Just Say No to Pig Wrestling

I just finished reading the article titled “Group Charges Pig Abuse at Valmy Thresheree Event.” I don’t know from whence the accompanying photograph of four burly men manhandling the pig came from, but it certainly embodies the flavor of a pig wrestling bout. For those of you who didn’t have a chance to catch this article in the Friday, Aug. 12 edition of the Peninsula Pulse, let me describe it for you: One man has his arms wrapped around the animal’s ribs. The fellow next to him (a big brute of a man) has the pig around his belly. All you could see of the guy next to him (and, judging for the size of his head, also a Paul Bunyan type) is a head and neck. Maybe he had the animal by its tail? The last guy had a firm grip on both of the piggy’s hind legs. The animal looks exhausted and terrified. What prowess and power these Goliaths exhibit as the four of them battle it out with one small swine. Not!

I called Gerald Nelson, president of the Valmy Thresheree, several weeks ago, after I had picked up a flyer regarding the Thresheree. I thought maybe I would attend for the first time ever until I realized that the pig wrestling event was part of the deal. When I asked Mr. Nelson what the point of scaring the junk out of a small pig was, the answer I received was simply that it’s been a traditional event at the thresheree for the past 32 years. It was once traditional to bleed people with leeches, also. Tradition doesn’t mean that a thing is right or any longer holds any value. Needless to say, I will not be attending the thresheree and certainly will do my best to dissuade anyone else from attending.

I have been an active advocate for animals for a long, long time, and, although Mr. Ralph Bochek, who has the dubious responsibility of organizing the pig wrestle, stated in the article that he believes that people such as myself are a very small minority – “one tenth of one percent,” in his words – and that we are “uninformed” in our quest to make the world a better place for animals. I find the entire concept of the pig wrestling event ridiculous, archaic, and smacking of a lack of sophistication or reasonable intelligence. Yes, Mr. Bochek, that pig may be in my refrigerator next week, but that doesn’t mean that any of us has the right to mistreat animals prior to their sacrifice of life to slap a piece of meat on our dinner plates.

In closing, if you all insist on cheering on such an event, then may I suggest that a pig who offers a real challenge be placed in the ring. Get a big male in there. Then we’ll see whether or not the pig wrestlers are so quick to step forward.


Sharon Thill
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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