Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pigs as Animal Actors: The Case of Arnold Ziffel

One of the things I noticed at the end of Charlotte's Web (the film is o.k., by the way) was a statement saying that a group called Animals Australia was going to make sure that the pigs used in the filming lived happy and full lives. Paramount Pictures gave AA a substantial contribution, in fact, that they are using to improve the lives of pigs in their country. This made me think of the urban legend about Arnold Ziffel, the pig from the television show Green Acres (1965-1971). The story goes that the cast and crew cooked and ate this animal actor at the show's wrap party. As it turns out, of course, there were many pigs, dozens in fact, used to play Arnold Ziffel, and according to Frank Inn, their trainer, they all lived out their lives on farms after being finished with the show. mentions in passing that this story re-emerged in the mid-1990s in the wake of the film Babe, which led to similar rumors.


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