ever since i first read it. i can’t get it out of my mind, and i’m hoping that writing about it might help. here’s an excerpt:

A 280-pound pig bound for a Bangor slaughterhouse saw a red light as an opportunity Monday when it jumped clear out of the wooden trailer it was riding in and attempted to make a break for it.

When its owner stopped for a traffic light at the corner of Oak and Main streets at about 11:30 a.m., the freedom-seeking sow leaped for her life and scampered down the road toward Lincoln Street.

The pink pig with brown spots fled on hoof as officers pursued her to Birch Street and through several yards before she stopped on Bayview Avenue to rest after about 30 minutes of freedom.

"She was tired so she laid down," said Ellsworth police Officer Daniel Owens, who chased the swine along with Officer Chad Wilmot. "That’s probably the most exercise she has had in her life."

Police officers and firefighters surrounded her, looped a rope around her pork shoulders and lassoed her neck with a dog snare. They attempted to drag her back to the trailer using a flexible plastic backboard but the feisty pig would have none of it; she protested by curling her pink lips and letting out piercing squeals that made bystanders wince.

"You just feel badly for the poor thing," said neighbor Barbara Williams, who watched from a safe distance near the street.

[snip]

With help from the pig’s owners, who live in Bar Harbor, police and firefighters were able to muscle the tenacious animal back onto the trailer, where it laid down on a pile of dirt and crab apples and closed its eyes.

Without saying much, the owners jumped into the cab of the pickup truck and set back on course for the slaughterhouse.

i snipped out most of the obnoxious humor in the original story. it blows my mind how someone can write a story about an animal trying to escape her horrible fate, and one of the main writerly goals is coming up with as many pork-oriented puns as possible. it’s like a contest to show how insensitive we can be.

anyhow, i cannot get the imagery out of my mind. this poor girl, trying desperately to get free, to run somewhere–anywhere–and being surrounded by people who won’t let her go. to finally be so tired out that she becomes resigned to her fate. i think the worst part of the story is when they put her back in the trailer and she just lies down and closes her eyes. it makes me want to cry.

i just don’t understand why other people aren’t affected by these kinds of stories. why do so many people laugh this off? i wish more people would give themselves permission to empathize with her, and with the countless other animals like her.

5 comments

  1. Oh god, that is so, so awful! That poor girl! I have a picture of her in my mind. This is going to haunt me, too. I will be repeating this story.
    I really loved how you wrote about it, though. “Permission to empathize” – that’s exactly what it is.

  2. That is such a sad story. I agree that the saddest part is when she’s back on the trailer and closes her eyes.
    Maybe all the pork jokes were the author’s way of trying not to really think about it too much – remember folks, this is a dumb animal without feelings – all the while the pig is demonstrating that she does indeed have feelings.
    Poor thing. I hope her end was quick and she’s in some kind of pig heaven now.

  3. Long before I became vegan–when I became vegetarian, the reason that made me do it in the first place was my husband telling me that pigs have heart attacks on the way to the slaughterhouse.
    Reason enough.

  4. “The fiesty pig?” Like it’s a game? The poor animal is exhausted and probably terrified, is pursued, trapped, lassoed, dragged along the ground, and on her way to be slaughtered. Her life was no doubt joyless and painful. “Fiesty?” Tragic.
    Thank you for sharing this story, and for your thoughtful commentary.

  5. For all the cruelty and insensitivity in this world every minute of every day, much of which I believe is born out of astronomical monetary greed, we can only hope that by living by example and consistently keeping up the good fight, we will succeed in touching people one by one at just the right time in their lives. I believe we can not legislate morality. It must be taught and learned!
    Keep up your good fight!

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