Summertime is synonymous with dog days at the beach or pool, picnics and backyard parties, and Ferris wheels and kettle corn at county fairs. Although county fairs can be a fun-filled place to take the family, they are not a fun place for the animals at the fairgrounds. Many of us were first introduced to the shocking reality of county fairs with the beautiful story of Charlotte’s Web, where a young pig named Wilbur is saved from his fate of slaughter at the fair by a lovely spider named Charlotte. The animals at the auction blocks at county fairs are rarely ever as lucky as Wilbur, but the adult animals destined for the slaughterhouse are not the only victims of the industry.
Animals like sheep and goats are also kept for use in petting zoos at fairs, while ponies and zebras are used for rides, while others like tigers and monkeys are used as entertainment to draw in a crowd. And as a petition on Care2 explains, animals like pigs are not only sold to be butchered, they are also used as a public spectacle for inhumane “pig scrambles.” One county fair that will be hosting a “pig scramble” this year is the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, Virginia. To kick off the fair this August 25, the fair’s website proudly boasts they will be conducting “Virginia’s Largest Pig Scramble,” where a large group of piglets will be covered in grease and released into an arena while sugar-fueled kids chase and lunge at them in an attempt to catch a piglet for a prize.
This is not only terrifying for the baby pigs but, as the petition states, the fragile little animals suffer tremendous injuries as a result, including broken bones and internal damage. The petition’s author believes this archaic practice teaches children to behave callously toward animals and gives them the impression that animals are ours to be used however we wish. The irony is, pigs are said to be as intelligent as some of the kids who are chasing and lunging at them.
If you love pigs and cannot stand to see them mistreated this way, please take a moment to sign this petition to stop the Shenandoah County Fair “pig scramble” from happening. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case, and events like this happen in fairs all around the world, so please share this with your network to spread awareness about the realities of county fairs.
Image Source: Klaus Höpfner/Wikimedia Commons