Porky’s Pulpit: Pigs in the City

Breaking news from Fayetteville, where an 80-pound potbellied pig named Loopey has hogged grabbed the attention of the community for the past week.  On August 1st, the Fayetteville Observer published one of those hard hitting, take no prisoners pieces of journalism for which the mainstream media is rightfully known. 

The story reported the heart wrenching (truly) tale of an 8 year old boy with autism whose pet potbellied pig was taken away due to a local ordinance prohibiting swine within Fayetteville’s city limits.  The boy’s family did what you might expect of any family faced with their situation.  No, no, they didn’t cook Loopey.  They immediately started pressuring City Council to overturn the ordinance, with the help of an online petition that had drawn nearly three thousand signatures as of press time.  The family quickly earned the support of Councilman Keith Bates, who suggested that potbellied pigs up to 125 pounds be allowed within city limits. (Is it just coincidence that 125 pounds is a nice pre-cooked weight for a dressed whole hog, or does Councilman Bates have a catering business on the side?)

One of Loopey's relatives smiling for the camera

One of Loopey's not-too-distant relatives smiling for the camera.

An August 4th follow-up story in the Fayetteville Observer (motto: “We milk pigs for all they’re worth”) reported that, by a 6-2 vote, City Council had directed staff to research what it would take to revise their ordinance to allow domesticated pigs like Loopey.  The same day the paper ran a sympathetic companion story profiling Loopey (An excerpt: “Her wrinkled brow makes her look perpetually angry, but she is anything but.”) 

Just yesterday, the Fayetteville Observer published yet another article on Loopey, this time an editorial, which opined that “…Loopey isn’t a pork chop-in-waiting.”  The editorial bemoaned the fact that Fayetteville’s ordinances “don’t differentiate between a therapy pig and spare-ribs-to-be.”  Ah, but perhaps the editors missed a key point.  This BBQ Jew fails to see the distinction between therapy pig and spare-ribs-to-be.  After all, what is more therapeutic than spare ribs, or better yet a  slow-cooked shoulder? 

Barring surprising developments–always a possibility when pigs and politics mix–the next chapter in the ongoing saga will take place in September when city staff are due to report back to City Council.  Rest assured we will keep you posted on any major developments.  Or, if you need daily updates, keep reading the Fayetteville Observer, which will continue to follow this story closely as it inches steadily closer to a Pulitzer.

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