When we think of pig abuse, images of gestation crates, farm worker-imposed trauma, and utter neglect associated with the animal agriculture industry, and specifically factory farms, tend to come to mind. Those visuals are largely kept out of sight, sometimes lawfully through unjust ag-gag legislation, in hopes that the public won’t notice what’s truly going on inside those “factory” walls. But not all forms of pig abuse are so well concealed. In fact, some of it occurs blatantly out in the open under the guise of “entertainment.”

A perfect example of this is the “pig scramble” that takes place at the Mounted Patrol’s July Fourth Junior Rodeo in Woodside, California. In this event, terrified piglets are attacked by children who attempt to catch and wrestle these babies to the ground. In the process, piglets are routinely trampled, injured, and all-out traumatized.


Pigs are incredibly intelligent, social, and curious animals with robust personalities. They’re capable of all the same emotions we experience, and that spectrum certainly includes fear, pain, sadness, and grief. When treated properly, they are generally happy, optimistic, and peaceful animals who only become aggressive when someone threatens their young – because, yes, they’re very loving and fantastic parents, as well. They’re also very playful, and don’t mind a fun wrestle here and there with their fellow beings when the intention is right. They even enjoy music! But they also display clear signs of stress, anxiety and severe depression when they are neglected or mistreated.

Rodeos are excessively cruel events, as is, but because this particular event isn’t sanctioned by the Northern California Junior Rodeo Association, there’s even less enforcement of animal welfare standards. Those organizing and participating in this event claim it’s all “good, clean fun” and a great means for teaching kids how to manage farm animals. However, it’s easy to see that this does not set a good example at all in terms of how animals of any kind should be treated. Moreover, studies show that there is a clear link between animal abuse and criminal violence later in life, which begs the question: what are these events really implanting in the next generation? As the old saying goes, “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.”

It’s time for this torturous and toxic event to end, and the Woodside city council has the power to make it happen by passing a resolution banning animal scrambles in the town of Woodside. Residents in Woodside have already gathered close to 500 signatures asking for such, but they need more – and that’s where we come in.

Help them out by signing this petition and urging the town council in Woodside, California to introduce and pass a new resolution that bans this activity at the Mounted Patrol’s Annual Fourth Junior Rodeo.


Then join Esther the Wonder Pig in getting the word out far and wide so that we can bring an end to all pig wrestling events that take place throughout the country and the world.


Image source:Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock