Williamson School’s Traumatic ‘Save or Slaughter’ Pig Raffle Prompts Plea From PETA


For Immediate Release:
October 4, 2022

Lauren Kent 202-483-7382

Williamson, W. Va – Ahead of a controversial fundraising raffle at Tug Valley High School—in which the winner will decide whether to “save or slaughter” a pig—today, PETA fired off a letter to the principal, Dr. C. Douglas Ward, pointing out that schools “should be teaching students that it’s important to have empathy for all, not that it’s OK to gamble with the life of another sentient being” and urging him not to allow the animal to be slaughtered. But if he and the winner insist on slaughtering the pig, PETA has an unusual request: Do so in full view of students so they can understand the devastating moral cost of eating meat.

“We hope you’ll give your students a lesson in compassion and not allow the pig to be harmed, but if the winner of the raffle decides that the animal should be slaughtered, we urge you to allow the entire student body to witness firsthand the fear and torment that pigs endure when they’re killed for food,” writes PETA Senior Director Marta Holmberg. “It’s easy to forget where meat comes from when you see it in neatly wrapped packages at the supermarket, but the animals don’t go peacefully.”

PETA notes that pigs feel pain, empathy, and love; form complex social structures; and are protective of their young. Yet pigs killed for food are confined to filthy enclosures so small that they can barely turn around. Workers chop off piglets’ tails, cut their teeth with pliers, and castrate the males—all without pain relief. At the slaughterhouse, workers hang pigs upside down (sometimes while they’re still conscious), slit their throats, and bleed them to death. Each person who goes vegan spares nearly 200 animals every year, reduces their own risk of suffering from heart disease and cancer, and helps prevent the next pandemic. SARS, swine flu, bird flu, and COVID-19 all stemmed from confining and killing animals for food.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


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