Friday, December 01, 2006

Current Performing Pigs

After Friday's post about historical performing pigs, I figured I'd check the web to see what I could find about contemporary porcine performers. Turns out that if you need to hire some entertainment for your school or the halftime show of a sporting event you have lots of options. The "top hog" in the business seems to be Valentine's Performing Pigs. They have an elaborate website where you can watch video of their pot-bellied pigs in action. My favorite is Nellie, who they describe as the "World's Smartest Pig!" Through Top Hogs you can book two different shows: the Bacon & Porkchop Show or the Super Pork Show. On their website you can download your own autographed photos of these hams.

The most common pig show around these days, at least as far as I can tell, are those featuring racing pigs. A former Ringling trapeze artist named Roger Defoce has been training piglets for races since 1997. You can find an article about Rosie's Racing and Performing Pigs here. There are many groups that will put on a pig race, including Hedrick's, All-Alaskan, and Robinson's. These shows generally appear at state and county fairs and haven't seemed to have drawn too much concern from animal rights activists. The only time I found much controversy was when one entrepreneur had the pigs swim, which is apparently something that pigs don't particularly like doing. I have attended pig races when I traveled to the World Pork Expo in DesMoines, Iowa. The pigs (above) raced around the track to be the first to get an Oreo cookie.

One final note: To protest the construction of a mosque and school in Katy, Texas, Craig Baker, the owner of the adjoining property, is planning to hold pig races every Friday night. A member of the Katy Islamic Association calls the proposed races "a slap in the face." No kidding.


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