Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pigs and the Floods in Iowa, Part 1: Shooting Hogs on the Levee

Continuing with the pigs and disasters theme that seems to have dominated the few posts I've managed to get up this summer (sorry 'bout that), one of my grad students e-mailed me an article about what has been happening to the pigs in the midwestern areas that have been ravaged by floods. The AP article (here) began by talking about the pigs that were shot by Des Moines County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday, June 17th. The pigs apparently swam away from their flooded farm and scrambled on top of a levee. Fearing that the pigs' hooves would poke through sandbags or worse, that they would root in the levee, the animals were shot. The county's emergency management commission chairman, LeRoy Lippert, tried to preempt any outrage about this, noting that the killing of pigs "happens every day. My gosh, that's what slaughterhouses do--that's how we get bacon and pork chops. It's just one of the casualties of the flooding situation." It will be interesting to see what the effect of the flooding in the midwest will have been on the region's hog farms.

Today's image is of pigs in the sea at Big Majors Cay in the Bahamas. Not quite the right image for this story, I know, but then no one took photos that I've been able to find of the pigs left behind as roadkill on the levee.

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