Event Planned for Sunday Harms God's Creation, May Leave Pigs With Broken Bones
For Immediate Release:
August 8, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
Appleton, Wis. – Kind people across the country are urging the Hortonville-based St. Patrick Parish–Stephensville to cancel the “Pig Rassle” planned as part of its 44th Annual Roundup Days this weekend—and PETA Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement Sarah Withrow King is among them.
In an urgent letter sent this morning to Deacon Ken Bilgrien, the pastoral coordinator of the church, King points out that chasing, grabbing, and tackling pigs and then slamming them onto overturned barrel drums—can result in leaving them with injuries so severe that they must be killed immediately to end their suffering—is not only cruel but also goes directly against Jesus’ teachings of love and compassion.
“[J]ust like the cats and dogs with whom we share our homes, pigs are created by God, who has charged humans with the care and stewardship of all creation,” writes King. “Forcing God’s creatures through this violent and frantic ordeal represents neither careful stewardship nor loving dominion.”
PETA, whose motto reads, in part, “Animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” suggests replacing pig wrestling with an event that everyone can enjoy, such as a human wrestling contest or a muddy footrace.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Deacon Ken Bilgrien follows.
August 8, 2014
Deacon Ken Bilgrien
St. Patrick Parish
Dear Deacon Bilgrien,
I am the director of Christian outreach and engagement with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and am writing on behalf of our more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide. More importantly, I’m writing as a fellow follower of Jesus to urge you to cancel the “Pig Rassle” scheduled to take place during the 44th Annual Roundup Days this weekend.
We learned from Jesus that just because something is legal doesn’t necessarily make it right. WhileWisconsin’s anti-cruelty laws prohibit treating any animal in a cruel manner or allowing a fight between an animal and a person, my appeal to you is based not on the law but on compassion.
Just like the cats and dogs with whom we share our homes, pigs are created by God, who has charged humans with the care and stewardship of all creation. Please imagine how traumatic it is for a pig to be chased, grabbed, and tackled by participants and then crammed into barrel drums—all while trapped in a pen lined with shouting crowds and with no means of escape or defense. The very nature of these events is inhumane—the pigs are not willing participants. They often sustain severe injuries, such as broken limbs or backs, and must be killed immediately to end their suffering.
Forcing God’s creatures through this violent and frantic ordeal represents neither careful stewardship nor loving dominion. There are many other activities scheduled as part of the weekend festivities. Will you please cancel the pig wrestling and replace it with a humane alternative? You could hold a wrestling contest or a muddy footrace with willing human participants. And if you’d truly like to reflect the love of Jesus and emulate the example he set for us, you could go so far as to invite the pigs to join you for dinner—as honored guests, of course.
Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter. May I hear back from you today?
Grace and peace,
Sarah Withrow King
Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement