There is Nothing Funny About Bacon!
Why do I not just let it go when someone calls any of my pig daughters bacon or sausage? Let me explain:
I have lived with pigs for almost a year now. And in that time it has become abundantly clear that were they merely able to speak a little English, pigs would be easily mistaken for young humans. The way they love and enjoy companionship is far more human than any dog I have ever known. Yes, dogs worship us (which shows how little they understand us). But pigs take us for who we are and give us their love and respect based on our actions (as a human child would do). They are also very thoughtful and meditative animals. One need only try to trick a pig into doing something that they don't want to do to find it abundantly clear that they are far too wise for any such tricks. Pumpkin the pig knows every possible clue that might suggest my intention is to carry her outside (a process she is not found of until she is happily outside). I can see her taking in my body language, processing it and reacting accordingly.
Pigs get jealous in the same way we do. Just as a young child would get jealous of a new sibling coming into the home, I have watched Charlotte both adore her sister Millie but then at other times cry out in frustration when Millie was getting the love and attention that she desired.
They are mischievous and curious in the way that a toddler is when exploring new locations. They must touch and often overturn everything. They understand when they are doing something they are expected not to do and will try to hide that they are doing it while finding it irresistible to avoid doing it.
Additionally, they get angry and frustrated when they don't get their way. But, you can see them trying to control themselves. Sometimes successfully, and sometimes not. This is most clear in Pumpkin who gets angry when new animals come into the house. She wants to charge at them and make them leave. But, she holds back letting her feelings know through cries and wumping sounds. And sometimes her anger gets the best of her and she lashes out with a bluff charge.
Pigs also get excited. This usually relates to food, which is often the case in humans as well. I've seen full-grown Pumpkin the pig bound from the couch when she heard the first inklings of dinner being prepared. I've watched Charlotte as she sprinted towards a known pile of acorns. And I've seen Millie run and fly through the air on to the couch realizing that one of her snuggling pals (my daughter Rousseau) was ready for some cuddling.
And one emotion that is more prominent than others is their capacity for happiness. Pigs are some of the happiest animals I've ever met. Constant tail wagging and happy trotting are constant. But, it goes so much deeper than that. One need but spend a few minute near pigs to feel the happiness emanating from them.
And they absolutely are capable of the same quality and depth of love as human children. This is easily observed in how Charlotte, Millie and Pumpkin will seek out affection and return it in kind. Charlotte will snuggle up so close and stare at you in a way that makes clear she loves you in the same way that a human child loves their parents.
So, when someone refers to my pigs as bacon or sausage, it isn't 'just an animal' they are making a joke about. They might as well be saying they find it funny that Smithfield Foods CEO Kenneth Sullivan is profiting off the rape, abuse, and murder of innocent children. Because at the end of the day, this is what he and his company are. They are the rapists, abusers and murdered or innocent children that simply failed to acquire the ability to speak English. Speciesism is no justification for such actions. Kenneth Sullivan is as much a part of our world's rape culture as any actor or famous person out there abusing the wealth and power. And he should be held accountable for it. Might does not make right. And by buying bacon, ham and sausage we tacitly approve this behavior and condone the perpetuation of these actions.