Pigs Left Scratched and Scared After Sunday's Cruel Event: Torment Before Slaughter Is Unethical, Unchristian, and Unkind, Says PETA
For Immediate Release:
August 14, 2014
David Perle Pigs 202-483-7382
Appleton, Wis. – Wondering how not to put your church on the map? Video footage of cruelty to pigs during the St. Patrick Parish–Stephensville’s “Pig Rassle” on August 10 in Hortonville has prompted PETA to call on the church to make Sunday’s “Pig Rassle” its last.
PETA Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement Sarah Withrow King was one of tens of thousands of people who wrote to Deacon Ken Bilgrien last week to ask him to cancel the cruel event—and in a letter sent today, King points to the egregiously unchristian behavior caught on PETA’s video: Pigs scream in terror as participants jump on, tackle, and drag them around a muddy arena. One pig is seen desperately trying to climb out of the muddy pen, and another limps away after being dropped. Pigs used for the event were left in the blistering sun with no food or drinkable water for hours.
“Such unkindness toward God’s creatures is completely contrary to Jesus’ teachings of compassion for the meekest among us,” King writes. “The conduct in your parish’s name last Sunday showed none of the respect or gentleness toward these pigs that the Church teaches that we owe them, and surely the parish can find other ways to raise funds than by subjecting animals to such a spectacle of needless suffering.”
PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” hopes the church will adopt a policy of featuring only humane activities with willing human participants in future events.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Deacon Ken Bilgrien follows.
August 14, 2014
Deacon Ken Bilgrien
St. Patrick Parish–Stephensville
Dear Deacon Bilgrien,
As a fellow follower of Jesus and PETA’s director of Christian outreach and engagement, I am contacting you again to ask you to make last Sunday’s cruel “Pig Rassle” the last one ever held by St. Patrick Parish.
Eyewitness information provided to PETA indicates that the animals used this year were crammed into pens with little or no access to shade from the scorching sun, potable water, or food all day in the summer heat. And video footage of the eventshows pig after pig screaming as they were wrenched in headlocks, tackled, and dragged by their hind legs and had their heads forced into deep mud. All the pigs were obviously terrified, as grown men and screaming children lunged at and jumped on them and as attendees hollered from all directions. The pigs were so exhausted and stressed by these ordeals that they gasped through their mouths, and it took workers minutes in some cases even to advance the “wrestled” pigs a short distance back into a pen. One pig tried in vain to escape the pen as five men closed in, and another limped after having been dropped. After the event, pigs’ backs were lacerated, undoubtedly from the fingernails of people desperately trying to grab hold of them.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs, “Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute … it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation. Animals are God’s creatures. … Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals. … It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.”
Such unkindness toward God’s creatures is completely contrary to Jesus’ teachings of compassion for the meekest among us. The conduct in your parish’s name last Sunday showed none of the respect or gentleness toward these pigs that the Church teaches that we owe them, and surely the parish can find other ways to raise funds than by subjecting animals to such a spectacle of needless suffering. I pray that you will let me know that future Roundup Days will feature only humane activities that include willing human participants.
For all animals in grace and peace,
Sarah Withrow King
Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement