Letter: Pigs with names

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The Independent Online
Sir: Paul Vallely's analysis of the Tamworth Two saga is surely wrong ("How the flying pigs became a crackling good tale", 17 January). The reason why the third, anonymous pig was "processed in the usual way" was not that it didn't have a name but that it didn't escape from the abattoir. Its two companions were given names after, and because, they got away. In doing so they displayed an ingenuity, courage and lust for life and liberty that came as a bit of a revelation, perhaps, to people who had been encouraged - by the food industry, the scientific community, even the church -to regard farm animals as things.

Perhaps the names they were given were a device to deal with that discovery - not so much a way of saying, "Hey, they're not so different from us," as of saying, "Of course, they're not just ordinary pigs." Otherwise, we might be driven to the conclusion that all pigs are intelligent, gutsy creatures who would much rather we didn't eat them, thank you - and that's a thought that sentimental British carnivores can't handle.


Harrow, Middlesex