Albany Airport’s New Therapy Pig, Bacon Bits, Prompts PETA Appeal

Serving Bacon and Ham at an Airport That Offers ‘Therapy Pig’ Encounters Is Like Serving Poodle Burgers at a Dog Show

For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Albany. N.Y.

In response to the introduction of a therapy pig named Bacon Bits at Albany International Airport, PETA sent a letter today urging the airport to remove pork, bacon, and other foods made from pigs from its restaurants.

In the letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that, like Bacon Bits, pigs are extremely good-natured, playful, affectionate, sensitive, social, and smart. Yet the ones used for food are confined to filthy warehouses, their tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated—often without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they scream as they’re hung upside down and bled to death, often while they’re still conscious.

“Any passengers who have experienced firsthand how affectionate and social pigs are should lose their lunch at the thought of eating sausage and bacon at the food court,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on Albany International Airport to put pork on the no-fly list and save the lives of numerous sensitive, curious animals just like this beloved therapy pig.”

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PETA’s letter to Albany International Airport Chief Executive Officer John A. O’Donnell follows.

December 20, 2016

John A. O’Donnell, PE

Chief Executive Officer

Albany County Airport Authority

Dear Mr. O’Donnell,

I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 5 million members and supporters, including a many across Albany, in response to the introduction of a “therapy pig” at the Albany International Airport. Now that a friendly, smart pig, whose name we are asking his guardian to change, is helping calm anxious passengers as part of the Canine Ambassador Program, we ask that you help him and his relatives by getting pork, bacon, and other pig products off the menu at all airport restaurants. Serving pig products at an airport where a therapy pig is helping humans would be like serving poodle burgers at a dog show or monkey nuggets at the zoo. We urge you to encourage businesses to offer only delicious vegan meats instead. You may be surprised at the response and net really great public relations!

As I’m sure you may know, pigs are extremely good-natured. They’re playful, affectionate, and sensitive—and they’re said to be smarter than dogs, animals we don’t eat in this country! They’re also highly social animals who require things to do, see, and love, along with a proper physical environment. Yet pigs used for food spend their lives confined to filthy factory farm sheds and are denied everything natural and important to them, like nurturing their young or rooting in the earth. Pigs’ tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated—without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they’re hung upside down and bled to death, quite often while still conscious.

Rejecting pig meat is like, or better than, having defibrillators, as it is a great  way to protect the health of airport patrons, too. Eating meat, especially processed meat, and dairy products is linked to heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Unlike animal meat, pork-less ham, vegan bacon, and veggie dogs are tasty, healthy, cruelty-free, full of fiber, and have zero cholesterol.

We hope to hear that you’ll encourage restaurants to remove all pig meat from the menu. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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