Monday, 25 August 2008

Two concrete examples of prejudice about pigs

Eddy!This is Eddy. He is currently the only pig staying at the Berlin animal shelter, where he came after his family abandoned him because of "changed living conditions".

This weekend the shelter participated in a local "family weekend" event, and invited the public to lots of fun activities and a market with good food and pet related goods. The weather was really bad, but quite a lot of people still came.

When I found Eddy, he made my heart sing. I talked to him in pigspeak and took several dozens of photos of him. While I was standing there, some other people came along, too.

Among the more neutral comments I heard was, "Yeah, you know, some people keep pigs in their apartment."

An older couple came along and stared at Eddy. Then the woman started to make faces, noises and gestures implying that there was a strong bad smell there.
But there was no bad smell at all! Only the smell of straw!

Then a family with two children, maybe 7-10 years old, came along. The girl kept muttering, "He's so fat."
Eddy isn't full grown yet, and he is quite slender for a pet pig. He doesn't even have a double chin. In accordance with his breed standard, he has a little tummy, but it would never cross my mind to consider him "fat" because of that. (Here is a full-figure photo of Eddy.)
I asked the girl why she said he was fat, but she just stared at me and left without a word. (The parents, as usual, were totally autistic towards their children and didn't exchange any thoughts with them at all.)

The only sensible explanation I have for these comments is that these people have learned that pigs are supposed to smell and that pigs are supposed to be fat, and they can't break free of those false images even when the actual reality is right in front of them.

5 comments:

bubu said...

Ei Eddy oo lihava, ihmiset ite on!
Eddy on kaunis!!!!

Tinet said...

Niin just!

ainur said...

En ymmärrä miksi aikuiset niin usein kohtelevat lapsia kuin esineitä. Lopputuloksena

1) lapset oppivat ettei heistä välitetä

2) lapset eivät opi kunnioittamaan muita

Äidistä voi taas kerran sanoa että hän on periaatteessa ottanut meidät tosissaan ja myös asettanut kyseenalaiseksi juttuja joita esim. minä olen lörpötellyt muuten vain, matkien jotain idioottikavereita tai televisiosta nähtyä. Isästäkin minulla on useita sellaisia muistikuvia. Lapset matkivat kaikenlaisia käyttäytymismalleja oppiakseen selviytymään vieraiden ihmisten joukossa, ja totta kai vanhempien pitää opastaa heitä siinä.

Joskus minusta tuntuu että meillä on ollut hyvin erikoinen lapsuus, kun niin monet ihmiset vaikuttavat täysin tunnottomilta, varsinkin eläimiä tai erilaisuutta kohtaan.

Tämä kai kuulostaa hirveän omahyväiseltä mutta yritän vain käsittää miksi monet eivät arvosta samoja asioita kuin me, ja miksi monella ihmisellä on jonkinlainen sosiaalinen Touretten syndrooma (pakko sanoa läski, huora, neekeri...)

Hot Belly Mama - taking it all back said...

My husband and I hope to raise pigs soon so I found some blogs to follow. Love your blog!

Tinet said...

Thanks!
I see you're planning to run a small self-sustaining farm. That's really neat! I'd like to do the same at some point.
But if you're going to raise pigs - are you going to eat them? :o/

By the way, pigs are very useful in other ways, too: they can plough and fertilize your lands, they trim the lawn, they can protect your property like watchdogs, they eat snails, ants and other pests, and of course they are excellent company.