California Potbellied Pig Association, Inc
"Kiss a Pig" Events
by Marcie Christensen
I have wanted to write this article for a long time, and today I got another call. “Hi, the children at our school have raised X amount of money for X organization” or “the children at our school have read X amount of books this school year. And as a reward for the children doing this, we promised them that the Principal would kiss a pig.”
Now maybe you don’t have a problem with these “Kiss A Pig” punishment/reward events like I do, but let me explain my reasoning for not approving of them.
What are you teaching the kids when a Principal, the highest ranked person at a school, has to kiss a pig? It teaches them that pigs are filthy, nasty, disgusting creatures, and as a reward for the student’s achievements, they are making an adult kiss a bad, dirty creature.
Pigs are not bad, dirty creatures. Their mouths are cleaner than dogs and cats who spend a good deal of time licking areas that most of us would not want to kiss. I have received so many calls regarding renting, borrowing, giving a donation to have a pig come to a school for a “Kiss a Pig” humiliation and in each case I try to explain that this is teaching children that pigs are bad animals. Not the intelligent wonderful creatures that they actually are. I try to provide alternatives. Throw a pie tin of shaving cream. Use a dunking tank. Sometimes the parent or teacher calling me listens, some placate me then hang up and try to find a pig elsewhere and others just say “yeah whatever” and hang up on me. But unfortunately, as long as these schools can get a human to bring in a pig, they will continue to teach our youth that pigs are bad and dirty.
And what about the one child in the school that has a pet pig at home, or has a family member that has a pet pig? Or the children who are being raised as vegetarians or vegans, being taught to respect and honor all animals? What is a “Kiss a Pig” event teaching them?
A Principal kissing a pig is supposed to be a bad/humiliating event for the Principal. I look at it the other way around. Bringing a pig into an area with 500 or more screaming children for the Principal to kiss, that isn’t humiliation for the Principal, that is terrifying for the pig.
If nothing else think of the animal and please end this event, for the pig’s sake. I’d kiss a pig any day!
”…pigs are very beautiful animals.
Those who do not think so do not look at anything with their own eyes
but through other people's eyeglasses."
G. K. Chesterton